Much of the luster that made the “Soul Bowl” rivalry between Dillard and Blanche Ely has diminished.
Both teams showcased numerous talented Division I college athletes and were always a threat to compete for a state title.
Dillard would win 57th renewal on Saturday at Blanche Ely High, defeating the Tigers 31-16. Ely still leads the all-time series 25-21-1.
Senior quarterback Moise Francois passed for 142 yards and three touchdowns to lead Dillard, while senior running back Keyondre White rushed for 113 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.
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His third throwing touchdown went to Bryce Oliver of 38 yards in the third quarter.
The Panthers (6-4) will play next week in A Class 6A regional quarterfinal game, while Ely’s season ends with a 2-8 record.
As for the rivalry, Dillard has won only four playoff games since 2002, a far fetch since winning state championships in 1986 and 1986.
Ely on the other hand has won only four playoff games since 2009, while missing the playoffs in 2016. Their only state title came in 2002.
Dillard led 17-8 at the half with a pair of touchdown passes from Francois to Stanley Gardner of 7 yards and the other of 8 yards to Bryce Oliver.
Yazquz Rogers did throw and 80-yard pass to Markel Grant for the Tigers first half points. Rogers finished with 223 yards passing and two touchdowns, but did throw four interceptions.