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RANGELY I The Rangely Panther football team lost its season opener to Dove Creek, a semi-finalist team in 2012, on Friday at home and they will host the Plateau Valley Cowboys this Friday on Yeager Field.
“Dove Creek finished in the final four last year, and we were aware of how tough they would be,” head coach Paul Fortunato said. “We had a pretty good idea that they would be solid.”
The Panthers lost 46-6, but their coach remained positive.
“Starting the year with a good team like Dove Creek helps us see where we are at and what we need to work on,” Fortunato said. “We have a lot to work on and we know what areas we need to tighten up.”
Fortunato said the defense was led by Ethan Allred’s nine tackles and Colt Allred finished with six, while Cameron Enterline intercepted a pass.
Lucas Heinle led the Panthers on offense with 85 yards rushing and Kaulan Brady had three receptions, including one for a touchdown from Kelton Elam, who finished with 61 passing yards. Elam also gained 49 yards on the ground.
“I am not disappointed in the guys; they played hard,” Fortunato said. “We just need to get better, that’s all.”
“This week is Plateau Valley at home and that is what we have to focus on now,” he said. “We will be fine.”