Last Season: 15-1; Defeated in state finals by North Shore
Head Coach: Reginald Samples: 6th season as head coach
Non-District game to watch: 8/29 vs. Spring Westfield (@Georgetown, TX)- Spring Westfield went 13-2 a season ago and was defeated by Denton Guyer in the state semi-finals. This neutral site showdown will continue the Houston vs. Dallas rivalry that has seen North Shore defeat Duncanville in the last two state title games.
Player to watch: WR Roderick Daniels Jr.- A Baylor commit, he earned District 8-6A Offensive MVP a year ago after being a versatile contributor on the Panther offense. He had 749 receiving yards, 557 rushing yards, and 12 total touchdowns a year ago, and is poised for another big season for the Panthers.
Storylines: The Panthers have been to two straight state title games but have been on the wrong end of the scoreline both times against North Shore, including losing on a Hail Mary in 2018. The Panthers will have to replace graduated quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson and running back Trysten Smith as well as quarterback Chris Parson, who transferred to Red Oak. This means quarterback and running back are question marks heading into the season. However, senior running back Keyon Pugh transfers in after rushing for 1,908 yards and 19 touchdowns for Oakdale High School (LA) last season. At receiver, Daniels is only the returnee from the three leading receivers from a year ago. Up front, there is a lot more experience as 4-star senior Savion Byrd, and highly touted juniors Cameron Williams and Jaylen Early return to anchor the offensive line. Meanwhile, the Panther defense has the potential to be one of the most talented in Texas. On the defensive line junior Omari Abor, the reigning District 8-6A Defensive newcomer of the year, Colorado State commit Tyler Quinn, 15 tackles for loss, and DE Kevon Ivy, a first team all-district selection, are all back after impressive 2019 seasons. At linebacker, Kendrick Blackshire, an Alabama target who missed last year with an ACL injury, and junior Jordan Crook, who has 18 Division I offers and transfers in from Bishop Dunne, are both primed to lead in the heart of defense. In the secondary, SMU commit Jadarius Thursby, 75 tackles and two forced fumbles, will be a key player from his position at safety. These Panthers have a couple of questions to answer offensively, but, with the talent back on defense, it would be naïve to count them out as a contender for their third straight title game appearance.
Preview brought to you by: www.JamarRoofing.com