Panthers football wins first game
What a difference a week makes. Exactly 7 days after dropping a tight game to the Cedaredge Bruins, the Montezuma-Cortez High School Panthers’ football team, playing on the road Sept. 6, dominated the Battle Mountain Huskies, winning by a score of 46-6.
Starting off the scoring for the Panthers was tight-end David Skaggs, who, after running a nice route, caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Walck to put the Panthers ahead, 6-0.
Later in the first quarter, after two unsuccessful offensive possessions, Panther running back Ryan Haley scored on the team’s longest run of the season, sprinting into the end zone from 73 yards out to give the Panthers a 12-0 lead.
Continuing the Panther onslaught in the second quarter, Walck utilized his strong arm, as well as his legs, scoring on a 6-yard run before hooking up with wide-receiver Ryan Gurney for a 43-yard score.
After the Panthers missed two consecutive point-after attempts and yielded a 33-yard field goal to Huskies’ kicker Chase Keep, the score stood at 24-3 going into halftime.
Following a brief intermission, the Panthers went back to work in the third quarter, scoring on a 6-yard run by Walck to move ahead 30-3.
Although Keep struck again for the Huskies on a 39-yard field goal near the end of the third quarter to make the score 30-6, that was all the points the home team would get.
Capping off the Panthers’ scoring in the fourth quarter, Walck connected with Gurney on a 7-yard touchdown and Haley ran the ball in from 7 yards out. With successful two point conversions after each touchdown, the Panthers stretched their lead to 46-6, a score that would hold until the final buzzer.
Leading the Panthers on offense, Walck passed for 118 yards and three touchdowns, while registering 126 yards on the ground and 2 rushing touchdowns. Haley led the team in rushing with 163 yards and two rushing touchdowns, while Gurney led the Panthers’ pass-catchers with 103 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Pacing the Panthers on defense was Austin Bayles, who recorded a team-high seven tackles to go along with one interception.
With the win, the Panthers moved to 1-1 on the season while the Huskies fell to 0-3 following the loss.
Looking to move their record above .500, the Panthers will next play at home against perennial powerhouse Palisade High School on Sept. 13.