As the regular season winds down, Hillcrest remains in contention for a playoff berth.
Eddie Lwate almost singlehandedly kept the Panthers on track Thursday, accounting for five touchdowns during a 40-13 drubbing of winless Conrad at Franklin Stadium.
Lwate rushed for 237 yards and three touchdowns, and also threw a pair of scoring passes to Trevon Norton as the Panthers (2-6, 1-3) cruised to a 34-7 halftime advantage and never looked back. Norton also ran for a touchdown.
The Hillcrest defense limited the Chargers (0-7, 0-3) to just 94 yards of total offense. Conrad — which had been shut out in four straight games prior to Thursday — scored their only touchdowns on a kickoff return and a fumble return.
Despite an unsightly record and a recent five-game skid during which they were outscored by a combined 217-29, the Panthers are only a half-game behind Kimball for the final postseason spot in District 11-5A.
After a bye, Hillcrest will face struggling Thomas Jefferson on Nov. 3 before a potential winner-take-all showdown with Kimball in the regular-season finale on Nov. 10.