Panthers secure playoff berth with 41-26 grid win

RANGELY I The Rangely Panther football team secured it second state playoff berth in the second year of playing eight-man football with a 41-26 victory in Oak Creek against the Soroco Rams on Friday.
The Panthers will know their playoff opponent after all games are played Friday, when Rangely travels to Mancos for its final game of the regular season, a non-conference game against the Blue Jays.
“That was a big win for us,” Panther head coach Paul Fortunato said of win against the Rams. “Soroco was undefeated and in the No. 1 spot. We received a playoff berth with the win.”
The Panthers went after the undefeated Rams scoring on a 15-yard pass from Kaulan Brady to Cameron Enterline, followed by the same connection for the two-point conversion.
After a 40-yard touchdown run by Brady, another completion to Enterline for two points and two touchdowns by the Rams, the score was tied at 16 at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers were the only team to score in the second quarter, when Brady threw a touchdown pass to Lucas Heinle. However, the team couldn’t convert the extra points, and they held the lead 22-16 at halftime.
Brady again connected with Heinle, this time for a 25-yard touchdown with no extra points. They also allowed the Rams to score eight in the third quarter.
The Panthers put the game away with two more touchdowns in the final quarter, including another touchdown pass to Heinle.
Brady finished the game with 92 yards rushing and completed 12 of 22 passes for 187 yards, with Enterline gaining 87 yards, Colt Allred with 65 and Heinle with 35. Heinle also rushed for 79 yards on 16 attempts.
Ethan Allred and Wesley Goddard led the defense with eight tackles each and two sacks. Colt Allred and Austin Blakely were each in on six tackles and Enterline had two interceptions.
“I was extremely proud of how hard we played,” Fortunato said. “League is done for us and we ended it 2-2. We’ll find out who we play in the playoffs after the other four teams finish their league games this weekend.”