Panthers beat Hayden Tigers at home

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RHS junior quarterback Keihlin Myers (10) connected on five passing attemps. The Panthers won 44–6. MATT SCOGGINS PHOTO

RANGELY | On Friday, Oct. 30, the Hayden Tigers rolled into Rangely looking to dethrone the Panthers from atop the Western Slope 8-man conference league. The Panthers were determined to not let this happen and came away with the 44-6 victory over the Tigers. As usual for the season, the Panthers stingy defense kept the Tigers out of the endzone all game as the lone score for the Tigers came on a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. The win for the Panthers extended their record to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Panthers will look to keep their perfect record when the Vail Christian Saints travel to Rangely on Friday, Nov. 6 in a showdown of the top two teams in the league record-wise.

Offensively for the Panthers, junior running back Zane Varner continued to roll off huge runs for the Panthers consistently against the Tigers. Varner is currently averaging 157.5 rushing yards per game and added to his rushing total in three quarters of play against the Tigers with 179 rushing yards and 37 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Senior Ryan Richens also added to the Panther scoring with 101 yards rushing and one touchdown. Richens also had two catches for 53 yards. Junior quarterback Keihlin Myers connected on five passing attempts for 114 passing yards and one score when he connected to Varner on a 37-yard touchdown pass.

The Panthers defense found a new leader in tackles for the game as freshman Kobey Chism secured 10 tackles for the Panthers and one tackle for loss that was a 13-yard loss for the Tigers. Chism also returned three punts for the Panthers from a very good kicker who twice pinned the Panthers deep in their own territory. Senior defensive-end Gabe Polley kept the Tiger passing game in peril as he continuously pressured the Tiger quarterback into bad decisions that amounted to one interception made by Ryan Richens. Polley had nine tackles, three being tackles-for-loss which caused the Tigers 25 negative offensive yards.

The Panthers moved up to spots in the CHSAA coaches’ poll to number six this week and will attempt to continue that climb. Rangely currently sits at number six as well in the RPI poll. Both polls help determine which eight teams make the shortened playoff bracket this year. Rangely will close out their regular-season home games when the Saints from Vail Christian travel to Rangely this week for a showdown of the top two teams in the league. This is a pivotal game for both the Panthers and the Saints and will play a huge role in the conference championship.