For the second straight week of play, the Delta High School Panthers have put the game clock in continuous running mode by scoring over 40 points before the end of the first half. Last week’s 42-0 halftime score against Thornton High School was the final score as neither the Panthers nor Trojans could break the goal line’s plane for a score. This week’s halftime score against Salida was 47-0, eventually leading to a 61-0 victory for the Panthers.
The 61 points scored by Delta matches that total on two occasions; a 61-16 win over Battle Mountain High School in 2009 and a 61-21 win over Central High School in 2014. In 2004, the Panthers had the tables turned on them in a 62-15 loss to Palisade.
Delta scored nine touchdowns in the game with seniors Cody Suave and Nate Workman accounting for two touchdowns each. Suave finished the game with 63 yards on six carries, with touchdowns coming in the first quarter on an 11-yard burst and a 26-yard scamper through the Spartan defense in the second quarter. Workman had three receptions for 64 yards, with touchdowns in the first quarter on a 22-yard pass play and the next midway through the second quarter on a 28-yard pass play. Reserve running back, sophomore Timmy Horn was the game’s leading ground gainer with 107 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
Senior Hunter Hughes was another weapon for the Panthers with his two receptions for 61 yards and the game’s first touchdown on a 45-yard strike from Bynum with 10:10 left in the first quarter.
Junior quarterback Bynum orchestrated the offense with precision completing six of nine passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Bynum was also active in the running game with six rushes for 40 yards and an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Senior Ku La Moo added a rushing touchdown in the second quarter on a 6-yard run. Moo and kicker Felipe Bedoy, combined efforts to kick seven of nine extra points in the game.
The Spartans lost two of three fumbles in the game with Delta converting two into touchdowns before halftime.
Delta’s defense stifled Salida’s offensive attack on all fronts holding the Trojans to 32 yards through the air and a minus 20 yards on the ground for a total of 12 yards (unofficially).
In a post-game conversation with Delta head coach Ben Johnson, the question of whether or not there was any inclination the game would turn out the way it did.
“Gosh, no! They throw the ball well, usually,” he said. “They have the state’s leading passer and receiver, but I don’t believe they completed four balls. We scheduled these games last year when they (Salida) were 9-1. They graduated a lot of kids.”
Johnson offered an explanation why Delta is playing so well early in the season.
“We practice hard and have great depth,” he said. “This last week, our scout defensive team beat our offense four out of five plays. It’s so competitive.”
Asked if there is concern about keeping the Panthers sharp and not overconfident, Johnson replied, “Not so much. These are a talented group of kids and they know the games on the horizon that are going to be dog fights and that keeps them sharp.”
Delta is at Cortez Friday, Sept. 20, for a battle of the cats at 7 p.m. Cortez, a member of the 2A Intermountain League, is winless in two tries this season while Delta enters the game with a 2-0 mark.