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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Plenty to celebrate Midlothian football players and coaches rush on to the field following the final play of Friday’s game in celebration of the 16-14 win over Mansfield Legacy.

Win over Mansfield Legacy sparks emotional scene for Midlothian football By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

MANSFIELD – It took a public address announcer, local law enforcement encouragement and the flip of a light switch to get the Midlothian football program off the field. If not, the Panthers and their supporters might still be there. Emotions ran high before, during and especially after Friday night’s 16-14 win over Mansfield Legacy on the Midlothian sideline. Between teary-eyed players, hundreds of hugs, high-fives and handshakes the meaning of the win was evident. “Last week, was a big loss. Duncanville, that was hard to swallow. But this week, for some reason this week was more special to our whole team than any other game we’ll probably play,” senior linebacker Colton Clanton said. A week after being throttled by district-leading Duncanville at home, the Panthers (3-3, 1-2 district) regrouped just in time to face a Legacy team that was coming off a lopsided win over Grand Prairie for its first win of the year. The Broncos (1-5, 1-2 district), a 4A move-up just like Midlothian, had a 2009 season end with the program’s first playoff berth and a trip to the area finals. Despite moving up a level, Legacy was tabbed as a playoff team by most preseason publications thanks to a laundry list of Division I talent on its roster. And, of course, it was the Broncos’ homecoming. None of that mattered as the two teams combined for 86 rushing plays in the game to slow down tempo and grind the clock down. Legacy running back Andrew Antia and quarterback DeCarlos Humphrey led the stat sheet rushing for 154 and 123 yards respectively. Of Midlothian’s 57 offensive plays run on the night, Seeton accounted for 33 of them, all rushes, gaining 101 yards for his second 100-yard game of the season. On the whole, the offense had just six plays go for 10 See CELEBRATE, Page 6C


Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Midlothian center Myron Hanson hoists receiver Phillip Smith in the air after the Panthers scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass. They would not trail again and win a 16-14 game.

Ground controlled Seeton, offensive line use rushing game to set pace in win By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

MANSFIELD – Justin Seeton sat on a training table just a few feet away from the mass of players, family members and Midlothian supporters on the field after Friday’s win over Mansfield Legacy. He sat talking with his mother, catching his breath, soaking it all in. On a night when three players rushed for 100 yards in the game, Seeton’s was the ugliest performance of the bunch. But it was by far the most effective. Behind a determined offensive front, the sophomore running back bullied his way for 101 yards on 33 carries to help control the clock and the line of scrimmage in a 16-14 win for the Panthers. “That’s one of our goals to get the running game going. That’s basically what we worked on this week was just wearing them boys down,” Seeton said. “If we get our team goals, nobody is going to beat us. That was our focus coming in.”

Team earned right to savor the moment


• Bryce Murphy goes from leading Panther offense to leading defense • Defense gets stops at key times • Players of the week With a Legacy secondary containing three Division I prospects, the Panthers went to the ground to play keep-away. Normally, Seeton, quarterback Dillon Fairbanks and Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror running back Kalen Semper try and divvy Sophomore running back Justin up the load. But with Fairbanks coming off a high ankle sprain and Semper a non-factor, Seeton, 24, leaps up with teammate Colton Thigpen to celebrate his third quarter touchdown that See GROUND, Page 6C put Midlothian up 16-7.

ANSFIELD – The emotion was raw, as raw as a championship game. There was no trophy on the line, no title to be won. Nothing was decided on Friday night. There are still four football games left to play and a lot left to prove, to accomplish. But none of that mattered in Vernon Newsom Stadium. All that mattered was that moment, that win. Midlothian earned the right to be on that field, to linger well past the game was done. And they took every minute they were given. With a 16-14 victory, the Panther program sits at 3-3, the team’s first .500 record Alex Riley in October since 2007. With a 16-14 victory, the Mirror program got its first district Sports win since beating Waco writer University back on Oct. 24, 2008. Fittingly, it was Mansfield Legacy’s homecoming night. If the first two facts were cake, consider that last sentence icing. Before the season started, Midlothian was tabbed to finish eighth in the District 5-5A race and rightfully so. The Panthers were a 4A team coming off a 1-9 season making the move to 5A with a new coaching staff. Their most prolific offensive weapon was graduating. Change was a laughable term not a reality. All those elements combined to make the Panther program a perfect pick for a homecoming opponent and Legacy did just that. After all, the Broncos were also a 4A team who went 8-4 last season, advanced to the area round of the playoffs and were moving to 5A. Why wouldn’t you pick a team who has been as hapless as Midlothian for your homecoming opponent? You want a win, pick the team you’re most like to beat. Consider that plan a big misfire. Instead of being the punchline, Midlothian rewrote the joke. For once, they would get the last laugh. When you’ve been through all that those players had, every now and then you’re entitled to that kind of stuff. The win sparked a celebration that got everyone caught up in it. Normally, coaches and staff memebrs are pretty calm, cool and collected. Not this night. This was too special. As players raced off the sideline to hug each other, the coaches joined. The back slaps and bear hugs were everywhere. The joy was obvious. The moment was one normally reserved for truly special games and events. To outsiders, this one might not have fit in that category. They wouldn’t be more wrong. See RILEY, Page 6C


2C   Midlothian Mirror,   Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 |

The battles, benefits of abundant depth By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

