Delta evened its prep football record at 1-1 with a 48-13 decision over the visiting Pagosa Springs Pirates. Junior Tristan Brown, playing running back for the injured Jonny Ponce, dominated offensive play for the Panthers with 18 carries, 158 yards and five rushing touchdowns. The Panthers had over 300 yards of total offense.
Ponce is scheduled to return to Delta's lineup after next week's bye. Ponce suffered a deep bone bruise to a leg that sidelined him from the second quarter through the remainder of the game in the Panthers' loss to Montrose.
On the game's first possession, Pagosa Springs had the ball for a big portion of the opening quarter, with its offense moving the ball down to Delta's 15-yard line before losing it on downs. Brown, on a 4-yard run, ended an 85-yard drive that took 10 plays. Brown plunged into the end zone with just 44.5 seconds remaining in the first period. A.B. Ontiveros kicked the extra point, giving Delta a 7-0 lead after one quarter.
The Pirates began their first scoring drive at the end of the first quarter and scored on a 60-yard scoring strike to sophomore Ty Kimsey from Isaiah Griego early in the second period. The try for extra point failed, leaving Delta on top 7-6 with 11:22 left before halftime.
Delta countered the Pirates with a score of its own on its next possession with Brown getting his second touchdown from four yards out. The drive began on Pagosa's 48-yard line and took just six plays. The extra point kick was good, leaving Delta with a 14-6 lead with 8:47 left in the half. On the scoring drive, an 18-yard pass from sophomore Drake Horn to senior Braden Atchley kept the drive moving.
Neither team scored on its next possessions.
Delta's defense pinned the Pirates deep in their own territory on its next possession, forcing a punt that was returned to Pagosa's 33-yard line. From there it was strength and speed that netted Brown his third TD of the game after scampering those 33 yards to paydirt. A successful PAT made it 21-6 with 4:00 left before halftime.
The Pirates began their next drive from their own 20-yard line. Pagosa Springs scored on a gadget pass play from Griego to Craig Tamburelli that covered the final 62 yards. The PAT kick was good, making the score 21-13 in Delta's favor with 2:31 left in the half.
Delta began its next possession at its own 47-yard line and worked quickly to move the ball. Horn found Atchley down the right sideline for a 28-yard aerial on a third-down play to keep the drive alive. After that Horn found senior tight end Kory Mills in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown toss. The 53-yard drive took nine plays and left Delta with a 28-13 halftime lead following the extra point kick.
Following halftime, Delta got the ball first and began a drive from its own 38-yard line. Brown's fourth touchdown came on a 24-yard run that punished several Pirate defenders along the way. Ontiveros' extra point kick was wide left, making the score 34-13 with 8:29 left in the third period.
The Pirates next possession fizzled when they went for the first down and lost three yards on a fourth-and-long to turn the ball over on downs. Delta began its next drive from its own 40-yard line with little time left in the third quarter.
Delta continued its drive in the fourth quarter and, on its ninth play, dished the ball to Brown for his fifth score of the game on a three-yard plunge. The point after was good and gave Delta a 41-13 advantage at the 9:32 mark of the fourth quarter.
Brown was responsible for Delta's final score by making a defensive play that set up the game's final score. Pagosa Springs was forced to punt from its own end zone. Brown stretched out to block the punt, with the Panthers recovering on Pagosa's 1-yard line. Horn got the call on a quarterback sneak for the final score. Ontiveros was good on the PAT to make the final score 48-13.
Delta is off next week but will resume its scheduled play in Steamboat Springs against the Sailors on Sept. 25. Game time for that contest is 7 p.m.