After consecutive lopsided losses and with just one game remaining, Hillcrest’s postseason fate likely will come down to the wire.
The Panthers fell to Alvarado 55-7 on Thursday at Franklin Stadium, playing for a second straight week without star running back Nasir Reynolds for undisclosed reasons.
The Indians (6-2, 4-0) have won six consecutive games and remain in the driver’s seat for a District 8-4A Div. I title, while the Panthers (6-3, 2-3) will have to regroup during their bye week prior to a must-win finale on Nov. 8 at Wilmer-Hutchins.
Reynolds has amassed more than 1,000 yards in seven appearances this year, with 15 touchdowns. The junior workhorse is averaging 12.8 yards per carry, and 150.2 yards per game.
His absence has come at an inopportune time for Hillcrest, which has lost back-to-back games by a combined margin of 88-7 and has been held under 100 total yards in both contests. With Reynolds in the lineup, the Panthers are 6-1 and averaging more than 47 points per game, albeit against generally softer competition.
On Thursday, Alvarado raced to a 41-0 halftime advantage in soggy conditions, thanks to a powerful rushing attack that accumulated 378 yards and seven touchdowns for the night. Three ball carriers surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the Indians, with Colby Sampson and William Labermeier scoring twice apiece.
The only tally for the Panthers came on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Gabriel Granados to Jayden De Los Reyes late in the third quarter. Outside of that one big play, Hillcrest netted only 13 yards against an aggressive Alvarado defense.