Ask any of the Midlothian volleyball players about the team this season and they’ll give you the same answer – it’s a family, a cohesive unit focused on one goal. It’s also a war zone, a constant ongoing battle between every player on the roster. One part war, one part peace. When added together, it makes for one of the most competitive volleyball atmospheres in all of Texas. With 15 total players on the roster and only six spots on the court, the jockeying for playing time is intense. It’s also brought the team closer together. “We all love each other but we all want the playing time,” junior Morgan McBride said. “We probably don’t show it as much that we want that spot but we’re trying as hard as we can to get it. And then whoever plays in the game we just cheer them on because they deserved it.” When the season started, Lady Panther coach Rhonda Currey was wary of carrying so many players on her roster. With enough players on the team to form almost three complete lineups, Currey was worried it would be too much for players to handle and the competition would shy some players away. It has done nearly the opposite. Rather than settling for a

Box scores Oct. 5 @ Mansfield Timberview W, 25-15, 25-12, 29-27 Oct. 8 @ Mansfield Legacy W, 18-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 15-11

Upcoming schedule Oct. 15 vs. Cedar Hill Oct. 19 vs. South Grand Prairie* Oct. 22 @ Grand Prairie Oct. 26 @Duncanville *Senior night

spot on the bench, players have upped their work ethic and battled for playing time. The evidence is apparent on the team’s lineup card each night. While a few spots have been permanent starters, there is an equal part that changes every night. Substitutions are also frequent as the Lady Panther staff goes through most of their alotted changes each set. “It’s a real good support system with depth because then the girls that aren’t necessarily getting more playing time get to see things from a different perspective so when they get out on the court they’re prepared,”

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

With a roster of 15 athletes, playing time is at a premium for the Midlothian volleyball team. The limited spots on the court have fostered increased competition and high intensity practices. Midlothian assistant coach Tanya Hydes said. “It pushes them every moment of every day but it also is a camaraderie thing where they enjoy the competition within to make them better on game time. It’s made a difference. Plus with the injuries then we can fill holes very easily, very confidently and that’s helped us with our cohesiveness.” McBride, who has been a key rotational player this season, knows first-hand how important the depth. When

some other players have been fighting injury or going through rough patches of play, another player has been able to step up and keep the strong play going. That has put the Lady Panthers near the top of the District 5-5A standings and in contention for another playoff berth, the school’s first as a 5A program. “At first, from experience, we will be a little mad when we get taken off. But then we notice the person behind us

will pick it up for us,” McBride said. While depth and the ability to change the lineup are all easily visible on the court, Hydes cites the area fans don’t get to see as the most interesting part of the depth puzzle. During practice the team is split into two teams that play against each other, normally without a need to use the junior varsity team. The practice time is designed to prepare for the coming opponent and hone

skills. It is also where the girls prove who deserves more playing time than others. That has made for intense practices to say the least. But this team wouldn’t have it any other way. “Dog-eat-dog like no other. It gets ugly. But it’s funny and they have a good time with it,” Hydes said. Contact Alex at or at 469517-1456.

Offensive flurry not Tennis heads to district enough for late rally By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

Panther hockey falters to 0-1-1 By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

FLOWER MOUND – Arlington Martin’s 13 penalties opened the door for a potential Midlothian comeback. In the end, the Panthers simply couldn’t oblige. Going 0-for-14 on power play opportunities, Midlothian dropped a 6-4 game with the Indians on Thursday to fall to 0-1-1 for the season. Last week, the Panthers fell in overtime to Mansfield after holding a 2-1 lead midway through the third period. This week, they weren’t so lucky. “We shot ourselves in the foot but I think they shot themselves in the foot too,” coach Ryan Pfeiffer said. “We both played poorly I think. We just shot ourselves a couple more times than they did.” A goal by Martin just 38 seconds into the match put Midlothian in a hole early on. Two more goals within the first minute and half of the start of the second period made that a 3-0 deficit. The rally started when Brent Jones took a Trent Newman assist into the net about a minute and a half after Martin’s third goal. The Indians would score a powerplay goal about two minutes later to go back up by three. But the Panthers would not go down without a fight as Trent Newman stole a sloppy Martin pass and raced the opposite way for a shorthanded goal. About three minutes later, Trent Williams fired a Chris Green assist into the net to close out the second period scoring and make it a 4-3 game. “With a new team that’s always what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to keep your feet moving no matter what the

Box scores

Photo by Alex Riley/The Mirror

Midlothian’s Trent Newman battles an Arlington Martin player for the puck during the team’s 6-4 loss Thursday in Flower Mound. score is,” Jones said. “You could tell we started coming back, started playing more like a team but with a young team it’s just hard. We’ve just got to gel, get our first few games under us and we’ll be good too.” That comeback appeared to have come to a screeching halt with a pair of shorthanded Martin goals within 45 seconds of each other about five minutes into the third period. Jones kept that potential for a rally alive with a shot off a Blake Parker assist to make it 6-4 with about seven minutes left in the game. At that point, Martin began to implode with six penalties in the third period, including two that left Midlothian playing with an extra man on the ice for the last four minutes

Oct. 7 vs. Arlington Martin L, 6-4 Goals: Brent Jones (2), Trent Williams, Trent Newman Assist: Blake Parker, Chris Green, Trent Newman

of the game. Despite the advantage, it wasn’t enough as the rally ended there. Of Martin’s six goals, two were shorthanded and two were on a powerplay. While the loss was tough, Jones and the Panthers know that getting a young team to play on the same page is tough and they’re prepared to take lumps early. Hopefully, this is one of them and they won’t have many more to take. “We’re trying to get together. We lost three seniors last year, we’re trying to refill their shoes. We’ve just got to gel as a team more,” Jones said. Contact Alex at or at 469517-1456.

Upcoming schedule

Oct. 14 vs. Arlington Wild @ NYTEX Brahmas, 7:35 p.m. Oct. 21 vs Keller @NYTEX Brahmas, 7:50 p.m.

