Panthers Ambushed in Aurora
The Middle Park High School Football team fell to the Machebeuf Buffaloes, 42-7, last Saturday night at Aurora Public School Stadium. The score was not at all indicative of the Panther’s effort. “We gave them really short fields to work with in the first half, and things snowballed on us quickly,” said Head Coach Troy Schmidt. Two miscues on punts in the first half gave the Buffaloes excellent field position to score on drives of less than 30 yards. Those misfortunes along with 2 interceptions and one return for a touchdown put the Panthers down 21-0 at half after outgaining Machebeuf on offense 113 yards to 89 yards.
“Our youth showed in those mistakes, but our kids still battled and fought hard-I am proud of them,” said Schmidt.
The opening kickoff of the second half was a disaster for Middle Park when a Machebeuf player was able to break out of a pile after mishandling and dropping the kickoff then regaining control for an 80 yard touchdown.
After the avalanche of Panther miscues, the second half was a slug fest. The Panthers put together two long drives of 70+ yards. The first ended inside Machebeuf’s 10 yard line, but another miscue, this time a fumble thwarted the Panther’s scoring effort. The 2nd drive finally put the Panthers on the board with a 10 yard touchdown run by senior Marc Schmidt.
“Our offensive line played well in the second half. Sophomore tackle and guards, Kane Hutchinson and Dillon Berger had great games,” said Schmidt, “and junior Sam Little played awesome for his first time at quarterback.” Machebeuf did answer with a drive of their own in the second half and also added another late TD after both teams had made substitutions.
“The second half is the kind of game we expected to be in the whole time, unfortunately they were a good team that capitalized on every one of our mistakes.” Despite the lopsided score, Machebeuf only had a 45 yard edge in total yards 246 to 201 at the end of the game.
Defensively, the Panthers were able to bottle up one of the state’s leading rushing attacks as Schmidt lead the way with 10 tackles, 2 quarterback sacks, 2 quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. Sophomore linebackers Connor Jennings and Steven Kentfield added 10 tackles between them and Little also added 5 tackles and a pass defended. “The D-line did a great job and forced double teams all night which allowed our linebackers to limit a very potent running attack to less than 150 yards, and sophomore nose guard Cody Garrett did a great job with 5 tackles,” said Schmidt.
On Thursday night, October 21st, the Panthers take on the Pinnacle Timberwolves at home in Granby at 6 p.m. The team would like to invite all East Grand law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and military personnel to the game for recognition of their thankless efforts in our community! All members in uniform or with proper I.D. will get into the game for free and witness an exciting 2A Flatirons football game!
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