AUBREY — Using some big plays at key times, the Van Alstyne Panthers were able to open the season with a 34-24 victory against the Aubrey Chaparrals in non-district action.
The visiting Panthers started the game off by busting a 52-yard touchdown pass from Tymothe Rosenthal to Cam Montgomery for the early lead.
The second long touchdown put Van Alstyne up 14-10 in the first quarter after Aubrey held its only lead of the game following a one-yard run by Martavious Hill and a 23-yard field goal from Landon Stewart.
Jake Carroll ripped off a 65-yard TD run, Drelin Davis caught the conversion and Van Alstyne was back in front to stay.
Carroll finished with 14 carries for 194 yards and two TDs while Rosenthal was 5-of-8 passing for 118 yards and two TDs and also ran five times for 55 yards. Zach Smith chipped in six carries for 46 yards as Van Alstyne, which plays at Sunnyvale on Friday, finished with 300 yards rushing.
Rosenthal and Davis connected on a 59-yard touchdown pass for a 20-10 advantage in the second quarter.
Hill scored again on a one-yard plunge to pull the Chaparrals within three points at the break.
But the Panthers defense didn't allow another touchdown until Van Alstyne had built a sizable margin. Carroll scored on an eight-yard run in the third quarter and Zach Moncier found the end zone on an 11-yard run for a 34-17 lead.
Aubrey closed out the scoring with a four-yard touchdown throw from Jaxon Holder to Isaiah Byers.
Neither team was tight with the football, but it wasn't until late in the fourth quarter when the Panthers finally converted consistently on the chances the Chaparrals were handing them.
A score late in the third and early in the fourth, both on the ground, helped put the game out of reach as the Panthers took a 34-17.
Quarterback Holder went 6-for-13 in the air for 55 yards and a touchdown for Aubrey, which plays at Whitesboro on Friday, while Jose Noyola's 89 yards on 12 carries led the team and Hill finished with 56 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.