For the program’s first season as a 5A school, Midlothian tennis coach Marcus Canonico couldn’t be more pleased with how his team finished the season. Even if it wasn’t as picture-perfect as it could have been. A 13-6 loss to Mansfield in the regular season finale put the tennis team at 5-2 in district for the season, good enough for a third place finish. The team’s only two losses were to eventual district leading Mansfield and Duncanville. Both teams finished with one loss. “The team had a great district run finishing 5-2 placing third. For being such a young team they responded well to the challenges of a tough 5A district,” Canonico said. Now the Panthers and Lady Panthers move into the district tournament looking to keep the season going. Play began with a match on Tuesday and will conclude with another round of matches on Friday. A handful of players are expected to make a push for regional berths this season just as they did last year. Lexi Hendrix and Haley Richards, an alternate girls doubles team last year, will try to make the move as will Tyler Honeycutt and Hunter Enderle. Several doubles teams have a chance along with a handful of strong individual performers. District champion Mansfield will be a big hurdle and if the team advances to regionals teams like San Angelo and Lubbock would be tough matches. Despite all that, Canonico likes his team’s chances of putting plenty of Panther faces in the regional tournament. After all, the season has already exceeded expectations, why stop now? “We expect to win the tournament and move on to regionals. Both matches this week will be very important but this team believes they can win it all,” Canonico said. Contact Alex at alex.riley@ or at 469-517-1456.

Photos by Alex Riley/The Mirror

Before playing the final match of the regular season, the Midlothian tennis team paid tribute to the three seniors on the varsity roster. Haley Richards, top, Brittany Boughton, middle, and Angie Reyes were recognized for their years of commitment to the tennis program.


Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 |

ECEA Vice President Becky Hansen presents Alyssa Ballew of Midlothian prizes for Reserve Champion 12 and under Western and Champion 12 and under English buckle.

Jimmy Ballew represented buckle sponsor International Power Midlothian to present Chesley Hinds the champion buckles in Geldings at Halter, 12-18 High Point English and 12-18 High Point Western.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010   Midlothian Mirror   3C

Mary Roberts of Waxahachie, right, won awards for Reserve Champion Solid Color at Halter, and Top-5 Western Adult and Top-5 Green Horse at the Equine Association awards ceremony.

Ellis County Equine Association presents awards From STAFF REPORTS

There were many happy faces and shiny cowboy boots on Oct. 2, as competitors in the Ellis County Equine Association gathered for their year-end banquet at Lakeview Camp and Conference Center in Waxahachie to receive a menagerie of custom made awards in honor of their hard work to win championships throughout the 2010 ECEA horse show season. “We’ve had a great show season despite the down economy,” announced ECEA President Julie Hinz at the beginning of the ceremony. “Thanks so much to all of the hard work from all of our officers and volunteers and especially our sponsors.” Buckles were awarded to the individuals racking up the most points over five shows in halter, English, Western, reining, yearling performance and walk and whoa categories. Other awards included trophy leather saddle pads, trophy halters, hay bags, spur straps, Painted Ponies and embroidered horse sheets. In addition to horse show awards, ECEA

honored several special members or families for their dedication and helpfulness to the club. The Hammock family consisting of Jerry, Mitsy, Emily and Audry of Waxahachie won the Billie Wesson Most Active New Member Award. The families of Jennifer and Glenn Alexander of Midlothian and Mary and Chesley Hinds of Waxhachie both won the Randy McMullan Spirit Award for their dedication to ECEA throughout the year. The Mighty Special Award, sponsored by the Flying Dollar Ranch in honor of one of its lesson horses, was awarded to Elizabeth Terry of Waxahachie for doing many “special” things for many people of ECEA throughout the year. A full list of 2010 ECEA Buckle Series Horse Show winners, and more information about ECEA and its activities is available on the club’s website atwww.elliscountyequine. org. Or call club president Julie Hinz at 972483-7774.

ECEA board members Brenda and Jake Escamilla, far right, present the Hammock Family (Jerry, Mitsy, Emily and Audry) of Waxahachie as the Billie Wesson Most Active New Member Award for 2010.

ECEA President Julie Hinz, left, presents Emily Hammock as the recipient of the Nancy Jessup Youth Sportsmanship Award buckle. Courtney Griffith, right, won Board members Jimmy and Beth Ballew (inside) present Mary and Chesley prizes for Reserve Champion Aged Mare at Halter, Reserve Champion 12-18 EngHinds of Waxahachie with the Rancy McMullan Spirit Award for ECEA. lish, Reserve Champion 12 to 18 Western.

ECEA sponsor Flying Dollar Ranch representative Beth and Jimmy Ballew present Jennifer Alexan- Gracen Avent, right, of Waxahachie won the ECEA Andy Hinz presents his daughter Sadie Hinz of Italy der, right, and Glenn Alexander (not present) of series buckle for Champion Western Rider 11 & UnMidlothian with the Randy McMullan Spirit Award. with the Champion Walk And Whoa award. der.

Pantherette weekly honors

Midlothian’s battle of the badges

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Fire fighters and police officers from Midlothian took part in a charity softball game against one another in the second annual Battle of the Badges. The event was held to benefit the senior citizen food pantry of Midlothian. Fans were asked to bring a non-perishable food item as an entry fee.

Pantherette of the week Jessica Brewer

Spirit girl of the week Molly Whitworth

4C   Midlothian Mirror,   Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frank Seale seventh-grade volleyball update


Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 |

MISD Sports Roundup

defensive series when Clay Barrientos sacked the quarterback and forced the ball out of his hands. Nathan Hill scooped up the ball and rumbled for 20 yards to the end zone for the score. The missed point-after attempt gave Midlothian a 6-0 lead. A late touchdown by the Broncos tied the score but the PAT was blocked by JJ Johnson to keep the game tied. Malcolm Muckelroy, Dustin Martin, and Jake Gorham ran well on offense.

