To say Delta was dominating would be an understatement in a 41-0 football win over Gunnison's Cowboys last Friday night in Gunnison.
Delta raced to a 21-0 lead after the first 12 minutes of play and then coasted the rest of the way in the must win game. Losses to Durango, Palisade and Bayfield left Delta in a dangerous position as far as post-season was concerned. Durango and Palisade play in an upper division and afforded the Panthers some higher RPI ratings.
Delta's defense held the Cowboys to 213 total yards, 135 through the air and 78 on the ground.
Gunnison's John Wallin had 135 yards on 12 of 23 passing and lost two aerials by way of interceptions. Wallin was the leading rusher for Gunnison with 70 yards on 20 carries.
Lane Mangum collected 69 yards on four catches to lead the receiving corps.
Damon Jensen was back on track with his rushing game and gained, unofficially, 142 yards on 17 carries. Jensen also scored two touchdowns on runs of 18 and 24 yards.
Tristan Brown was more active than usual and rushed for 29 yards on seven carries for two touchdowns in the offense. He added a 50-yard pass interception for a score midway through the first quarter to lead Delta in scoring with 18 points.
Kole Roberts had one of his better days running the ball with 11 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown.
A.B. Ontiveros caught three passes for 62 yards to lead Delta's receiving corps. Beau Byers had three catches for 19 yards and Jensen caught one pass for three yards.
Delta's three scores in the first quarter came from Jensen (18-yard run), Brown (50-yard interception return) and a 6-yard run by Brown.
Brown's third score came in the second quarter on a 1-yard plunge that completed a six-play, 55-yard drive to make the halftime score 28-0.
A 90-yard drive in the third quarter produced Jensen's second score on the ninth play of the drive from 24 yards out.
Roberts' 1-yard scoring run came with 6:43 left in the game.
Defensively for the Panthers, Jacob Wear's seven solo tackles paced a solid defensive effort. Drake Horn and Logan Church had six solo stops with Brown's nine assists and Josh Reeder's seven assists leading in that category.
Reeder, Church, Wear and Joe Bules recorded sacks totaling 20 yards against the Cowboys in the game.
Ontiveros was six of seven kicking extra points in the game.
Four Western Slope football teams from the WSL and Intermountain Leagues have been selected to play in the coming 2A State Football Championships beginning this weekend.
The highest seed is Bayfield (5-0, 7-2), the winner of the 2A Intermountain League, which enter the tournament as the No. 5 seeded team. The Wolverines will face No. 12 Florence (4-1, 7-2) from the 2A Tri-Peaks League in Bayfield.
No. 8 Basalt (5-0, 7-2) won the 2A WSL and is set to face No. 9 D'Evelyn (4-1, 7-2) from 2A Flatirons League in Basalt.
Delta, at No. 10, has a 4-1 and 6-3 record and travels to No. 7 Faith Christian (5-0, 6-3) from the 2A Flatirons League. The game is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Alamosa, the final 2A western slope representative, is seeded 14th and heads to No. 3 The Classical Academy (4-1, 8-1), which is a member of the 2A Tri-Peaks League.
Winners of this weekend's matchups will advance to the quarterfinal round Nov. 10-12.
A full playoff bracket is found at CHSAANOW.com.