WP Panthers Suffer heartbreaking Loss to Air Academy – Mac McClintock

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The Woodland Park Panthers’ football team beat themselves last Friday, falling to the Air Academy Kadets in a difficult one-point loss.

Once again, the woes of the offense came back to haunt them.

In the first half, the Panthers looked almost completely lost. The offense only got two first downs for the entire half, and the defense was left on the field for nearly two quarters. What stung the most was when the Panthers gave up two 30-plus yard runs, following back-to-back Woodland Park fumbles. Those runs eventually would lead to two Kadet touchdowns and present a 13-point deficit for the Panthers.

It could have been an even worse half for the Panthers, if it was not for maybe the worst field goal attempt ever attempted in recent memory. The Kadets’ field goal try from 27 yards did not even make it to the end zone. Plus, the kick would have been several yards to the left of the field goal posts, even if it made the necessary distance.

Even with their dismal performance for the first half, the half-time break provided a good show for the Woodland Park faithful, as Air Academy hosted a rather extensive fireworks display. As for the second half, the third quarter provided little entertainment, as neither team was able to mount much of an offensive attack.

It was not until the fourth quarter that Woodland Park started to make a comeback. But unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

The team drove down the field and scored their first touchdown on a one yard touchdown run from junior running back Dominic Roskam. The team tried to go for a two-point conversion, but failed. The defense then was able to hold the Kadets at bay, stopping Air Academy from getting a first down.

The Panthers got the ball back with good field position, and once again, Roskam, who had an impressive performance in their opening home game, carried the offense. The team was able to drive down the field successfully. The Panthers then handed it off one last time to Roskam for a 6-yard touchdown run, his second of the quarter.

That score enabled the Panthers to pull within one point. Once again, Woodland Park decided to go for a two-point conversion. As a result, the entire game came down to one play.

If Woodland Park converted, they would take the lead and just have to stop the Kadets one last time. If they failed, they would have to rely heavily on their defense, and try to score with little time left in the game.

Unfortunately, the latter scenario is what occurred.

Woodland Park, though,, still had a chance if they could stop Air Academy.

It seemed as if the Panthers were going to get the ball back, after forcing the Kadets to a third and twenty three predicament. But the Kadets were able to complete a 24-yard pass play. As a further insult to the Panthers, the 24-yard pass play was the Kadets’ first pass completion of the game.

Even after that successful play by the Kadets, Woodland Park found a way to get the ball back with 1:44 in the game. Then on the first play, they completed a pass and kept their hopes alive. But then, the Panthers gave the ball right back to Air Academy by fumbling it away. After this last and most costly turn-over, Air Academy was able to kneel on the ball and walk away with a close 13-12 win.

The Panthers will have to see if they can put this heart breaking lost behind them as they have a tough opponent next week at home in Conifer. That game is scheduled for September 16 at 7 p.m.

Linksters win big tournament
As far as other Woodland Park sports action, the Boys Soccer team was able to win against Falcon by a score of 3-1. The Lady Panthers Volleyball team won their game against Falcon as well, but lost to Pueblo East. That brings the team’s record to 3-1.

In another high note, the Panthers golf team was able to win the Cheyenne Mountain tournament and Sam Levy, the team’s number one player, prevailed in the individual portion of the tourney. The golf team should fare better this year with better and more experienced players.

The Softball team was able was able to win three games, but lost two more contests, bringing their overall record to 3-5. The good news for the softball squad is that they did win their first league game against Harrison by a score of 27-0.

Overall it was an okay week for Woodland Park sports teams, but it could have been much better, according to local sports experts.