PATTONSBURG, Mo. — With lightning flashing up the skies, the normally lightning-fast offensive attack of Pattonsburg struggled in the first half Friday night against Stanberry — and still won 58-6.

Pattonsburg (5-0) found itself in a battle early as dropped passes and miscues on offense kept the first half close as they led Stanberry 22-6. Pattonsburg entered Friday averaging 75 points per game so far this year.

The Panthers still had their share of big plays as quarterback Steven Willhite found Kaden Koch for a 44-yard touchdown pass two minutes into the game, and then Willhite found Dakota Eaton for 51 yards later that same quarter.

The consistency and overall flow of the offense in the first half frustrated Pattonsburg head coach Scott Cavin.

“We came out of the gate and were sloppy,” Cavin said. “I told them it may have been their worst half of football in the three years I’ve been here. Defensively we stepped up and played well, but offensively it was sloppy. Hats off to Stanberry, they did a good job defensively and they always give us fits.”

The defense of Pattonsburg let the offense off the hook early. While Pattonsburg scores a lot of points, they also allow 44 points a game. That was not the case on Friday night as one lone touchdown was all they allowed.

Eaton was happy to see the defense come out and perform while the offense was slow to get going.

“We did really good on defense,” Eaton said. “Our offense was a little slow at first, but then we started to really pick it up and spread the ball around and catch some touchdowns.”

And catch touchdowns they did, as Pattonsburg outscored Stanberry 36-0 in the second half. Willhite threw five touchdowns in the second half alone, eight total. He spread the ball around too, as Koch caught two and Eaton and Patrick Cowley caught three apiece.

Cavin couldn’t be prouder with how his team responded in the second half.

“I tell them all the time to strive to be perfect on offense. I don’t think that’s too much to ask and we weren’t even near that it in the first half,” Cavin said. “We came out in the second half and were only stopped one time, the first drive, and after that we started clicking. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and how they responded in the second half.”

Cavin also said this was the first time in program history that they have beaten Stanberry, an exclamation point for the Panthers’ 5-0 start.

The Panthers don’t want to stop there though, as Eaton said they have bigger things in mind.

“Winning each game, one game at a time, until we get to the championship. That’s the goal.”

Chris Tenpenny can be reached

at chris.tenpenny@newspressnow.com.