Panthers down Bulldogs

Moffat County losing streak hits five as Delta runs through defense, chews up clock

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— Down 15-0, Travis Wilson leaped into the air blocking a Delta extra point.

Problem is, it still went in.

That play could some up the evening for Moffat County as they lost their fifth straight game Friday at the hands of the Panthers, 22-8.

"I'm proud of the kids," coach Kip Hafey said. "They never gave up."

Delta came out trying to wear down the Bulldogs early, running the ball right into middle of the Bulldogs defense.

The Panthers had ideas of chewing up the clock.

They succeeded, eating up more than 10 minutes on its first possession and racking up five first downs all in the first quarter

The shored up line-backing unit stiffened behind the leadership of returning senior Robert Daniels.

Daniels was in on six tackles in that opening possession, none more important than when the Panthers had second and goal at the one-yard line. Daniels broke free on an aggressive blitz package called by defensive coordinator Lance Scranton. Daniels sacked Delta quarterback Kevin Osborne for an eight-yard loss, halting the Panther momentum, forcing a turnover on downs.

Daniels, who had missed the previous three weeks due to injury, was more than happy to be back on the field.

"I was glad to be back," he said. "I got to lay some licks on those boys tonight."

Moffat took over with little room to work with. On its own one-yard line, Coach Kip Hafey utilized a multiple back approach.

Eli Buckner up the middle, Halen Raymond and Matt Kincheloe to the outside, seemed to be the one-two-three punch that Moffat County was looking for, aiming toward a Delta knockout.

At first and 10 from their own 31-yard line, Eli Buckner carried twice, accumulating 25 yards and two first downs, pushing the Bulldogs toward the Panther end zone.

The game got ugly from there.

A botched half back option pass resulted in a Halen Raymond interception, turning the ball over to the Panthers, letting out a sigh from Bulldog fans.

The Moffat County defense stiffened, forcing a Delta three-and-out, but a spectacular punt by Luke Laurita pinned the Bulldogs at its one-yard line once again.

Eli Buckner was tackled in the end zone, giving Delta a two point lead.

Things got even more ugly.

The Panthers cruised down the field in a seven-play drive in one minute, 16 seconds, converting a 25-yard pass to a wide-open Brenton Hines, catapulting the lead to 15.

'We wanted to be balanced," Delta coach Kirk McLaughlin said. "We knew they would key in on our running back, so we went over their heads."

The Bulldogs couldn't adjust defensively, out of the break, or offensively.

Moffat County had three drives stall on fourth and one plays. Each time the ball was given to the tailback Matt Kincheloe, who lines up five yards behind the line of scrimmage.

"I wanted the ball," fullback Eli Buckner said. "I'll pound it right through them."

The third quarter was scoreless, but the fourth was another matter.

On Delta's first possession of the final period, quarterback Kevin Osborne raced around right tackle for a six yard touchdown run.

Moffat was on its heels.

Things became the ugliest.

One more fourth down attempt and one more fourth down failure placed the Panthers in prime field position once again.

Osborne found Hines again, this time the two connecting on a 15-yard score.

Moffat County avoided the shutout when defensive tackle Ethan Robinson picked up a Panther fumble and rumbled his way down the sideline for a 27 yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs visit Montezuma-Cortez at 7 p.m. Friday.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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