High School Sports

Paschal wins first district game in four years; program headed in right direction

Paschal Panthers players prepare for Thursday night’s game against Arlington during the national anthem.
Paschal Panthers players prepare for Thursday night’s game against Arlington during the national anthem. Special to the Star-Telegram

Fort Worth Paschal hasn’t been a football school for the past 20 years. The Panthers have struggled with only 16 wins since 2010 and haven’t made the playoffs since 1995.

But the program is headed in the right direction under new coach Chris James.

James was hired in March after a successful stint at Crowley. The varsity is just 2-4 this season, but went 0-10 in 2017 and the program has vastly improved overall as a whole.

With four teams, Paschal has a combined record of 14-6-3. This includes varsity, junior varsity and two freshmen squads.

They went 1-29 last year.

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The varsity picked up a signature win last week 35-6 over Trimble Tech. It snapped a 27-game district losing streak.

Paschal last won a district game October 2014 when it beat Weatherford 52-45 in overtime.

“It’s great for our community, school and kids to get a win. It’s a big accomplishment and the kids have brought into what we’ve been trying to teach team,” James said. “It’s exciting to watch them grow and get better every week.”

Paschal out-gained Tech 349-32. The Bulldogs were held to minus-8 yards rushing.

Elliott Titus rushed 11 times for 127 yards and 3 TDs. He’s up to 801 yards and 7 TDs on the season. Sean Parnell added 70 yards and a TD. Matthew Bachand also ran for a touchdown.

“It was our best performance and we played very well offensively and the defense made a lot of stops,” James said. “They were very confident going into the game and were excited when it was over.”

Paschal’s JV team is 5-1 while its freshman A-team is 5-0-1. The Panthers play Arlington Lamar on Friday.

“We’re moving in the right direction,” James said. “They haven’t had much success on Friday nights, but it’s coming with the JV and freshman levels.”

James spent the previous eight seasons at Crowley, where he was the winningest coach in program history.

He went 50-37 and led the Eagles to three district titles. Crowley won all but two district titles before James.

Regardless of wins and losses, players continue to play football, and fans continue to cheer, at schools such as Paschal, L.D. Bell, Sam Houston and North Crowley.

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