Austin Wins First District Championship Since 2007-08 Seasons
Coming into Friday night's game at Burges with a share of the District 2-5A championship on the line, 2018 co-coach of the year Eric Pichardo said, "we love being the underdogs." The Panthers were just that coming into a hostile environment in Mustang Stadium where Burges had won 8 in a row, were undefeated at home, and looked to win their first district title outright since 1967.
However, the Panthers came in as cool as a cucumber and said to the mighty Mustangs, "NOT SO FAST BUDDY!!!" as they played a flawless game by throughly dominating Burges en route to a 20-3 win, and in doing so, won a share of the District 2-5A crown. The Panthers took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter thanks to a 1-yard QB keeper by Danny Orozco. Austin took a 14-0 lead into the half when Isiah Witterstauter scored on a stunning 23-yard run up the middle.
Burges was only able to manage scoring one field goal throughout the contest as the Panthers' put on a stiffening defensive performance by shutting down two of the top running backs in the city in Tavorus Jones and Robert Hall. Coming into the contest Jones and Hall had combined to rush for 1,601 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. Austin's defensive line, led by Luis "The Hulk" Rangel, Danny Orozco, and Yazniel Escalera held Jones and Hall to a combined total of 32-yards on the ground, and forced Burges' QB Audwin Johnson into making rushed throws all night long as he tossed two interceptions.
Due to Andress' 13-12 loss to Irvin, the Panthers finished as the number one seed in District 2-5A and will host Hanks next Thursday at 7 p.m. Burges is the two seed and will host Ysleta next Friday at 7 p.m. in the bi-district round of the playoffs.