Woodland Park Panthers’ Football Win Streak Continues

photo by Cindy Valade

WP Wins Comeback Thriller Against Edwards

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

Last week, the Panthers’ super-hot football team traveled west to Edwards to take on Battle Mountain High School.

The game was close but the Panthers emerged as the winner in a 19-18 thriller. Moreover, they relayed another stern message: Watch out for the mighty Panther powerhouse, as this is a pigskin team to reckon with, even if we don’t look that big.  This marked the third consecutive victory of the Woodland Park football team. Nope, this isn’t a TMJ April Fool’s joke.

photo by Woodland Park Football facebook pg

The Panthers scored early when quarterback Colin Kucera hooked up with Bryson Cox from 25 yards out to take the lead for the first time. The Battle Mountain Huskies then answered and scored one unanswered touchdown in the first quarter making the score 12-7.

Neither team scored in the second leaving the score the same at halftime with the Panthers down by five. In the third quarter the score remained the same as neither team would score again until the fourth.

Then, in the fourth quarter the Panthers once again took the lead when Kucera found junior wide receiver Tyler Baldus in the end zone for a big touchdown catch giving the Panthers a 13-12 lead after they missed the extra point.

The Huskies then got the ball and went down and scored later in the fourth quarter making the score 18-13. Then, with around three minutes left in the game the Panthers were able to make their second fourth quarter comeback. The key play of their late game drive was when Kucera dished off a screen pass to junior wide receiver Braden Roskam that Roskam then took 20 yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The Panthers went for two but were then stopped at the goal line, making the score 19-18 with only a few minutes left to play

Then, according to Panther head coach Joe Roskam, the Panthers made another big play this time it was while they were playing defense. “We ended up getting a sack fumble with 50 seconds left exactly,” Roskam said. “We ended up recovering it and we took a knee for the last 50 seconds of the game.”

The coach was pleased with the improvements the team has shown in their passing game with three touchdown passes during the game and two at the end when it really mattered. The coach also said that he was happy with the way the Panthers played defense last week.

“What an effort from our defense, they were unbelievable, they really were” the coach said. “They carried us (last week.)”

The coach did say that the team’s passing game could still use some improvements because they had three interceptions as well as three touchdown passes. Roskam said that the team can improve still on all areas of play.

“Right now we have to get healthy because (last week’s game) was a physical match up and a lot of the kids are banged up and nicked up right now,” Roskam explained. “We have to get healthy and we just have to continue to improve in all phases of the game.

The coach also mentioned another big play that did not work out in the Panthers’ favor. “We got our own punt blocked that led to them getting a touchdown,” Roskam said. “So we have to shore up a few things in the punt game.”

Overall, the team’s coach is elated with the Panthers three-game winning streak and their current 3-1 record. “I’m really proud of those kids they are getting better and they are showing a lot of heart,” Roskam said. “They play for each other and none of them are disappointed about their number of touches or anything.”

It has been some time since the Panthers got off to this kind of roaring start.

This Friday, the Panthers travel to the southeastern part of the state to take on the also 3-1 La Junta Tigers on the road.