The Frank Seale seventh-grade A team picked up a big win over Coleman last week 25-5, 25-15. The girls hold a 3-2 district record. The Lady Cub B team defeated Coleman in two games last night, 25-9, 25-10. Taylor Huffstutler and Maci Green had a good night serving and all the Lady Cubs stepped up to earn the victory. The win brings the Lady Cubs’ record to 4-1 in district.

Junior varsity football update

Franke Seale eighth-grade volleyball update

The Frank Seale eighth-grade A team brought home second place honors at the Walnut Grove Middle School tournament last weekend. The girls started off strong, winning their pool with wins over both Maypearl and Reed. The Lady Cubs then faced Stephenville and came out victorious over the Bees in two games to advance to the championship game. The Lady Cubs would then play rival Waxahachie but fell short to Waxahachie in two games. The Lady Cub eighth-grade B team defeated the Coleman Shorthorns in two set 258, 25-6. Storri Williams and Tristen Fort had great serves serving seven and eight points respectively. The Lady Cubs started out strong and never let down in the second game. Fort served from points nine to 25 for 16 straight to get the win. The Frank Seale A team also got a win over Coleman last week with a 25-10, 25-15 victory. The win improves the team’s overall record to 9-1 with a 5-0 mark in district play.

Freshman volleyball update

Coach Valerie Wootan’s freshman A team defeated Mansfield Timberview last week 25-19, 23-25, 25-20. The freshman B team dropped a tough match to Timberview 26-24, 19-25, 24-26. The freshman A team defeated Legacy 2522, 25-20 on Friday to improve their overall record to 17-7 and 7-2 in district. The freshman B team lost to Legacy 17-25, 23-25. Their overall record is now 3-10 and 3-5 in district.

Junior varsity volleyball update

The junior varsity volleyball team scored another win last week against Timberview with a 25-17, 26-24 score. The team’s overall record is 23-2 with a district record of 7-1.

Walnut Grove seventh-grade football update

The Walnut Grove seventh-grade football team scored early against the Howard defense with a touchdown run by Richard Stoy Ware and used an extra point run by Michael Mckenrick to squeak out a 7-6 win over Howard. The Wildcat defense held Howard to one touchdown with consistent hard hitting tackles by Joshua Scott and Blayne McDaniels. Walnut Grove’s seventh-grade blue team fell last week in a turnover plagued first half to Howard 40-19. The Wildcats came back and moved the ball well and closed the gap to 12 points. Wildcat touchdowns came on a pass from Zac Humphreys to Cedric Whittaker covering 22 yards and another pass from Humphreys to Jalen Crawford for a 19-yard score. The defense got into the scoring when Crawford intercepted a pass and ran 58 yards for the other score. Humphreys ran an extra point. Other players with great games were Cody Wilkerson and Grant Upchurch. The Wildcat white team ran its record up to 3-1 with a 12-6 win over the Howard Knights. Jabrelan Esparza scored both touchdowns. His evening started off with a 67-yard kickoff return for a score and ended in the fourth quarter when he ran around the right end for a 47-yard touchdown to cap the game. Other highlights of the game were T.J. Rushing’s fumble recovery and Jordan Linder’s 23-yard interception. Other notable players were Ezekiel Brown, Alex Serna, Lynden Carter, Grant Weston and Charles Hoard.

Frank Seale seventh-grade football update

The Frank Seale seventh-grade blue team came looking to avenge its previous loss the previous week by picking up a win over Coleman. The team did just that with a 26-0 win. A stable of running backs led the offense as touchdowns came from Christian Vineyard, Ryan Breaud and Connor Malone. Lance Tipton played very well behind center and the offensive line played well as a group. On the defensive side Jake Ammerman came up with an interception while Clayton Sawahni and Connor Malone had an onslaught of huge hits. Matthew Cherry forced a key fumble and later had a fumble recovery. Ian Atchinson contributed with pressure in the backfield and a tackle for loss. The Frank Seale seventh-grade white team came up short against the Coleman Longhorns, falling 32-13. Kyler Castillo scored the first touchdown with a 50-yard pass from Karsten Green. Santos Borunda and Nathan Burton had a few tackle for losses for the defense. Thomas Hickman played very well up the middle for the defense. The seventh-grade black team grade was led by quarterback Jeff Bishop, who normally

Photo by Alex Riley/The Mirror

Maggie Brown and the Midlothian junior varsity volleyball team improved to 7-1 in district play and 23-2 overall last week with a win over Mansfield Timberview. plays receiver but stepped up when his team needed him to play. He played a standout game especially given such short notice but it wasn’t quite enough as Frank Seale fell 32-0 against Wester. The team moved the ball early in the game and some throughout but came up short on scoring. The defense played well and stopped Wester on several of their drives.

Walnut Grove eighth-grade football update

The Walnut Grove eight-grade blue team dropped a tough 54-0 game to Howard middle last week. The defense tried its best to keep pace with Howard but it wasn’t enough. The Wildcats also had a fumbled punt recovery by Jacob Conde but could not turn it into points. The white team fared a bit better with a 2612 win over Howard. Tommy Martinez set the tone with an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, one of his two scores on the day. Nick Hoover added two more touchdowns, including a breakaway 44-yard dash into the end zone. Christian Espinoza sealed the victory with a 15-yard two-point kick attempt. The defense played a strong second half led by Sean McComas’ third quarter interception. Jared Phillips and Nick Morrow each came up with big hits to halt Howard drives and keep the Wildcats out in front. Austin Wells split time between quarterback and linebacker coming up with 50 yards rushing and a pair of sacks. Walnut Grove’s black team stepped out of district to play county rival Red Oak. The Hawks came up the victors with a 38-0 win. Despite giving up the points, the Wildcat defense gave the team a chance as Alec Greeson caused a fumble but the team could not capitalize on it. Rushing standouts were Byron Boldin and Tyler Henderson.

