Middle Park gridders fall to strong Holy Family team
Sky-Hi Daily News
In last Friday’s game near Broomfield, Middle Park High’s football team suffered through another shutout loss, falling 46-0 to the Tigers of Holy Family High School.
While the Tigers completely dominated the game offensively and defensively, it was the Panthers’ own errors that contributed to the lopsided loss.
“Our mistakes killed us,” said coach Marc Loberg. “We had missed tackles, fumbles and penalties that hurt us.”
Middle Park’s mistakes and its inability to put together an effective offense literally kept the ball on its own side of the field for the entire first quarter. This began in the first seconds of the game when the Panthers fumbled the opening kickoff return, turning the ball over at 25-yard line.
Although the Panther defense held firm and got the ball back after a failed field goal attempt by Holy Family, Middle Park’s offense quickly faltered and a short punt brought the Tigers back to the Panthers 23 yard line. From there, Holy Family scored its first touchdown on a pass.
The Tiger defense continued to crush any attempt by the Panthers to move the ball on their next two possessions including recovering a fumble.
Meanwhile, Holy Family’s well-oiled offense ran in two more TDs before the first quarter ended.
The second quarter began with another Holy Family touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion. Middle Park’s first possession ended speedily on a fumble that turned the ball over at the Panthers’ 22-yard line, setting up another Tigers’ TD. After squashing the Panthers’ next possession, Holy Family was soon back in the end zone after a 63-yard punt return.
Finally in the fading minutes of the first half, Middle Park’s offense began to show some life. Taking the ball at their own 20-yard line, the Panthers drove forward with short rushes by Mike Schmidt and Joe Visconti, followed by a pass by Schmidt to Zane Bickler that took the ball to 43-yard line and Middle Park’s first first down of the game.
Schmidt kept the momentum going on the next play with a head-down drive up the middle that plowed into Tiger territory to the 48-yard line. However, Holy Family’s defense then stiffened and shut down further forward movement, forcing another punt.
After halftime ended, the pace of the game slowed down to a crawl. Holy Family took the opening kickoff and worked its way very deliberately across the field in a series of short rushes. Finally reaching Middle Park’s four-yard line, the Tigers opted for a field goal on a fourth-down play. Holy Family’s kicker drilled the space between the goalposts once again, adding three to what would be the Tigers’ final points total for the game.
Middle Park’s last possession of game began late in the third quarter with the Panthers starting from their own nine-yard line. A pass by Mike Schmidt to Marc Schmidt took the ball to the 22 yard line and the team’s second first-down of the game. A couple of short quarterback keepers by Schmidt and a pass by backup quarterback Jordan Reynolds to Justin Cisneros took the ball to the 33 yard line.
However, the momentum forward sputtered and collapsed after an intentional grounding call against the Panthers drove them back deep into their own territory and eventually led to another fourth-down punt.
“We’re going to go home and work hard in practices this week,” Loberg said. “We now need to get ready for Academy, which is 3-2 this season.”
The Panthers will be playing Academy in an away game on Saturday. The opening kickoff is at noon.
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