Undefeated Bennett Tigers edge Panthers
Grand County, CO Colorado
The Middle Park High School Football team lost a hard fought game to the No. 9-ranked and undefeated Bennett Tigers in Bennett last Friday night. Middle Park came out strong in the 1st half of a defensive struggle to take the lead, but Bennett proved too much in the 2nd half and beat the Panthers 21-6.
“I hope this game is a turning point for our program,” said head coach Troy Schmidt. “We played top notch football in the first half and now we know we can play with good teams if we want to. Unfortunately, we only played one half at that level, and now we need to play a whole game like that.”
After the teams exchanged punts in the 1st quarter the Panthers scored on 9-yard touchdown run by junior Sam Little. The run was set up by great blocking on the right side from juniors Adam Weaver and Brian Macchione, and from sophomores Mike Retzer and Kane Hutchinson.
It was then that the Panther defense took over and held the Tigers to less than 90 yards of offense in the 1st half. The Panthers were lead by Macchione and Little.
“These two were all over the field on defense,” said Schmidt. Little had 13 tackles on the night while Macchione had 12 tackles. “Our two sophomore interior linebackers Connor Jennings and Steven Kentfield had great games as well.
“Steven made some great reads and flowed to the ball real well – he has come a long way in his reads this year, and Connor is playing with tremendous passion,” he added. “He wrecked their tight end the whole night.”
The 2nd half was marked by the Panthers losing the game of field position, and they gave up two short field drives of 48 and 56 yards to go behind 14-6.
“We did not match their intensity in the second half,” said Schmidt. “But like I said, now we know what it takes to play a good team for an entire game.” Middle Park had trouble moving the ball in the 2nd half and could not score. Meanwhile, Bennett did add a late 4th quarter touchdown to make the final 21-6.
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