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RANGELY I It is a new year with new things for the Rangely High School football team. A new game, new league, new home uniforms, a new scoreboard and the Panthers lit it up with 61 points in their 61-6 homecoming win over the Nucla Mustangs last Friday on Yeager Field.
The new scoreboard and field are dedicated to Bernard Yeager, who is remembered for his inspiration and dedication to the community of Rangely and the Panthers played inspired football in his memory.
The Panthers started putting points on the new scoreboard early, scoring five touchdowns in the first quarter. Senior Chas Byerly scored on a 17 yard run, then caught a 20 yard touchdown pass from classmate Tobie Gasper.
Panther senior Colton Coombs also put new points up on the new scoreboard after a 37 yard touchdown followed by a 65 yard run into the end zone.
The Panthers scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter, first on another Gasper to Byerly connection for a 63 yard touchdown, then Byerly ran for a touchdown on a 65 yard scamper from scrimmage. Rangely final touchdown of the first half was a 23 yard pass from Gasper to junior Cameron Enterline.
Panther head coach Paul Fortunato was proud of his team’s offensive production but gave credit to the offensive and defensive linemen.
“The biggest reason for our success is our offensive and defensive line,” Fortunato said. “When you have guys up front that work as had as they do, you give yourselves a pretty good chance to make plays.”
The Panther linemen are led by senior Gabe Garcia, juniors Enterline and Ryan Wilzcek, sophomores Ethan Allred and Layne Mecham.
Rangely did not score in the third quarter and Gasper put the final points up on the new scoreboard with a 15 yard run in the fourth quarter.
Rangely will travel to Kremmling this Friday to play the West Grand Mustangs.