Frank Seale eighth-grade football update

The Frank Seale blue team played a great game against Coleman winning 32-2. The offense was led by Najee Mustaffa, who ran for three touchdowns with a total 145 yards. Jimmy Fouse threw for a touchdown and ran for a TD while Brandon Dikes ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. Nic Quintero and Austin Fraizer caught two-point conversions. The offensive line played well with Jared Sanderson, Matt Mitchell and Chris Martinez clearing the way. The defense was led by Mason Quinn with an interception and Juan Servin with two sacks and a fumble recovery. Tyler Gibson, Ej Muhammad and Tyler Coody each made big plays. The white team last week played with aggression, despite losing 18-0 to Coleman. On offense, Andrew Thompson had many nice catches and runs. Cody Tucker also came up with a few nice grabs. Jordan Flowers was an anchor on the offensive line that played well in the trenches all game. On the defensive side, Grant Adams had

strong coverage at corner. Aldo Salas came up with a few good tackles as well. Mathew Harris and Zach Caldwell also played very well on a solid d-line for the night.

Freshman football update

The freshman blue team suffered a disappointing loss to Mansfield Legacy on Thursday night, 20-6. The freshman squad had some great plays but was never able to put together a drive. Brendan Cornell and Jacob Montes had some catches along the way. Defensively, Donovan Hernandez and Michael Scott were plugging holes and slowing down the Legacy ground game all night. The freshman white team played a great game in all three facets of the game in another hard-fought game all the way through the fourth quarter and came up with a 28-19 win. Standouts for the game were Taylor Rawlinson, Roman Brown and Chandler Harris on the offensive side of the ball. Taylor really led the team throughout the game while Roman ran hard from the running back position. Chandler played his best game of the year on the offensive line. On defense, Wesley Smith had another great night at defensive end and Brandon Vineyard played a standout game at outside linebacker. The freshman black team traveled to Waco on Thursday night to take on the Cougars of Waco Reicher. The Panthers fought hard, but came up on the short end of the stick in a 5012 loss. Daniell Gordon put the Panthers on the board with a 60-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to pull the Panthers within eight of the Cougars. Unfortunately, the Panthers could not keep a high powered Cougar offense at bay. Late in the third quarter, Juston Lynch took a kick-off 90 yards to the house for the second, and final, Panther score. Dempsey Duprie, Juston Lynch, and Cameron McEnturff played well defensively for the Panthers. The loss makes the freshman black team’s overall record 3-4 on the year.

Sophomore football update

The Midlothian sophomore football team tied Mansfield Legacy 6-6 in a hard fought defensive battle. The Panther defense played aggressive football all night. After a big pass play in the first series of the game gave Legacy a first and goal from the eight-yard line, the Panthers held the visiting Broncos from scoring. The rest of the first half, the Panther defense forced Legacy punts the following three drives. Starting the second half, Midlothian received the ball and kept the ball the entire third period, posting an 18-play, 11-minute drive. The Panther offense had chances to score but was tripped up on a run on fourth down, giving the Broncos the ball back. The Panther defense held Legacy, getting the ball back after a fourth down stop. The only score for the Panthers came on the next

Lady Panther golf claims third

The Midlothian junior varsity football had a hard fought victory Thursday night, coming back from a 26-12 fourth quarter deficit to win 40-26. The special teams played a huge role in the Panther attack. Jeremy Kennard executed the kicking game all night with some very solid kickoffs and four extra points. Gage Thompson stopped the Bronco return game with three tackles and a caused fumble that got the momentum going the Panthers’ direction. On offense, the team moved the ball successfully all night behind the blocking of Hunter Pearce, Dylan Faulkner, Austin Buckley, Hagan Stone, Randy Wells and Cameron Jackson. Running backs Jake Avery and J.W. Grigsby, along with quarterback Bryce Fausett, supplied most of the offense on the ground accounting for all six scores, including three in the fourth quarter. Fausett also completed passes to Jake Windsor, Brad Brumley, Blake Starnes and Grigsby. The swarming Panther defense caused numerous turnovers on the night and only gave up one score in the second half. The defensive standouts were Jake Avery (caused fumble), Kyle McComas, Jordan Dismang, and Devon Golden (fumble recovery).

Frank Seale cross country update

The Frank Seale cross country teams competed last week and placed well, earning a slew of medals. The seventh-grade girls A team took first place overall with Hannah Roark, Alexa England and Danielle Davidson taking second, third and fourth place individually. The seventh-grade B team placed sixth with Paulett Herrera taking first individually and Vanessa Mapes taking third. The eighth-grade girls A team placed third with Kiley Martens finishing fourth and Eron Nizio taking ninth. The eighth-grade B team finished fourth overall with Hailey Henson taking third and Storri Williams earning seventh place. The seventh-grade boys team finished in 10th with Ben Adkins coming in 33rd place. The B team was seventh with Johnathon Desse going 13th and Matthew Penigar earning 17th. For the eighth-grade boys A team it was a fourth place overall finish with Hayden Dennington finishing sixth and Grant Decker taking eighth. The B team placed second overall with Phil Lee coming in third, Sam Licthenwalter placing sixth and Lane Stanush coming in ninth.

