VAN ALSTYNE — The Panthers were totally out of sync in the first half but came back to post a 35-24 win over Farmersville to secure second place in District 6-2A (I).

VAN ALSTYNE — The Panthers were totally out of sync in the first half but came back to post a 35-24 win over Farmersville to secure second place in District 6-2A (I).


Van Alstyne (6-4, 4-2) will face Boyd in a Class 2A Division I Region II bi-district game at Neal Wilson Stadium in Flower Mound at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Farmersville (6-4, 4-2) will open the playoffs against Pilot Point at Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney.


The Panthers got off to a hot start, stopping Farmersville on its first possession, then needing just two plays to light up the scoreboard.


After Dont’e Kehler gained 19 yards on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage, Kehler raced in from 50 yards out for the score.


Van Alstyne recovered an onsides kick but after Kehler had picked up a first down at midfield, the Panthers offense went cold.


Penalized nine times in the opening half, most for illegal procedure, the Panthers could not regain that early spark.


Farmersville put together a drive late in the first quarter, keyed by a 46-yard screen pass from Cole Anderson to Darren Pennington. An Eric Patino 31-yard field goal got the Farmers on the board.


The visitors seized all the momentum over the next few minutes with a 50-yard scoring pass from Anderson to Pennington and Anderson scored from a yard out early in the second period as the Farmers took a 17-7 lead to the break.


Van Alstyne looked like a completely different team in the second half. Pennington got loose on the sidelines for a 79-yard scoring run early in the third but the Panthers completely shut down the Farmers offense following Pennington’s run.


"We didn’t make a lot of adjustments at the half, we just got into a better rhythm and executed a lot better," Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller said.


The Panthers drove 63 yards for a touchdown following Pennington’s run as Alex Phillips scored from 17 yards out and Kehler got his second touchdown of the night with an 18-yard scamper.


The Panthers took the lead early in the fourth quarter as Phillips got his second touchdown of the night, this one from 16 yards away, following a blocked punt by Adam White.


After the two teams traded possessions, Van Alstyne took over at its 38-yard line.


Two runs by Phillips, one for 16, the next for 32 yards, moved the chains to the Farmersville 10-yard line.


Phillips lofted a pass to Kearon Redmon in the end zone to bump the Panther lead to 11 and the defense did the rest.


"We worked hard to get this win tonight, the o-line wasn’t clicking in the first half and we made some changes and just played better in the second half," senior guard Connor Mayes said.