Panthers’ football team ends losing streak with key road win Mac McClintock

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The Woodland Park Panthers’ football team last week succeeded in traveling to Sierra and prevailing in a key win, a victory that gave them a .500 record for the season.

The Panthers were coming into the away contest with an important challenge, as they lost their last two previous games. One of their losses to Air Academy was close, but then the Panthers suffered a devastating shellacking at the hands of Conifer.

But last Friday, the Panthers put those losing memories to rest and secured a 15-6 triumph.

Woodland Park started the game out on defense, and at the beginning, it didn’t look pretty. The Sierra running back and quarterback both were finding holes for solid gains of five, ten, and even fifteen yards. The defense looked like it was going to break and let Sierra go ahead early. This was a big trend in the recent loss to Conifer.

But a key tackle, coupled with an illegal formation penalty, and a false start– all against Sierra– quickly changed the momentum of the game.

Sierra would end up gambling on a fourth-and-nine play that fell short.

Their initial drive lasted nearly nine minutes, resulting in no score. This may have disheartened the Stallions’ offense, and it also gave the WP defense a boost of confidence.

Unfortunately, the Woodland Park offense wasn’t able to do much in the first quarter and once again fumbled and gave the football back to Sierra.

The Panthers’ defense though was able to hold strong. Then when the Panthers got the ball back, they started running the ball right down the Stallions’ throat. This dominate rushing effort was spearheaded by junior running back Dominic Roskam, who has been outstanding this year.

Roskam would finish off the drive with a short rushing touchdown.

The Panthers would attempt an extra point kick, but the Stallions would jump off sides, a situation that allowed the Panthers to retry from the 1-yard yard line.

Coach Joe Roskam took advantage of the penalty and decided to go for two and used a similar play he previously called against Air Academy. This featured a play-action fake, when senior quarterback Christian Cox rolled out to the right and found a wide open receiver and converted the pass. As a result, the Panthers would take an 8-0 lead into half time. This was the first time that Woodland Park had lead at half time since their first game against Elizabeth.

The third quarter would be a less than effective quarter for the Panther offense as the team would once again fumble and would also throw an interception on a screen pass. The good news for Woodland Park was that the defense was able to hold strong and not allow any points. In the fourth quarter, Woodland Park started driving and then found itself facing a forth and nine dilemma. Then Cox made a beautiful throw down the sideline for a 30-yard gain. This would put Woodland Park into the red zone and Roskam would once again finish off the drive and put the Panthers up 15-0.

Sierra would try to make a comeback and were able to score a touchdown and decided to go for two.

They weren’t able to convert and were down nine with only five minutes left in the game. The Stallions would attempt an onside kick, but it failed. This would seal the deal for the Woodland Park Panthers. The team ended up winning by a 15-6 margin and improved their overall record to 2-2.

Next week the Panthers face a must-win game at Harrison on September 30 at 7 p.m. They will play at the same field as they did last week due to the fact that Sierra and Harrison share a football stadium.

In other Woodland Park high school sports news, the boys’ varsity soccer team won 9-0 against ECHS, but lost 5-2 against Mesa Ridge. That brings their overall record to 3-5.

The Varsity Softball team fared extremely well, winning two games this past week rather decisively. They beat Sierra 19-0 and they also beat Mitchell 20-0. Their overall record improves to 5-7, but they are 3-1 in league. The softball team, which has lost a number of players from last year, is one of the big highlights of the fall sports season.

Overall Woodland Park did a great job in the athletic arena last week with an overall record of 4-1.