Soccer meeting

Midlothian soccer pre-tryout meeting for players and parents will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the MHS Auditorium. The meeting is mandatory for all athletes looking to tryout this season and will cover very important information over tryouts, pretryout paperwork, scheduling and expectations. The coaching staff asks those interested to make arrangements to attend. –Alex Riley and staff reports

Smash for the cause

The Midlothian Tennis Association will be conducting a progressive mixed doubles tournament from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Midlothian Sports Complex. The entry fee is $15 for any adult tennis player (18 and over only – no children) with all proceeds going to Texans Against Breast Cancer (affiliated with the Komen fund). Door prizes will be given and a grand prize each for the winners of the tournament. For more information on how to get involved, call 972-775-4544 or visit

Submitted photo

The varsity girls golf team finished third at the Granbury Invitational held at Harbor Lakes Golf Club. Freshman Lydia Traylor took ninth individually. The team consisted of, from left, coach Brant Bennett, Shelby Rawlings, Taylor Chalmers, Emma Sears, Brooke Emery, Traylor and coach James Smith.


Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 |

Wednesday, October 13, 2010   Midlothian Mirror   5C

Mansfield Legacy Game Notebook

Week 7 details Who: Midlothian (3-3) vs. Cedar Hill (4-2) Where: MISD Stadium When: Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Need to know info Cedar Hill High School Enrollment: 2,593 2009 record: 12-1, 6-0 regional semfinals Coach: Joey McGuire (sixth year)

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

A week after earning his first start under center, Bryce Murphy returned to safety and led the Panthers in tackles with 12 while also picking off a pass during the win over Mansfield Legacy.

Man of many talents By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

MANSFIELD – Quarterback to safety. Completing passes to intercepting them. Oh, what a difference a week can make. Seven days removed from his first varsity start under center for the Midlothian football team, junior Bryce Murphy returned to the spot he has been playing at all season, starting safety. His return was a welcomed move. Murphy led the team in tackles with 12, including eight solos, and picked off a pass with the Panthers clinging to a lead in the third quarter to help preserve at 16-14 win. Getting that start last week was nice. Playing moderately well was an OK feeling. Moving back to defense? That was a thing of beauty. “This was a lot sweeter. Lot sweeter,” Murphy said with a smile. With regular secondary starter Gage Windsor slowed by injury, the second level tackling came Murphy’s way and he was ready. Following a strong first half, the junior stepped up to another level after halftime with two big plays that helped turn the game. A miscue on Midlothian’s second drive of the second half gave the Broncos possession at the Midlothian 34yard line just before the end of the third quarter. The prime position had Legacy poised to reclaim a lead but Murphy would snuff that threat out. After going nowhere thanks to a negative rush and false start, Murphy snared a pass on fourth and seven for his first interception of the season. That halted the drive and kept the Panthers ahead. After the offense ran the clock into the fourth quarter, Murphy came up big again as he and Vincent Panza got into the Legacy backfield to force a fumble that was recovered for a 4-yard loss. Legacy did gain yardage to sustain the drive but again came up short on fourth down as the defense preserved the win. Prior to the game, each player dedicated the game to someone special in

For a preview of Friday’s Duncanville game, see 1A

their lives. The act was something that stuck with Murphy and got him and his teammates ready to play at such a high level. “We let them know that they’re just as much a part of the game as we are. We let them know we loved them. We came out fired up and ready to play for them,” Murphy said. “We let down last week but we stepped it up this week, came back focused and we went out and showed who we really are.”

First half bullseye

A week after hauling in four catches in the first half, senior receiver Kyler Brown was back at it again. Brown caught four first half passes against Legacy for 36 yards. Both marks were highs for the game. Along with the catches, Brown also had receptions of 14 and 10 yards. No other player on the roster had two plays of 10-plus yards for the game.

Starting quarterback Dillon Fairbanks, who sat out last week with an ankle injury, was eased back into play by tossing just 13 total passes. He finished 11-of-13 for 86 yards and a touchdown, the lowest passing yardage total for the team since it had 40 yards against Waco in last season’s finale. Fairbanks kept his passing plans simple, throwing just two passes for 10 yards or more and completing with four different players. Fairbanks also had five carries for 18 yards on the night but saw limited running due to that injury.

Injury report

No major injuries were reported from the game. Offensive lineman Blake Lunday, who broke his leg in the first game of the season, was seen after the game walking without crutches. He is still wearing a boot on his leg. Contact Alex at alex.riley@wninews. com or at 469-517-1456.

Smith finds the end zone yet again

Sophomore receiver Phillip Smith continued his breakout season despite facing a stout defensive secondary. Smith, the team leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns, added to his already impressive start with four receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown in the Legacy win. For the season, Smith now leads the team with 327 yards on 26 grabs. He also has three touchdowns.

Other players to watch: Jude Akpunku (DE), Demarcus Robinson (SS), Shelton Jones (WR), Kelton Specks (WR)

Three things to watch Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Passing fancy

With the run game churning up yards and chewing up clock, the passing attack was limited in its output on the night.

Sophomore receiver Phillip Smith caught his third touchdown of the season to help put Midlothian ahead for good in the first half.

Box Score Midlothian 16, Mansfield Legacy 14

Passing Dillon Fairbanks 11-of-13 for 86 yards with one touchdown

Man. Legacy 0 7 7 0 Midlothian 0 10 6 0 Total yards First downs Penalty-yard Rushes/yds Passing yds

Leg Midlo 354 267 16 17 3-25 1-5 42/277 42/181 77 86

Rushing Justin Seeton 33 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, Dillon Fairbanks five carries for 18 yards, Kalen Semper four carries for 15 yards, Bryce Murphy two carries for 11 yards Receiving Phillip Smith four catches for 26

yards and a touchdown, Kyler Brown four catches for 36 yards, Kyler Brown two catches for 19 yards Defensive plays Interceptions: Nathan Fisher, Bryce Murphy Tackle for loss: Colton Clanton, Michael Glenn, Vincent Panza, Ryan Jaisle Fumble recovered: Will Marks Top tackler: Bryce Murphy (12)

Panther players of the week Scout player of the week David Miller

Offensive player of the week Justin Seeton, Soph.

