Despite Great Pre-game Festivities, Panthers Suffer Brutal Homecoming Loss -Mac McClintock

Everything about the homecoming week for the Woodland Park RE-2 District, capped by a huge celebration, went great.

There was the parade and bonfire on Wednesday, both stellar events put on by the high school. All of these festivities were supposed to climax with the Panthers football game against Discovery Canyon. Woodland Park was supposed to show up and put up a strong fight at home against the premier team in their league.

This was supposed to be the game that turned doubters into believers. Only one major problem put a jolt in these plans: The Woodland Park varsity football team just did not show up to play for their homecoming game, plunging inside a deep hole by the end of the first quarter. The Thunder on the other hand, showed up and ran all over Woodland Park, destroying the Panthers’ hopes and dreams of being a playoff team. Discovery Canyon whipped Woodland Park by a 48-0 margin. Ouch, and bad timing for a homecoming game.

The game actually did not start out that bad for Woodland Park. Junior running back Dominic Roskam was able to get a decent run of 10 yards on the first drive and pick up a Panther first down. Unfortunately the Discovery Canyon defense shut down that offensive drive in a hurry.

Then the Panthers’ attempted punt resulted in an outright shank, and only netted a four yard gain on the play. Discovery Canyon would quickly score on three plays and would go up 7-0.

Woodland Park got the ball back by running the ball up the middle three times and then elected to punt again, and this effort wasn’t much better.

Discovery Canyon then would score again in less than five plays and go up 14-0. If you are starting to see a pattern forming, you are correct. This pattern of Woodland Park running three unproductive plays then having an awful punt would continue throughout the first quarter, with the Panthers facing a 27-0 deficit.

The second quarter would not be any better for the Panthers as they continued to struggle offensively. The team would only record two first downs the entire half and overall had a negative amount of offensive yards. Discovery Canyon, on the other hand, would keep laying it on Woodland Park. At halftime the score was 41-0 Discovery Canyon and it was a demoralizing situation.

Unfortunately for Woodland Park, they faced a homecoming game against one of the better 3A teams in the state.

The second half appeared to move much quicker. Discovery Canyon put in all of their backups. Still, the Woodland Park offense struggled.

To make matters even worse, the whole second half the Panthers had to battle a running clock. For those of you who do not know, a running clock in high school football is when the clock never stops unless there is a called time out.

The rule is only enforced when one team is ahead by more than 40 points. For a few times, the Panthers looked like they might be able to score, but two fumbles and an interception quickly dashed those hopes. Woodland Park would be shut out in their homecoming game and lose to Discovery Canyon by a score of 48-0.

Woodland Park’s next game is on the road at Mitchell where they’ll take on a team with a 2-4 record. This record is very similar to the Panthers, so it should be a good contest. That game is on October 14 and starts at 7 p.m.

Softball, Volleyball and Golf
In other Woodland Park sporting news the softball team had their last home game. They have already been eliminated from playoff contention, and were not able to win their last game at home losing to Canon City 20-16.

The Lady Panthers volleyball team was able to get their second league win against Harrison, but they then lost to Canon City.

The high school volleyball team will be in the playoff mix all season and it’ll be interesting to see if they can win their league.

In golf, the Panthers highly successful season recently came to an end, when their top ace, Sam Levy, finished 65th in the two-day state championship. He struggled the first day with a 91, 19-over par, at the difficult River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale. He recovered slightly the next day, but overall suffered from a few too many bad holes.

Still, nothing can take away the fact that the Panthers won their league championship and top league individual honors, courtesy of some amazing rounds Levy recorded in the low 70s (for 18 holes) in the peak of the season.

But overall, Woodland Park has showed this season that they need to improve their athletic program in general, especially for their popular team sports. Hopefully, they will take things to the next level because it is a lot more fun rooting for a winning team.