Home, sweet Homecoming: Panthers pull off dramatic win in Granby | SkyHiNews.com

Home, sweet Homecoming: Panthers pull off dramatic win in Granby

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

Middle Park High’s football team made Homecoming in Granby something extra special with an exciting, down-to-the-wire 28-19 victory over Bishop Machebeuf on Thursday night.

The final two minutes of the game decided the victory for the Panthers, who scored the crucial points to take over the lead and then fended off a determined effort to score by the Buffaloes in the game’s closing seconds.

“This was a huge win for Middle Park football,” said coach Marc Loberg. “I am so proud of this team. Our guys played one great game.”

Trailing Machebeuf 19-18 with 2:11 left in the game, the Panther offense was ground to a halt short of Machebeuf’s goal line. On the fourth-down play, Middle Park opted for a field goal attempt and kicker Jordan Reynolds came through with a 32-yard boot that put the Panthers up by two points.

With two minutes left on the clock, the Buffaloes were not giving. Taking the kickoff at their 30-yard line, Machebeuf’s quarterback attempted a couple of long passes that were broken up by excellent Panther coverage. Switching then to a rush on the next play, the Buffaloes’ star running back Aubrey Prickett made a 15-yard run to gain the crucial first down.

With just over a minute left, Machebeuf quarterback then attempted another pass, but it went incomplete. He followed it up with another attempt but was sacked in the backfield by the Panthers’ Mike Schmidt for a 12-yard loss. The Buffaloes then tried a sweep to the left, but Middle Park linebacker Jake Finch knocked the runner out of bounds.

With 42 seconds left and on a fourth-down-and-21-yards-to-go, Machebeuf’s quarterback attempted a desperation pass. But instead of hitting his intended receiver, Panther defensive back Justin Cisneros intercepted the pass and sprinted down the sideline to the Buffaloes’ two-yard line.

Receiving excellent blocking from the offensive linemen, the Middle Park quarterback swept wide to right on the first play and stepped into the end zone for the touchdown. Reynolds then booted the ball through the goalposts for the extra point.

Going into Thursday’s game, Machebeuf had a 4-3 record. Middle Park’s come-from-behind victory in the Homecoming game now gives the Panthers a 3-5 record.

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