Panthers want improvement after sloppy victory

Posted Monday, Oct. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Never has a two-touchdown victory felt so frustrating. If all you knew was that Colleyville Heritage defeated Irving MacArthur 24-10 last Friday, it probably wouldn’t have registered. But how the Panthers got it done – and that’s all that matters in this business – is the reason why the coaching never stops.

Colleyville Heritage’s offense mustered just 122 total yards and committed two turnovers. The Panthers defense, however, was the equalizer, limiting the Cardinals to 221 yards and inducing four turnovers, including defensive back Ryan Phillippe’s 42-yard interception return for a touchdown. That’s the third non-offensive touchdown the Panthers have scored in the last two weeks.

Head coach Mike Fuller didn’t feel like his team got away with one. However, he also knows his defense saved the night. That’s hard to accept for a former quarterback.

“If you’re an offensive coach, you just know that you can’t do that and win,” Fuller said. “It was a bad night. We played great defense. Incredible defense. The interception by Ryan was a great play.”

But the offense’s problems centered on bad plays following good plays. A false start would basically negate a nine-yard pickup.

“It’s a lack of discipline and knowing assignments,” Fuller said. “And it snowballs from there. Nobody in our offense is willing to step up and be the guy.”

That usually falls on the quarterback position. Without question, senior Griffin Pickler struggled with reads, throwing two interceptions and compiling 36 yards. While Griffin played a majority of the snaps, Trevor Anderson and Clayton Oliver also saw time.

With a short turnaround before Thursday night’s 7 p.m. game against Irving at Irving Schools Stadium, Fuller isn’t guaranteeing anyone a starting spot.

“We can be good, but we’re not good enough to have silly mistakes time after time and overcome them,” he said. “Every position is open. Griffin is the best of our three quarterbacks, but we have to be more consistent. We have to get better at that position no matter who is taking snaps.”


Linebacker Colton Neid (undisclosed injury) came out Friday night and his status for Thursday is unknown. Fuller is hopeful he can return … But the defense got some good news when junior defensive lineman Jason Williams returned from an undisclosed injury. He missed the last three weeks … Running back DeMarco Corbin has 547 yards of total offense between rushing and receiving. However, no other individual offensive player has more than 253.

Carrollton R.L. Turner (0-6, 0-3) at Grapevine (0-6, 0-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine

The skinny: The Mustangs are coming off a 33-7 loss to Irving last week to keep them winless for the season. Grapevine’s offense continues to struggle as it scored no more than 14 points in any game this season. Quarterback production continues to be a problem, as Sam Barry has returned as the starter. But Mustang quarterbacks have not thrown a touchdown pass in two weeks. The Lions, however, have surrendered 50 points in four of their six losses.

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