~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Woodland Park and Cripple Creek Kick-Off Time
Last Friday night, the Woodland Park Panthers Varsity football team played its season opener out east in Elizabeth. In this non-conference game, The Elizabeth Cardinals flew past the Panthers in a close 21 to 14 defeat.
Both of the team’s quarterbacks, juniors Angelo Salazar and Michael Shum, had a turn as the team’s head pilot. Salazar had 2 completions out of 3 attempts for 6 yards. Michael Shum got the most play with 7 completions out of 12 attempts for a total of 34 yards.
The Panthers’ top offensive player for this game was senior running back Dominic Roskam, who racked up some impressive statistics. Roskam was credited for 139 of the Panther offense’s total of 174 yards during the game. While running the ball Roskam had 24 carries for 117 yards and one touchdown. Roskam also caught the ball three times for a total of 22 yards gained.
The Panther defense did not have a horrible game by only allowing three touchdowns, but there is room for improvement. It is safe to bet that Coach Joe Roskam will be working hard on getting the defense dialed in as well as figuring out how to get the Panther offense to give the coach’s son, Dominic, a break, and to use other players more in their offensive attack. Their next game is their home opener on Friday (Sept. 8) against the Air Academy Kadets, which also lost their first game.
Up the mountain in Cripple Creek, the Pioneers had their first home game against the Hanover Hornets. Unfortunately, the Hornets buzzed past the Pioneers in a 63 to zip home conference game upset. The Hanover Hornets scored more points against the Pioneers than they have scored against any other team in their past three seasons.
Since the Cripple Creek team is so small, the team’s practices usally just involve practicing offensive plays with no defense to practice against. Having the first game out of the way will give Coach Mark Samson a good gauge as to which areas of the game the team needs to work on the most. Their brutal initial defeat suggests that both offense and defense could use some help. Hopefully, Coach Samson will utilize his team’s good offensive line and be able to make improvements to the team this week. The next game for Cripple Creek-Victor High School is a home non-conference game against the so far win-less Deer Trail Eagles.
Rocky Mountain Showdown
Last Friday (Sept. 1) marked the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown where two of Colorado’s three big college football teams, the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams, faced each other at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This game is a big showdown for the rival schools every year as a trophy gets passed around to the winner each year. Last year the Colorado Buffaloes came out on top and this year was no different as the Buffs won their first game against their in-state rivals, the Rams, 17 to 3.
The highlight of the game was the 45-yard touchdown CU Buffs running back Phillip Lindsay made to rack up the first score of the duel giving the Buffs an early 7-0 lead. Phillip Lindsay then went on to earn over 100 running yards in the first half, then finished the game with a total of 140 yards. The Buffs defense had a good game, only allowing the Rams to score a field goal in the second quarter. At the half, the game was 17 to 3 and the score stayed that way making for a rather boring, defensively dominated second half of the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
The Rams had a rough second game, falling to a record of 1-1. The Rams defense hung in well and played a decent game, especially since they were able to keep the Buffs from scoring in the second half. The Rams offense struggled for the whole game, with two touchdowns taken back by penalties. As a result, they were only able to score one field goal. The game was officially considered over when the Rams threw an interception in the end zone late in the game.
The 1-0 Buffs host their next game at home next Saturday, September 9, with Texas State. The 1-1 Rams play their next game September 9 at home against Abilene Christian University.
Air Force Falcons
Meanwhile, close to home, the Air Force Falcons had quite the game in their home opener against the Virginia Military Institute Keydets last Saturday. Signs displayed by fans across Falcon Stadium read, “V-Very M-Mediocre I-Institute.” The Falcons strongly proved that the signs’ message was right on, by embarrassing the Keydets in a 62-0 stomping.
The VMI Keydets head coach Scott Wachenheim told media outlets that his team was out played in almost every aspect of the game.
The Falcons are optimistic about their new team, with 32 players that graduated last year.
Falcons quarterback Arion Worthman had a good game completing 8 of 12 passes for 172 yards and two touchdown passes. The teamed gained a total of an astonishing 647 yards compared to the Keydets 95 yards.
The home opener this year for the Falcons was scheduled on the Air Force Academy’s Parent Weekend. Many parents received the chance of getting to see their kids play in the team’s first game, as 59 players on the Falcons team saw field play last Saturday. Falcons Head Coach Troy Calhoun thought that it was a good chance to get some new players out on the field for game play.