GRAPEVINE - The Keller Fossil Ridge Panthers (1-0) served notice on Thursday night that they look to be a team to be reckoned with after a 45-7 dismantling of the Grapevine Mustangs (0-1) at Mustang-Panther Stadium. The Panthers defense forced four first half turnovers as they raced out to a 21-0 lead and simply never looked back against what appeared to be an overwhelmed Grapevine squad.
The Panthers got a big performance from senior Ryan Parker who hadn't played a down of football since his freshman year, but he looked like the best player on the field Thursday. Parker hauled in three passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 19 yards and a touchdown. Oh and for good measure he had one completion for 30 yards as well. The Panthers defense was outstanding as aside from forcing turnovers they consistently stymied Grapevine on third down. DE Anthony Villalobos had a sack and multiple tackles for loss, while TCU commit DB Nick Foster was not tested by the Grapevine QBs.
Fossil Ridge jumped out to a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter as after LB Lee Sudduth recovered a GHS fumble, the Panthers pulled a trick play out as WR Cory Seidel hit Parker who was all alone for a 41 yard touchdown pass. Seidel caught a backwards pass from QB Jacob Gnacinski and then he found Parker. The lead went to 14-0 in the second quarter on a one yard run by junior RB Keshawn Mitchell. After another Sudduth fumble recovery, Parker quickly scored on a 19 yard run for the 21-0 edge.
Grapevine tried to rally as senior QB Adam Sandy had a 68 yard run to set the Mustangs up in Panther territory, two plays later he found Austin Parker for a 16 yard touchdown catch to make it 21-7 KFR. The Panthers would add a field goal late in the first half to make it 24-7 at the half.
Fossil Ridge's defense tightened the screws in the second half and their offense was brutally efficient in the third quarter scoring on all three possessions to blow the game wide open. Mitchell scored on a two yard run on the Panthers first possession of the quarter, then Parker hauled in a 45 yard score. The Panthers rounded the scoring on a 15 yard run by Gnacinski late in the third for the final margin at 45-7.
Fossil Ridge will take on Dallas Jesuit next week, while Grapevine hosts Justin Northwest.