Granby " Middle Park gridders dominate Jefferson for third straight win |

Granby " Middle Park gridders dominate Jefferson for third straight win

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado

Granby, Colorado ” Middle Park High’s football team made it three wins in a row by trouncing Jefferson 41-8 during a Saturday afternoon game at Trailblazer Stadium in Lakewood.

The Panthers’ dominating victory improves their 2008 season record to 4-5 with one game yet to play. Saturday’s game was the first-ever contest between Middle Park and Jefferson’s Saints.

“It was a good win and our players continue to improve,” said coach Marc Loberg. “We came out and took control of this game. We really want to thank our fans who made such a great showing today to cheer us on. It was fantastic.”

After taking the opening kickoff at their own 48-yard line, the Panthers quickly marched across the field in a series of rushes by Eric Scholl, Zane Bickler, Joey Visconti and Mike Schmidt. In a final two-yard plunge, Schmidt scored on a quarterback keeper. Jordan Reynolds added the extra point with an accurate kick through the goal posts.

Middle Park’s offense quickly got the ball back after Panther defensive back Mitch Strang intercepted a Saints’ pass and carried it back to Jefferson’s 25-yard line. A pass by Schmidt to Bickler then took the ball to the one-yard line where Bickler again got handoff and jogged into end zone to score the TD. Reynolds added the icing with another extra-point kick.

Jefferson’s second possession ended just as suddenly when another passing attempt was intercepted by the Panthers’ Justin Cisneros. The Saints were then able to regain it on a Middle Park fumble, but then quickly lost the ball again on a third interception that was snagged this time by Ben Shipman.

From Jefferson’s 40-yard line, the Panthers put together a series of rushes by Scholl and Bickler. A minute into the second quarter, Bickler got the handoff, swept wide left behind excellent blocking by the offensive line and scored. Reynolds followed it by booting his third extra point.

After the Saints failed to score on a field goal attempt, the Panthers took over their own 20-yard line and started another drive on the goal line with a couple of good rushes by Visconti. On the next play, Schmidt faded back and shot a pass to Bickler who scampered 63 yards to score.

After quickly shutting down the Saints’ first possession in the second half, the Panther offense began to roll from Jefferson’s 42-yard line. Good rushes by Visconti and Bickler brought the ball to the three-yard line where Schmidt made the final push into the end zone to score. Reynolds drilled the center of the goal posts once again for the extra point.

As the third quarter wound down, Middle Park was on the attack with a series of rushes by Bickler, Schmidt and Visconti. A good pass by Schmidt to Sam Damon gained 11 yards, followed by another handoff to Bickler who charged across the goal line for his fourth TD of the game. Reynolds’ kick added what was to be the Panthers’ final point of the game.

As the fourth quarter began, Jefferson’s offense finally began putting together an effective drive with a series of short rushes. Reaching midfield, the Saints quarterback launched a long pass that connected with his intended receiver who ran the ball into score. They then topped it off with a successful two-point conversion.

In the final minute of play, Jefferson was again driving back down the field in an attempt for another touchdown. However, it was not to be because the Panthers’ Mantas Raila intercepted the ball and put an end to the Saints’ last effort.

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