Halfway through the season, nobody has come close to slowing down the turnaround story at Hillcrest.
The Panthers remained undefeated with a 56-26 win over Pinkston in the District 8-4A Div. I opener on Thursday at Franklin Stadium. Through five games, Hillcrest is averaging 57.4 points per game, and its average margin of victory is more than 47 points.
Although they likely can’t maintain that level of dominance against the tougher foes on their district schedule, the Panthers (5-0, 1-0) certainly should contend for a return to postseason play for the first time since 2014. They won just two games in 2018.
Nasir Reynolds continued to post eye-popping numbers against the Vikings (1-4, 0-1), rushing for a season-high 270 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries — for an average of more than 12 yards per attempt. The speedy junior also caught one of two Gabriel Granados scoring passes.
Granados scored Hillcrest’s first two touchdowns on short runs before Reynolds took over. He scored on a 49-yard scamper in the second quarter, then reached the end zone from 50 yards out to begin the third.
In addition to his two rushing touchdowns, Granados threw for a pair of scores, including a 66-yard connection with Dejon Baker just before halftime to help the Panthers pull away.
Shannon Brown ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns to keep Pinkston within striking distance for much of the game.
Meanwhile, Hillcrest will face perhaps its toughest test of the season next week when it travels to meet Carrollton Ranchview.