RANGELY I The Panther football team did not disappoint its alumni or the hometown fans in the 2015 homecoming game against the Hayden Tigers, which Rangely won 32-8, in the first league contest of the season. The Panthers will travel to Oak Creek Friday to play the Soroco Rams in another league game.
Rangely opened the game with a 58-yard drive, capped by a five-yard run into the end zone by Kiki Ruiz. The Panthers were unable to convert the extra points and took a quick 6-0 lead but the Tigers would answer quickly with a long drive of their own, which ended with a touchdown and two-point conversion to give the visiting team a 8-6 lead after the first quarter.
“We had two unsuccessful drives in the second quarter but our defense stuffed the Tigers as well,” head coach Paul Fortunato said. “We started to get the ball rolling again late in the second quarter.”
The Panthers got on the scoreboard again after Jimmie Sherman recovered a fumble in the end zone after a run by Ruiz. Rangely was unable to convert the extra point and took a 12-8 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We came out determined to finish in the second half,” Coach Fortunato said.
The Panther defense stopped the Tigers’ first drive, then marched 61 yards for another touchdown, when quarterback Devin Ramirez scored on an eight-yard bootleg run. Nych Deleon added the two-point conversion and the Panthers 20-8.
After another three-and-out, defensive stand by the Panthers, they capitalized on it with a touchdown by Deleon, after a 59-yard drive. Rangely led 26-8, at the end of the third quarter.
“We held the Tigers scoreless in the fourth quarter and we were able to score one time,” Coach Fortunato said.
Rangely scored again on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Ramirez to Troy Allred, for the final score of the game.
Ramirez finished the game completing three of eight passes for 97 yards and one touchdown and he rushed for 74 yards. Ruiz led the Panthers with 169 yards rushing on 32 carries. Deleon rushed for 30 yards, Tristan Moore had 23 and AJ Lujan gained five yards on two carries. Allred caught two passes from Ramirez and Sherman had one.
Allred led the Panthers on defense with 12 tackles, Sherman had 11, Nakoma Bailey finished with 10, Jesse Powell and Ruiz each had eight, Robert Osteen had three and one sack, Shane Nash had two and Grady Nielsen was in on one tackle.
The Panthers will kickoff the game Friday in Oak Creek at 7 p.m.