Despite a 3-7 season in 2006 optimism is at an all-time high in Midlothian and that optimism culminated with the Panthers spring game on Tuesday night at MISD Stadium. The spring game was the first under HC Robby Clark who is entering his second full season guiding the Panthers. The Blue-White game featured an excellent turnout and was dominated by the White Team defense which pitched a 19-0 shutout win over the Blue Team. Standouts for the White Team included DE Michael Autwell, LB Akeem Williams, LB Jordan Womack, DB Dante Floyd and DB Ross Knight.
The scrimmage started off with a bang as White Team RB Caleb McEachren took a shovel pass from QB Dylan Hackmann and rumbled 54 yards down the field to put the White Team in early scoring position. The drive stalled and the White Team would settle for a 31 yard field goal by Vince Frawley for a 3-0 lead which would hold up until the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was dominated by both defenses, it appeared both offensive lines had trouble matching up with some quick DE's on both sides. The White Team would strike again late in the second quarter as Hackman hooked up Dylan Fowler for a 22 yard touchdown toss to put the White Team up 10-0 at the half.
The second half fireworks got started early for the White Team as after forcing a Blue Team three and out, McEachren struck again on a shovel pass this time for 68 yards on the second offensive play from scrimmage. The PAT was no good and the White Team was up 16-0. McEachren didn't do much damage running the ball but he was a handful on the shovel passes and screens out of the backfield when the Blue defense made attempts to blitz Midlothian's anticipated backup QB Hackmann. MHS' anticipated starting QB Bryce Petty struggled most of the evening throwing 2 INT's and never really having any time to look downfield and make plays with his big arm. His best play of the game was a 41 yard pass to Brandon McKeever late in third quarter. The scoring ended midway through the fourth as Frawley would nail a 41 yard field goal for the final margin of 19-0 White Team.
As spring football ends in NW Ellis County, the main questions for the Panthers heading into the summer appear to be offensive line and wide receiver. The Panthers do have a solid defense, but one area of weakness may be an overall lack of athleticism across the board which could hurt in a district full of athletic teams.