The Woodland Park Panthers’ varsity football season ended in a less than spectacular fashion as they fell to Lewis-Palmer Friday evening, with the offense failing to cross the goal line.
Once again, fumbles and turnovers emerged as the main stumbling blocks.
Oddly enough, the Panthers looked sharp when they first got the ball.
They started the day with three quick plays and looked like they would be forced to punt, but then Woodland Park got a little bold and faked the punt.
It looked like Woodland Park would actually pick up the first down, but with an unfortunate fumble, they gave the ball back to Lewis-Palmer. The Rangers would promptly drive down the field in a hurry and score, taking a 7-0 lead. Then on Woodland Park’s next drive they would fumble and give it back to the Rangers. Lewis-Palmer once again drove down the field and scored another touchdown making it 14-0.
The theme of the first quarter would carry over to the next period. Woodland Park started the quarter with the ball and then immediately fumbled and gave the ball to Lewis-Palmer, which already was located in striking distance. Lewis-Palmer quickly capitalized on the great field position and scored another touchdown and converted on the two point play after the score.
So with a 22-0 deficit, Woodland Park would then start their next drive close to their end zone and would lose yards on three consecutive plays. Then a blocked punt only made matters worse. The Rangers would pick the ball up in the end zone and score yet another touchdown.
That would make the score 29-0. Woodland Park tried again to get something going on offense before halftime, but senior quarterback Christian Cox threw an interception that would be returned for a touchdown making the score 36-0 at halftime.
The second half was rather boring. There were no scores in the third quarter. The only points of the second half came with less than five minutes left in the game when Lewis Palmer pitched the ball out left and had an easy 10-yard touchdown run. That would basically be the end of the game as the running clock would quickly end the game. The final score was 43-0 Lewis- Palmer.
Final analysis of season
With this victory over the Panthers, Lewis-Palmer improved their already impressive record to 9-1 and may get a wild card spot and another shot to defeat Discovery Canyon, the premiere team in the league. Of all the teams Woodland Park played this year, the Rangers have the best chance to beat Discovery Canyon.
As for Woodland Park’s final bout of the year, this was an ugly game. Obviously, there were the turnovers that have killed the team virtually every week. In addition, there were several penalties that halted many of the Panthers’ drives in the second half. The Panthers will finish the season with a record of 2-8.
That ties Mitchell for the worst record in the league, but since Mitchell beat Woodland Park this puts the Panthers alone in the cellar spot. Another tough blow for the team is that they weren’t able to win a single league game. As a result, this was the worst season the Panthers recorded since 2010, when they did not win a single game.
So why did this Woodland Park team not win more games? The answer to this troubling question: turnovers, turnovers and turnovers. This team was built upon playing good defense and not turning the ball over, and running the ball well. At the outset of the season, it appeared they were going to win close low scoring games. But when you fumble the ball constantly, that plan is almost impossible to execute. It puts your defense in bad field position and makes your offense stutter anytime they get any momentum.
Maybe this season could be regarded as a transition period that might be viewed fondly in the future. But unfortunately, they ended up as 2-8 team, despite all the early optimism at the beginning of the season.