Much of the luster that made the “Soul Bowl” rivalry between Dillard and Blanche Ely has diminished.
Both teams showcased numerous talented Football Bowl Subdivision college athletes and were always a threat to compete for a state title.
Dillard won the 48th 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, and senior running back Keyondre White rushed for 113 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.
Francois’ third passing 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. Ely’s season ends with a 2-8 record.
As for the rivalry, Dillard has won only four playoff games since 2002, a distant memory since winning state championships in 1986 and 1989. 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 for 7 yards and the other for 8 yards to Bryce Oliver.
Yazquz Rogers did throw an 80-yard pass to Markel Grant for the Tigers’ first-half points. Rogers finished with 223 yards passing and two touchdowns but threw four interceptions.
DILLARD 31, BLANCHE ELY 16
D — McDonald 33 FG
D — Garner 7 pass from Francois (kick failed)
BE — Grant 80 pass from Rogers (Davis pass from Rogers )
D — Freeman 8 pass from Francois (Oliver pass from Francois)
D — Oliver 38 pass from Francois (McDonald kick)
D — White 13 run (McDonald kick)
BE — Davis 35 pass from Rogers (Rogers run)