Panthers facing team struck by tragedy

Posted Monday, Sep. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As of Monday afternoon, Colleyville Heritage’s non-district game on Thursday at Denton Guyer was still on, following the death of Guyer starting fullback Nathan Maki. Maki died Saturday night.

The event happened in rural Montague County near the town of Bowie. There were reports that an arrest had been made and a rifle had been recovered. Panthers coach Mike Fuller said he spoke with Guyer coach John Walsh Sunday afternoon. The game is still scheduled for at 7 p.m. kickoff at the C.H. Collins Complex in Denton.

Should there be a change, it is unknown if the game would be moved to Friday, Saturday or canceled. There are openings either day, because Denton High is scheduled to play Friday at Bronco Field. Denton Ryan is playing Friday in Wichita Falls.

Panthers trying to rebound

Considering that the Panthers were replacing 44 seniors from the 2012 area finalist playoff team, there was going to be some growing pains in the season opener against Duncanville.

There were a bunch.

In spite of 70-42 loss to Duncanville, Fuller quickly pointed out that the 42 points were the most Colleyville Heritage had ever scored against Duncanville in regulation. But this was the first time CHHS had lost to Duncanville in the four meetings.

A key turnover late in the third quarter prevented Colleyville Heritage from tying the game at 42. From there, Duncanville erupted for 28 points in the final quarter to make it a blowout.

Duncanville averaged nearly eight yards per play and quarterback Jeremiah Drake had all kinds of time. He finished with 435 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 8.9 yards per pass attempt. That means there were a lot of openings in the Colleyville Heritage secondary.

“We just had a bunch of kids who were not used to the Friday night intensity and needed to get a game under their belts,” Fuller said. “Most of the problems we had with our secondary were with communication. We had a cornerback in one coverage and a safety in another. It’s just freezing up in the moment. But when we watched the film, the kids immediately knew where the mistakes were. They are correctable.”

Rating Pickler

As for Colleyville Heritage new starting quarterback Griffin Pickler, he had some up and down moments. He threw for 219 yards but completed only 12 of 28 attempts and threw an interception, which targeted the right receiver but was to the wrong spot.

Fuller said that there were about 5-6 drops that didn’t help Pickler. And keep in mind the Panthers are without wide receiver Brett Bofinger, who is out with a broken collarbone. Bofinger may not return until Oct. 4 against Grapevine.

As for junior running back Demarco Corbin, he made an intriguing debut with 142 total yards (71 rushing, 71 receiving).

“He’s just going to keep getting better,” Fuller said. “He can move and just has a good feel. I don’t want to wear him out for district.”

Mustangs action

Justin Northwest (1-0) at Grapevine (0-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: The Texans are expected to have another big year with new quarterback Jesse Drummer. The Mustangs had some positive moments with their rushing game against Keller Fossil Ridge but they just didn’t have enough to keep up. They may have that problem once again against Northwest.

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