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RANGELY I The defending eight-man football state champion Caliche Buffaloes defeated the Rangely Panthers, 44-16, on Friday on Yeager Field, and this week the Panthers will host the Hayden Tigers for their Homecoming game.
“The difference in the game against the Buffaloes was not who played the hardest but who had the most turnovers,” Panther head coach Paul Fortunato said. “The Buffaloes had one turnover and we had four.”
Coach Fortunato was pleased with his team’s offensive production against the defending state champions as the Panthers compiled 244 yards of total offense.
“We had success on offense because of an outstanding job by our offensive line,” Fortunato said. “Kiki (Ruiz) had 151 yards rushing.”
Blocking for Ruiz on the offensive line are Jimmie Sherman, Nakoma Bailey, Troy Allred, Jesse Powell and Robert Osteen.
Ruiz gained his yards on 23 carries, and Nych Deleon carried the ball 11 times for 36 yards.
Freshman quarterback Devin Ramirez competed five of nine passes, including one for a touchdown to senior Jimmie Sherman.
Allred caught two passes, including one for a two-point conversion and Powell also caught two passes for 25 yards.
Ruiz scored the other touchdown for the Panthers.
Powell led the Panther’s defense with 17 tackles and Allred finished with 16.
Sherman was in on 12 tackles, Osteen had eight, Deleon, Bailey and Ruiz all finished with six tackles each and Ramirez recorded five.
The Hayden Tigers will be the guests for Rangely’s homecoming game this Friday on Yeager Field, and Fortunato is hoping for a big crowd to cheer the Panthers on.