Duncanville High School (Texas), ranked No. 2 in USA Today’s Super 25, dominated in its season opener on Friday night despite missing a key figure on the sideline.
2019 USA Today national coach of the year Reginald Samples did not coach in the Panthers’ 41-3 win over South Oak Cliff because of a one-game suspension instituted by the University Interscholastic League. According to Greg Riddle of the Dallas Morning News, the UIL’s state executive committee found Duncanville violated the UIL rule regarding the employment of coaches by using a coach on staff that was not a full-time district employee. Assistant head coach and defensive line coach Ramel Borner ran the show in place of Samples.
Under Samples’ guidance, Duncanville has reached consecutive Class 6A Division I championship games and has amassed a 29-2 record the last two seasons (14-1 in 2018, 15-1 in 2019). The Panthers were originally scheduled to open their 2020 season against Fort Worth Nolan last week, but the game was canceled because a Nolan football player tested positive for COVID-19.
Samples will be back on the sideline next week when Duncanville hosts No. 1 IMG Academy in Arlington on Saturday, Oct. 10 after it confirmed it still plans to travel to Texas for the game amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Plenty of talent will be on the field when the two teams take the field next weekend, as IMG Academy features three of the top 64 recruits in the class of 2021. Duncanville offensive lineman is ranked 43rd in the class of 2021 according to 247Sports.