WALSENBURG — The John Mall Panthers football team snapped a ten-game losing streak after a dominant smashing of the Rocky Ford Meloneers at Panther Stadium by a score of 28-7. The weather was typical for a fall game, but we’re still in summer and the conditions did not cool off the hot Panthers team. They handled the ball well in the first possessions, setting the tone for the rest of the evening with their offense executing without flaw. For this game, there were a few changes to both sides of the line as Terrell Valdez stepped up his play, moving to the line, which helped the other big linemen get some resting time. Also stepping up to the line was freshman Cahlan Vigil who started at center which freed up Elijah Sandoval, sending him to the tackle position. According to Coach Vigil, “I really feel that [these changes] made a difference” The line created the holes they needed as the Panthers ran for a season high 253 yards on 33 carries. That averages to 7.7 yards per carry. The game saw three long runs by Evan Gonzales, Santos Reyna and Jeremiah Vigil. The runs of 49, 35 and 45 respectively were the longest single game runs of any of the three backs all season. Gonzales led the team rushing with 95 yards. In the game, Vigil, Gonzales, Tim Pacheco and Destry Crockett each scored against the Meloneers. Crockett ran a perfect corner route for the final score. Adding to the Panthers’ scoring dominance was pinpoint extra-point kicking by Garrett Quintana who went four for four. It should also be noted that Quintana was knocking the ball through the goalposts in practice and the pre games from 48 yards out. This could be advantageous for the Cats if he is ever called on to puts points on the board when their offense stalls in enemy territory. Defensively, the Panthers did their job of holding Rocky Ford scoreless in the first half. Both Quintana and Gonzales had a pick in the game. Jason Murphy and Quintana each had ten solo tackles in the game. The Panthers will travel to Dutch Clark Stadium tonight to play in a non-league match-up against the Dolores Huerta Prep Scorpions. The Scorpions put up 52 points last week against Calhan, the second most points this season. They put up 47 against Trinidad to open the season Earlier this season, the Scorpions defeated the Meloneers 15-12. The explosive Scorpion offense needs to be contained which has gotten the attention of the coaching staffs. To help prepare for the game, according to Coach Vigil, “We won’t change our attitude that we’ve had since playing two of the best in our classification early on, hard nosed defense to start and then unload our improving smash mouthed offense.” Vigil also wanted to thank the hard nosed fans who weathered the cold Friday night, saying it means a lot to the boys. He also said he would like to see them in Pueblo on Thursday night. It’s a great place to see a football game.
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