WALSENBURG — It was a royal Homecoming win for the John Mall Panthers last Friday evening as they demolished Delores Huerta before an enthusiastic crowd, 47-0. For the Panthers, this was their first shutout victory since the first game of the 2013 season when the defeated Del Norte 56-0. From the onset, it was all Panthers. DHPA received the kickoff and, on the first play from scrimmage, fumbled the ball which was recovered by the Panthers on the 19 yard line. Three plays later, Evan Gonzalez scored on a 12 yard run. This was his first of three TD’s on the night. The Panthers’ second drive in the quarter ended when a pass was intercepted by the Scorpions, their first of three take-a-ways. Errors and penalty’s on their third possession cost the Panthers yardage, but Gonzales scored on a 6-yard TD romp. By the time the 1st quarter ended, the Panthers were well on their way to a huge win. Three TD’s in the second were more than the Cats needed. The Panthers’ scoring included a Reyna 9-yard TD run, a 15-yard run by quarterback Destry Crockett on a sweep to the Scorpion left side, and a 59-yard TD run by Reyna with 20 seconds left in the half. A 35-0 halftime lead allowed the Panthers to concentrate on incorporating a different look, as they are constantly devising ways to confuse opposing scouts. According to Coach Adam Vigil, “We are hard to scout because we have a lot of offensive packages and the kids
know them all. We are hitting on all cylinders.” The opening play of the second half was as exciting as the first play in the first. Reyna took the opening handoff at their own 46 yard line and ran untouched 54 yards for the score and a 41-0 lead. With the 40 point rule in place, the clock mercifully continued to run, ending the Scorpion nightmare. Offensively, the Panthers totaled 463 yards, nearly half their total for the season. The Panther backs rushed for their season-high of 415 yards. Gonzales had his second 100+ yard game with 154 yards. Quintana also eclipsed the century mark with 110 yards. This was, without a doubt, the best offensive performance for the Panthers in several years. Defensively, the Panthers held the Scorpions scoreless and allowed them into the red zone only twice for the night. They were plus-3 in takeaways, which included three interceptions. Coach Vigil said after the game, “It’s nice to have everyone healthy. The kids played their hearts out and the line did their job.” JMHS will travel to Ignacio (0-4) tomorrow, hoping to avenge their upset loss last season.