Defensive player of the week Victor Gonzales, SR

Notes: Looking for a general idea of why Cedar Hill has been so good for so long? Consider this – last season, the Longhorns graduated 62 senior players from a team that went 12-1. They’ve continued averaging more than 40 points per game and were the hands down favorite to win the District 5-5A before the season started. Maybe that’s why McGuire has a 70-22 record through six seasons. Talent wise, few schools can compare with Cedar Hill. On the recruiting database, 27 players have profiles (meaning they are on the potential recruiting radar) and 12 have schools listed as “recruiting” them. Of those 12, 11 are seniors. The three headliners are on offense in quarterback Driphus Jackson, running back Ronnie Green and receiver Lovett Gibson. All three players are two-star athletes, according to, and all three have offers from Division I programs already. Jackson leads the group with nine official offers including Boise State, Minnesota and Rice. His 70.63 completion percentage could have a lot to do with that. This season, he has tossed for 1,699 yards with 18 touchdowns against three interceptions. Jackson also leads the team with 61 carries for 334 yards and a score. His favorite target is Gibson, who has offers from Baylor, Memphis and Minnesota among others. Already, he has hauled in 36 passes for 583 yards and six touchdowns, all team highs. Green is actually the third best runner on the roster with 41 carries for 222 yards but shares the lead on touchdowns with five. He has an offer from Southern Illinois. That doesn’t even include John Albercrombie (seven touchdowns), defensive tackle David Harris, defensive end Corey Feagin, and lineman James Runnels, all are drawing major D-I attention

Special teams player of the week

Dillon Fairbanks, SR.

Teacher of the week Mrs. Hardin

1. He’s just 6-feet tall but quarterback Driphus Jackson seems to play like he’s 10-feet tall. Can Midlothian stop him? In a word – no. Much like DaCarlos Humphrey did last week, the Panther defense will not be able to totally shut down what Jackson does. But, if they can limit what he does that will be a huge boost. Already this season, the senior has surpassed his totals from last year with 1,699 yards and 18 touchdowns. He has the most carries on the team (61 for 334 yards) but isn’t as big a threat to run as Humphrey was. This kid is a winner though, going 27-5 since taking over the starting role his sophomore year. 2. With so many playmakers, so much speed and so much top-tier talent, who or what does Midlothian do to stop the Longhorn offense? Keying on Jackson is step one but after that it’s a anyone’s guess. The problem isn’t just stopping one or two guys but stopping a boatload of talented players. Nine players have scored multiple touchdowns this season when you combine running and receiving touchdowns. The players on the field are just as much as concern as who Cedar Hill can bring in off the sideline. 3. Can the Panther offense get back to scoring more points? As good as Cedar Hill is on offense is about as good as they are on defense. Between sizeable players in the box and speed secondary players, reaching the end zone will be tough. Expect another grind it out type attack. It will not be pretty but it can be effective in keeping the Longhorns off the field.

– Alex Riley


6C   Midlothian Mirror,   Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 |

Defense makes right plays at right time Panthers yield rushing yardage but hold firm when it matters to preserve victory By ALEX RILEY Mirror sports writer

MANSFIELD – If the only thing you look at is the stat sheet, then you might not totally understand why Midlothian defensive coordinator Chris King was so happy with his unit after Friday night. After all, the Panthers did yield a pair of 100-yard rushers in the game. Stats might not lie but they certainly don’t tell the whole truth. While quarterback DaCarlos Humphrey and running back Andrew Antia each cleared 100 yards, the rest of the Mansfield Legacy offense was pedestrian, adding just 77 yards of total offense to the rushing duo. That limited production helped the defense produce key

stops and aid in the big win over the Broncos. And that was music to King’s ears. “I can’t be any more proud than I am now of our kids. We had a plan and they played to it,” King said. “They are a very, very dangerous offense. When they have 15 (Humphrey) and 1 (Antia) in the same backfield, it’s really dangerous. It just seemed like when they made a big play, we were there to respond.” Using a bend, don’t break mindset all game, the Midlothian defense gave up yardage but not big plays. That started from the outset when Ryan Jaisle threw Humphrey for a 6-yard loss on the first snap of the game. Though the Broncos eventually got the drive moving, it didn’t last long with Nathan Fish-

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Midlothian’s defense bottlenecks quarterback DaCarlos Humphrey for a loss during Friday’s win. Humphrey and teammate Andrew Antia each gained more than 100 yards but the rest of the offense had just 77 yards of offense.

Ground Continued from Page 1C

the bulk of the load landed on Seeton’s shoulders. He was happy to oblige. His longest gallop of the night was for 17 yards on the team’s go-ahead touchdown drive. His 3-yard plunge on the first drive of the second half served as the game-winning points. He did not have another double-digit rushing yardage attempt the rest of the night. Conversely, he was held to no gain or negative yardage just eight times. A week after Duncanville’s size and speed wrecked havoc on the offensive front, the Panther line played one of its best games this season. Midlothian coach Lee Wiginton called the unit “physical” saying “when they do that we’re going to have the chance to move the ball some.” The compliment was music to senior Tony Kirk’s ears. “It’s just working as a team. We couldn’t have got it done without our running back and our quarterback and our wide receivers doing their job on the blocks,” Kirk said. “It was us working together, all together as a team and we just got it done tonight.” As the run game ground away, Midlothian shied away from the pass,

