Delta quarterback Mitch Whiteside (7) looks downfield for an open receiver against Moffat County’s Bulldogs last Friday night in Craig. Whiteside got plenty of protection from Alfredo Rosales (24) and Marcus Garcia (79). Delta won 21-14.
n the words of Delta head football coach Ben Johnson, "It was ugly!" Johnson's reference was to his Panthers' contest against the host Moffat County Bulldogs which was a victory for Delta, 21-14.
It took the full four quarters of play to decide the outcome with Robert Williams' seven-yard touchdown run with 4:56 left in the game to put the icing on the cake.
Delta jumped to an early 7-0 lead after the opening kickoff was fumbled by the Bulldogs and Delta started its first possession of the game deep in Bulldog territory. Tyler Sandoval bulled into the end zone from the one and Alex Quintero booted the extra point giving the Panthers a 7-0 lead.
Delta's second possession was a one-play fumble that gave the ball back to Moffat County. The Bulldogs threatened to score after starting their drive from the Delta 36, but a fumble by Michael Samuelson ended up in the arms of Sandoval at the Panthers' six.
Alfredo Rosales carried the ball for seven yards on two plays before Mitch Whiteside found Chris Black on the right sideline for a 77-yard scoring play. Quintero's kick gave Delta a 14-0 lead.
Moffat County got its offense going on its next possession with Bretten Ivers throwing 28 and 18-yard passes to Garrett Stewart to set up Samuelson's two-yard dive into the end zone with 1:10 left in the opening quarter. Jesus Duarte kicked the extra point for the Bulldogs and made the score 14-7.
In the second quarter, neither team could move the ball effectively as penalties and turnovers kept fans wondering what was going to happen next. The Bulldogs lost the ball twice on fumbles and Delta once by way of an interception.
The third quarter was almost a replay of the second period with Moffat County losing the ball twice on fumbles and the Panthers once. Ivers also had one of his aerials picked off by Delta's Dakota Proctor. There were five penalty markers thrown in the quarter as well.
As the fourth quarter began, Cade Gafford punted the ball away for the Panthers from his own six-yard line. Moffat County took over at the Delta 36 and used four plays to cover the distance to paydirt. Samuelson plowed his way into the end zone from one yard out with 10:40 left in the game. Duarte's kick tied the game at 14-14.
The turning point in the game came near the mid point of the quarter when Moffat County's Ivers had a punt blocked by Cordell Stroud to give the Panthers the ball at Moffat County's 24. Seven plays later, Williams' game-winning seven-yard run culminated the drive with 4:56 left in the game. Quintero made the final margin of victory 21-14 with his PAT kick.
Delta's passing game produced 148 yards of offense on 10 passes. Black was the top receiver with five catches for 111 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Whiteside had two passes for 19 yards and Doug Hawkins another three grabs for 18 yards.
Williams was Delta's top ground-gainer with 21 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown. Sandoval had the next highest totals with nine totes and 43 yards and one touchdown.
Delta had a combined 310 yards of offense to 253 for Moffat County. Ivers rushed for 89 yards on 18 carries and Garrett Stewart caught six passes for 76 yards.
Delta hosts Glenwood Springs this Friday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m.