The new look Austin Panthers went in to Mustang Stadium for a prime Thursday night football match up with a certain level of confidence that hasn't existed in quite some time now.  The Panthers entered the contest with a 3-3 record, which is 3 more wins than they've had in the past two and a half seasons under first year head coach Eric Pichardo.

Their opponent, the Burges Mustangs, were ready for the challenge, as the ponies defended their home turf with a 25-7 win, on what turned out to be a windy, rainy, lightning filled evening in east central El Paso.  Burges would strike first as QB Matteo Serrano called his own number by scoring on a 7 yard keeper at the 6:35 mark of the opening quarter.

Panthers DL Luis Rangel and G Christian Valles prepare for their game verses Burges. (Photo by Brandon Cohn)

Austin came back with a little trickery in the second quarter as wide receiver Ray Blanks found Aj Aragon with a 29 yard flee flicker to take a 7-6 lead with 11:51 to go in the first half.  After the Panthers' score, the Mustang's offense lit up as QB Matteo Serrano scored two more QB keepers and running back Quan Mcneil added a 10 yard TD run to put the Ponies up 25-7 at the half.

Following an hour long lightning delay with 6:12 to go in the game, Burges was able to hold on for the victory.  Austin's defense was solid in the second half as they allowed no points in the third and fourth quarters, however, they weren't able to capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities en route to the defeat.  There is no question though, that this is a much more competitive Panthers squad than we've seen for quite some time, and each game is a learning experience for them.

Burges WR Javen Gonzalez. (Photo by Brandon Cohn)

For the Mustangs, QB Matteo Serrano went 14 for 24 with 149 yards, 66 rushing yards and 3 QB keepers.  Panther's RB Ethan Villa gained 99 yard on 22 carries and Alejandro Cabral had 76 yards on 17 carries.

With the win, Burges improves to 6-1, 4-0 in District 1-5A, and will play at Irvin next Friday.  Austin falls to 3-4, 1-3 in 1-5A, and will host Bowie next week in a rather intriguing game.