KELLER — Every time his team needed a big play on Thursday night, Keller Fossil Ridge quarterback Jacob Gnacinski found Ryan Parker.
The two hooked up nine times for 142 yards and four scores to lead the Panthers (3-1, 1-0) to a 42-22 District 4-5A victory over Richland at Keller ISD Stadium.
Gnacinski finished the night 17 of 27 passing for 224 yards and four touchdowns, all to Parker. Richland’s defense did get three interceptions, but allowed 461 yards. Keshawn Mitchell led all rushers with 178 yards.
Richland (1-3, 0-1) appeared to be all but out of the game at the half, trailing 22-3. But the Rebels came out roaring in the second half, including an onside kick, and closed the gap to three at 22-19 with 6:45 to go in the game.
The Rebels finished with 364 yards offense, 209 through the air. Brandon Maine was just 9 of 28 passing but had two touchdowns. He connected with Adrien Itoka three times for 65 yards and one score and Hayden Davidson for a 60-yard TD. C.J. Hicks led the rushing attack with 99 yards on 13 carries.
Gnacinksi and Parker took over, however, connecting an 8-yard touchdown pass. Richland’s final points came with 5:01 left in the third quarter when Cristian Cuadra’s 25-yard field goal made it 29-22. .
Mitchell then picked up a fumble by Gnacinski in the end zone for a touchdown and Parker wrapped up the game with a 7-yard reception with 2:30 left.
Gnacinski had a hand in all three Fossil Ridge touchdowns in the first half, throwing for two and running for another. He completed scoring passes of 21 and 17 yards to Parker and ran for a 1-yard score.
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