Lancaster, TX - If it’s possible to have an eight-month hangover from a gut-wrenching state championship loss, Duncanville looked the part Friday night.  Well, at least early on.  But the top-ranked Panthers finally scored just before halftime and pulled away in the second half to defeat Lancaster, 24-3, at Tiger Stadium in both teams' season opener.

Duncanville quarterback Ja'Quinden Jackson, SportsDay's No. 1 area 2020 recruit who has committed to Texas, finished 10-for-16 passing for 218 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and rushed for 47 yards.

Duncanville, which lost to Galena Park North Shore on a last-second Hail Mary in the state-title game, started 2019 with its first three drives finishing in an interception, punt and lost fumble.

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Duncanville wide receiver Zeriah Beason (4) is congratulated by his teammate Marquelan Crowell (6) after he caught a second quarter touchdown against Lancaster at Beverly D. Humphrey Tiger Stadium in Lancaster Texas, Friday, August 30, 2019. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)(Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

Finally - with 1:04 left before halftime - the Panthers found the end zone on Zeriah Beason's 13-yard touchdown catch for a 7-3 halftime lead.

"We definitely have something to prove this year," Jackson said. "Everybody thinks we're going to fall off. We're still here."

Jackson was sluggish early on against a Lancaster team featuring one of the state's top cornerback tandems in Lorando Johnson (LSU commit) and Theron Stroops (Baylor).

But Jackson took over in the second half. Lancaster's defense locked in on Jackson at the line of scrimmage - in an effort to stop him from running - and that allowed him to complete two long touchdown passes.

On the second play of the third quarter, Jackson completed an 88-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Marquelan Crowell, who was wide open after getting behind Johnson. On the Panthers' ensuing possession, Jackson completed a 57-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Suavevion Persley to put Duncanville ahead, 21-3. The Persley catch came on the second play of the possession. On the first play, Crowell was open in the end zone and dropped a would-be touchdown. He immediately dropped to the ground for seven pushups.

"You drop the ball you do pushups," Duncanville coach Reginald Samples said. "We know people are going to crowd the line on Jackson because he can run. So, we're going to have to throw the ball."

Lancaster, No. 3 in SportsDay’s 5A area poll, started sophomore Glenn Rice Jr. at quarterback. Rice, a transfer from South Grand Prairie, competed with senior Phil McCoy for the starting job in the preseason. Rice finished 8-for-14 passing for 83 yards and an interception.

 Source: Dallas Morning News Sports