With a threat of rain, and lightning off in the distance, last Friday night's Homecoming football game should have been more exciting and entertaining for Delta faithful. The Panthers were lethargic on offense and their defense was unable to stop Pagosa Springs' offense when it needed to be stopped. Pagosa's determination and execution propelled the Pirates to a 26-7 WSL victory.
Pagosa Springs had the ball first and began its first drive on its own 30-yard line. A 22-yard run by senior Ty Kimsey midway through the drive helped the Pirates move the ball to Delta's 14 where Pagosa's junior quarterback Cade Cowan tossed a 14-yard scoring strike to Keaton Laverty with 7:23 remaining in the opening quarter. A PAT kick by Keaton Anderson pushed Pagosa's lead to 7-0.
The Panthers put together a 14-play drive which began on Delta's 20-yard line and eventually stalled out on Pagosa's six where Delta turned the ball over on downs.
The Pirates began their next drive on their own six with time running out in the first quarter. Pagosa ran four plays in the first period and used another 14 plays in the second quarter to move the ball to Delta's five. Faced with a fourth down situation, the Pirates opted to kick a 17-yard field goal with 5:01 left in the first half. Anderson's kick was good and Pagosa led 10-0.
Delta's next drive began on its own 25. A pass, from senior quarterback Drake Horn found its way into the hands of senior Colton Galvin for a 25-yard gain. The drive fizzled on Pagosa's 28 and the Panthers lost the ball on downs for the second time.
The Pirates moved the ball from their own 26 down to Delta's 15-yard line where Anderson attempted a 32-yard field goal. The try for extra point was wide leaving the score at 10-0 at half time.
Delta came out after halftime and looked like the team everyone had expected to show up in the first quarter. Four runs by senior Brendon Starr and a pass to senior Kole Granger and sophomore Skylar Kraai moved the ball to Pagosa's nine yard line. From there it was an easy score for Starr. Bedoy's kick made the score 10-7 with 9:04 left in the third period. The scoring drive covered 70 yards and took eight plays.
Anderson got into the scoring act once again on Pagosa Springs next possession. After moving the ball to Delta's 11-yard line, Anderson sailed a 28-yard field goal through the uprights for a 13-7 lead at the 4:56 mark of the third quarter.
On the Pirates' first possession of the fourth quarter, Pagosa Springs used its ground game to move the ball to Delta's nine-yard line in 13 plays. On the fourteenth play, Kimsey toted the ball the final nine yards for six points. The extra point kick failed leaving the Pirates with a 19-7 lead.
Delta fumbled on the kickoff return and Pagosa Springs fell on the ball at Delta's 37-yard line.
Four plays later, on a fourth and seven down, Kimsey faked a punt and raced around the right end for a 34-yard touchdown run with a little over 37 seconds left to play. Anderson's PAT kick made the final score 26-7.
Unofficially, Pagosa Springs rushed for 287 yards on 54 attempts and two touchdowns. The Pirates added another 14 yards through the air for a total of 301 yards. Kimsey carried the biggest load for the Pirates with 29 carries and 166 yards.
Delta's rushing totals equalled 119 yards on 25 rushes.
Starr accounted for 109 yards on 21 carries. Horn completed five of 15 passes for 75 yards and an interception for a total of 194 yards.
Galvin had 47 yards with two receptions.
The Panthers will try to right the ship next week against Alamosa's Mean Moose in Alamosa. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Delta finds itself in fourth place after last week's loss with a record of 0-1 in league play and 1-4 overall. Bayfield is 1-0 and 5-0 at the top of the standings with Alamosa second at 1-0 and 4-1 and Pagosa Springs third with its 1-0 and 3-2 record. Cortez (0-1 and 1-3) and Gunnison (0-1 and 0-5) are fifth and sixth respectively.