throwing just four completions in the second half and just 11 total completions for the game. Clinging to a two-point lead and the fourth quarter looming, Midlothian ran the ball eight straight plays before a short pass. On fourth and five, Fairbanks punted a ball down to the Legacy 10-yard line. Three negative plays in a 12-play drive ended with a failed fourth down conversion. Though the Panthers did have to punt back to the Broncos again, the run game chewed up plenty of clock. Legacy’s final drive started at its own eight-yard line with :31 left in the game. Legacy running back Andrew Antia and quarterback DeCarlos Humphrey led the stat sheet rushing for 154 and 123 yards respectively. The duo combined for all up 77 of the Broncos’ total offensive yardage. But it was Seeton who got the moment to remember. It was a moment he didn’t want to end. “It’s great. I just don’t want to leave this place. I just feel like we could stay the rest of our lives right here,” Seeton said. “But sooner or later this feeling’s going to go away and we’re going to have to do it next week. We know what we’ve got to do. Now we’ve just got to work harder and beat the next guy on the list.” Contact Alex at alex.riley@ or at 469-517-1456.

er’s interception down at the goal line. That was just the beginning. Playing against a team that attempted 13 passes but completed just four, Midlothian limited Legacy to 29 plays of five yards or less. The defense forced one punt (there were only three punts in the game) and stopped Legacy on all four of its fourth down attempts. “We knew we wanted it, we knew we wanted it more than them. Everybody contributed and fought, everybody had big plays, two interceptions on the night. We wanted it, we wanted it after last week,” senior linebacker Colton Clanton said. Three Panthers finished in double-figures for tackles with Bryce Murphy at the top with 12. Victor Gonzales added 11 and Clanton had 10. Bryce Murphy and Nathan Fisher both had interceptions in the game while Will Marks recovered a fumble. The three turnovers in one game is the most Midlothian has forced this season. Four players each recorded one tackles for a loss. They were Colton Clanton, Michael Glenn, Vincent Panza and Ryan Jaisle. After giving up big plays to Duncanville last week, the performance was proof that the unit can overcome a tough loss mentally. Last season, numerous weeks of last second losses did as much mental damage as it did physical to the squad. All that appears to be in the past and not a moment too soon. While there are still plenty of opportunities to prove how far they have come, King hopes Friday was a good indication of what his defense is capable of. If it is, the Panthers could be in for a long ride. “I think that shows a lot about our kids and really the mentality of the program. I think

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Midlothian’s Victor Gonzales lifts up Mansfield Legacy’s Tevin Mitchell for a big tackle during Friday’s game.

we’re starting to gain a little bit of an edge. To win a close game is big,” King said. Contact Alex at or at 469-517-1456.


Continued from Page 1C

The road to the playoffs is not an easy one. As any of the coaches will tell you, a win over South Grand Prairie would have gone a long way to making things a little easier. Winning at least three games of the final four games to finish with a 4-3 district record is not a guarantee but it’s a good start. It’s where Midlothian has to go. It remains to be seen where this team goes from here. The next four weeks will shake that out. Wins? Possibly. Playoffs? Maybe. A winning season? Could happen. If all that happens, expect more moments like the one on Friday night. The Panthers will have earned it.

Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Midlothian running back Justin Seeton follows his blockers for a rush during Friday’s game. Seeton finished with 101 yards on 33 carries with the game-winning points on a 3-yard touchdown run.


Continued from Page 1C yards or more on the night. It wasn’t pretty but was extremely effective. After falling behind 7-0, the Panthers showed no signs of panic and drove the field for a 14-play drive that ended with a Dillon Wilson 39-yard field goal. After the defense forced the only three and out of the game for either team, Midlothian struck again, capping a five-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Dillon Fairbanks to Phillip Smith for a 10-7 lead late in the first half. The deciding points came on the opening drive of the first half when the Panthers chipped away again going 66 yards in 12 plays with Seeton bulldozing his way into the end zone from 3 yards out. Legacy responded with a quick five-play scoring drive but that was all the scoring from either team the rest of the night. From there, Midlothian’s defense shut Photo by Gary Puckett/Special to the Mirror

Senior linebacker Nathan Fisher receives a high-five from an assistant coach after Midlothian’s 16-14 win over Mansfield Legacy on Friday night. The victory was the Panthers’ first district win since the 2007 season and improved the team to 3-3 overall. Players, fans and coaches lingered well past the end of the game in celebration of the win before being asked to leave.

Alex is a sports writer covering Midlothian for Waxahachie Newspapers Inc. Contact him at alex.riley@ or at 469-5171456.

down Legacy with an interception, stop on fourth down and time expiring final drive. As the final play finished near midfield it sparked a sideline rush of players and coaches in celebration of the win. “These guys have worked so hard for so long, it was just a matter of time. They’ve been close for years, they’ve been close this year. It was just a matter of time before something good happened to these kids,” coach Lee Wiginton said. “It’s so fun to see them have that joy and excitement after a game like that.” During his post-game speech, Wiginton pulled a 3x5 index card out of his pocket with something written on. In the week leading up to the game, players were asked to dedicate the game to someone special in their life. They were told to write about how they thought the game would go, what an important play or moment they would be a part of would like and how they would help make that moment go Midlothian’s way. Some players chose a parent, some a sibling or close relative. The motivation tactic added a new wrinkle to the emotions of the game. And apparently, it worked. “We’re in the right direction. I’m glad coach Wig and all the other coaches came in and did what they did. They were a blessing to all of us,” Clanton said. “When we sat down in the preseason and they asked us what we wanted, this is the exact picture of what we wanted. You can tell it’s changed the whole atmosphere. This town had changed since last season.” Contact Alex at alex.riley@wninews. com or at 469-517-1456.

Mirror Sports 10-13  

Six pages of Midlothian sports content from Oct. 13

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