Panthers drop one to Del Norte Tigers

Rangely High School junior AJ Lujan takes a flying leap with the ball during the game against Del Norte. The Panthers will place Soroco this week in Oak Creek. Matt Scoggins photo

RANGELY | This weekend the Panther football team traveled to Del Norte to take on the Tigers. After an eight-hour trip the Panthers looked to be a little jet-lagged early. Playing at low intensity and pace. They picked it up as the game went on but were unable to finish several drives due to penalties and turnovers. The Panthers gave up one touchdown reception in the first half and went into the locker room down 0-7.
The second half was much of the same. Both teams failed to score in the third quarter. The Panthers came out in the fourth and put a great defensive stand together capped off by a blocked punt by Lane Gillard. On the punt block Stetson Cudo scooped and scored for the only Panther touchdown of the night. The Panthers went for the two-point conversion to take the lead and AJ Lujan punched it in to give the Panthers an 8-7 lead with three minutes left in the game. The Tigers received the ball and put together a drive that got them to the Panthers 40-yard line with 30 seconds to go. Del Norte threw a hail mary pass down the sideline into Panthers double coverage and their receiver miraculously came down with the catch to score a touchdown and go on to win the game 13-8.

RHS sophomore Tytus Coombs had 14 carries and 59 rushing yards in the game against the Del Norte Tigers last week.
Matt Scoggins photo

“It was a tough one for the Panthers,” said head coach Paul Fortunato. “They understand that they have a lot to work on and that they must take care of the mental mistakes to give themselves a better chance to come out on top.”
The Panthers travel to Oak Creek this week to take on their division rival Soroco Rams.
Special thanks to Prater’s Plumbing and Heating for sponsoring team meal this week.