Class 3A's No. 1 Blanchard Lions scored 28 straight points before handing the Newcastle Racers their first loss 28-7 Friday.
Blanchard recovered from an opening-snap fumble by quarterback Blake Owen and drove 91 yards for the first score of the game on the team's next possession. Braden Stringer capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run following a 26-yard pass and catch from Owen to Kegan Lawson. After a successful PAT from Blake Barker, the Lions held a 7-0 advantage.
The Lions struck again after forcing Newcastle to punt on their second drive of the game. Owen capped Blanchard's four-play, 53-yard scoring drive with a 14-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Blanchard led 14-0 after the PAT.
Blanchard's special teams played a big part in their third score of the game.
After forcing Newcastle's Casey Freeman into three-straight incompletions, Parker Randels blocked Freeman's punt and recovered the ball at the Racers' 10-yard line. Stringer rushed for his second touchdown on the following play and gave the Lions a 21-0 lead after the PAT.
Newcastle tried to get back into the game before halftime. Brandon Smith picked off an Owen pass in Racer territory. Newcastle's offense drove 74 yards into Blanchard territory before turning the ball over on downs. Blanchard carried the 21-0 lead into the half.
The Lions extended their lead to 28-0 in the third quarter. A fumble by Dylan Adams landed in the hands of Blanchard's Randels in the end zone for their fourth straight touchdown.
Newcastle scored their lone touchdown on the following possession. Freeman capped a six-play, 71-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run that cut Blanchard's lead to 28-7 after a successful Reagan Ross PAT.
The Lions held on for the remaining 16 minutes and earned their third straight victory to open the season.
“The rivalry flips year after year,” Blanchard head coach Jeff Craig said after the game. “It changes when one of us gets on a roll. Right now we are on that roll and it's another year for us.”
Blanchard will look to stay undefeated when they travel to Little Axe Sept. 27. Newcastle will host Tuttle for their fourth game of the year.