PANHANDLE – It was a totally Hack performance by the Panhandle Panthers to open the season Friday night.
Senior quarterback Landyn Hack did just about everything for the Panthers against the Clarendon Broncos. Hack had a hand in five of Panhandle’s first six touchdowns as Clarendon never seemed to have a chance, with the Panthers feeling right at home on rolling to a 56-6 victory at Panther Stadium.
Clarendon seemed like unwelcome guests most of the night as aside from a hiccup or two here and there, the night belonged to the Panthers. In a matchup between Hack and Clarendon running back Jmaury Davis, who has committed to Texas Tech, Panhandle and Hack were huge winners.
“Defensively I thought we executed very, very well,” Panhandle coach Dane Ashley said. “Jmaury Davis is a phenomenal athlete, and the plan was to keep him between the tackles. Offensively when we were running a play it was good, but we had stupid penalties like false starts. There’s a lot to work on, but honestly there’s a lot to be happy about.”
The first half was a defensive struggle until the final 3:44 when Panhandle struck twice, as Hack used his legs and arm to provide the Panthers with two touchdowns and a 22-0 halftime lead.
Panhandle took advantage of a short field on the first possession of the game, and Hack capped the drive with a 15-yard run for an 8-0 lead. Hack had a total of 309 yards of offense (215 passing, 94 rushing) in only three quarters, and was the best player on the field this night.
“Being here four years I’m really comfortable (as a leader),” Hack said. “We’re a running team but we try to be 50-50. If one’s doing better, we’ve got to lean that way. The whole team played great and it’s a better feeling to start the season 1-0 than last year when we were 0-5.”
It could have been more lopsided, but Hack made his only bad mistake in the first half when he threw an interception deep in Clarendon territory.
The biggest score came when the Panthers faced a fourth-and-12 at Clarendon’s 38-yard line and elected to go for it. Hack made that gamble pay off as he found Cuyler Mize in the end zone behind Clarendon’s secondary for a 16-0 lead. That was the first of two scoring connections between the pair.
After getting the ball back following holding the Broncos on downs, Hack took care of things himself again, keeping the ball for a 55-yard scoring gallop with 33 seconds left in the half to send the Panthers to the locker room with a 22-0 lead.
Panhandle dominated with 437 yards rushing, as Wyatt Brookshire had 169 yards and two third quarter touchdowns on 14 carries.
Clarendon came into the game severely undermanned, at least experience-wise. The Broncos suited up only four seniors.
“We’re kind of young in a lot of spots,” Clarendon coach Clint Conkin said. “We’ve got to get better up front, (the Panthers) just physically dominated us both sides of the ball. We made a lot of mistakes and a lot of penalties, and we’ve got to clean that up and get better.”
Yellow flags were a problem for both teams, as Clarendon had 11 penalties for 91 yards and Panhandle had 12 for 79.
Lyric Smith led Clarendon with 69 yards rushing. However, the Panthers held Davis to 40 yards on 14 carries.