Panthers football impressive in 2nd straight win
Randy Haley rushes for 3 TDs
About two weeks ago, the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers football team looked to be headed toward a lost season. After two consecutive victories, however, the Panthers are back in the driver’s seat, and excitement is in the air.
Playing on the road against the Moffatt County Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 18, the Panthers stretched their winning streak to two games with a 41-21 victory.
According to Panthers’ head coach Casey Coulter, M-CHS jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and by halftime, the lead stood at 28-7.
Key for the Panthers in the win was a stout running game led by junior Randy Haley, who rushed for 111 yards on 14 carries. Haley also scored three rushing touchdowns for the Panthers.
“We knew that we were tougher up front,” said Coulter, speaking of his team’s commitment to the running game. “We were getting on the outside, and Haley was faster than everybody on the field. We just took advantage of it.”
Combining with the Panthers solid running game was a brutally efficient passing game led by junior quarterback Jonathan Walck. Overall, Walck completed five of his six pass attempts for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
“Against Eagle Valley, Walck didn’t seem real comfortable,” Coulter said. “He had a lot of guys in his face, but he stood in and made some nice throws. Our receivers helped him out and ran great routes.”
Pacing the Panthers’ receivers was sophomore Ryan Gurney, who had three receptions for 52 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Austin Bayles added 38 yards receiving and one touchdown.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers were led by sophomore Victor Perez, who had 13 tackles. Sophomore Noah Galyon also played a major role on defense, making 10 tackles.
With their season record now at 3-5, the Panthers will begin preparing for an Oct. 25 home matchup against Glenwood Springs.
“Last year, we played (Glenwood) tough for the first quarter and then let things go,” Coulter said. “If we play like we can, we will definitely be in the game.”