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DHS loses football opener

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Photo by Wayne Crick Delta senior running back Damon Jensen wasn't able to elude all the Durango defenders last Friday night. He's tripped up in this photo during game action in the first half. Jensen was a bright spot for the Panthers with 209 yards rush

Delta's Panthers played well enough to have won last Friday's football encounter with Durango, but a number of miscues prevented them from claiming their first win in 2016.

Three interceptions, one for a touchdown, helped doom the Panthers. A second misguided aerial came in the third period with the final dagger coming in the final stanza as the Panthers were driving late in the game.

Two of the interceptions were by Gavin Maestas with his first being returned 20 yards for a touchdown in the late stages of the opening quarter.

Maestas scored Durango's first touchdown on a 42-yard pass from Peyton Woolverton with 1:22 left in the first quarter. His second score, on the interception, came with 49.4 seconds left in the period.

Maestas hogged all the scoring for the Demons as he returned the second half kickoff 99 yards and was responsible for all three extra point kicks for Durango.

Delta's AB Ontiveros put the Panthers on the board first with a 36-yard field goal with 8:15 remaining in the first quarter. His 37-yarder gave Delta a 6-0 lead with 3:27 left in the opening quarter.

The Panthers used a pass play (Kole Roberts to Ontiveros) to eat up 41 yards on a drive that appeared to be heading toward a score. The drive stalled at Durango's 11-yard line and a third and six pass fell incomplete turning the ball over on downs.

An Ethan Keller punt return set Delta up at Durango's 38-yard line to begin Delta's next possession. Runs by Roberts moved the ball to the Demons' two-yard line where Tristan Brown bulled his way into the end zone for six points. Ontiveros' boot made it 14-13 heading into halftime.

Maestas' 99-yard burst up the middle started the second half of play, elevating the Demon's lead to 21-13.

Damon Jensen, after a 20-yard run to Delta's 40, exploded for a 60-yard scoring jaunt that left the Panthers trailing, 21-20, with 7:57 left in the third quarter.

Neither team found the end zone the rest of the way, though each would have opportunities.

Jensen toted the football 22 times and picked up 209 yards to lead the Panthers' rushing game. Roberts was next high with his 25 yards on 10 carries. Delta finished with 259 yards on the ground.

Ontiveros had four catches for 64 yards to lead Delta's receiving corps with Roberts completing seven passes for 109 yards in the game.

Delta coach Ben Johnson was optimistic after the game. "I thought the kids played hard. There were too many penalties and turnovers. Josh Reeder and Logan Church going both ways on the line did a great job. Our setback was the pick six and the second half kickoff return. We held them to seven points on offense. Defense played well for a zero week game against a spread team."

Delta has this week off and travels to Craig to face Moffat County's Bulldogs on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

Photo by Wayne Crick Football pre-game activities include the traditional coin toss at mid-field before play begins. Delta High School jumped on top of the Demons, 6-0, on two field goals by AB Ontiveros in the first quarter. Eventually, an interception for a touchdown return and a second half kickoff return of 99 yards cost the Panthers in a 21-20 loss in season opening action.
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