Panthers get demonized

M-CHS football team ends league play with demoralizing 48-3 loss

Montezuma-Cortez High School senior Dakota Goosen runs the ball in Friday’s game at Glenwood Springs. The Panthers lost, 48-3. Enlargephoto

Kelley Cox/Post Independent

Montezuma-Cortez High School senior Dakota Goosen runs the ball in Friday’s game at Glenwood Springs. The Panthers lost, 48-3.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — For most of the Glenwood Springs senior football players, Friday night was exactly the way they dreamed their last home game would finish.

The Demons (4-5, 4-3 3A Western Slope League) won their final home game in convincing fashion, 48-3 against visiting Montezuma-Cortez High School.

Despite the lopsided victory, the postgame emotions weren’t all about winning. Smiles were mixed with tears, as the seniors realized that this was the end of their Glenwood Springs home football careers.

It was Senior Night and it will be a night the upperclassmen won’t soon forget.

Long after most of the Glenwood Springs fans had left Stubler Memorial Stadium, about a dozen Demons seniors stayed on the frozen turf and soaked up their last moments as players on their home field.

“I’ve been here for four years,” said senior lineman Collin Page. “Tonight was special and very emotional. As a group, we wanted to leave this program in good hands and show them how much it means to play for Glenwood Springs.”

Page said Friday night was all about playing for each other.

“You’re seeing a lot of tears of joy,” said senior Auston Tribble. “It’s been a great four years. I love these kids (teammates) and our coaches. Tonight was really awesome.”

Tribble helped make sure his fellow seniors left their final home game in style with a win. The wideout tallied 134 yards of total offense with a receiving touchdown, as well as a 49-yard punt return for another score.

Junior tailback Henry Hill had 16 carries for 123 yards and two scores, giving him 14 TDs this season. Junior quarterback Travis Lundin passed for 100 yards and two scores.

“It was very important to get the win for our seniors,” Lundin said. “Tonight was all about playing for each other.”

Montezuma-Cortez, once again playing in the 3A Western Slope League after a two-year hiatus at the 2A level, is now 1-8 overall and finished 1-7 in league play. Friday night was the seventh loss in a row for the Panthers.

M-CHS opened the game with a 12-play scoring drive, capped by a 20-yard field goal by senior Alex Lopez. It would be a short-lived lead and the only points the Panthers would muster Friday night.

The Demons got on the scoreboard with three minutes to play in the first quarter. Tribble took a punt on the right side, ran left, picked up several great blocks, spun past a defender and went 49 yards for the TD.

On a chilly night in Glenwood Springs, the Demons were just warming up. The home team scored on all four second-quarter possessions.

Early in the quarter, Hill made it 14-3 with a two-yard scoring dive on fourth-and-goal. Lundin then found Tribble down the middle of the field for a 46-yard TD pass. Two plays later, Demons senior Kody Fox mimicked Tribble by picking off a Panthers pass and returning it 46 yards for another score.

With a minute to play in the first half, Hill intercepted a Montezuma-Cortez pass. With 19 seconds remaining, Lundin found Caiden Sorensen for a 20-yard TD pass and a 34-3 halftime lead.

The Demons offense picked things up where they left off to start the third quarter, with a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Hill took a pitch and scampered 15 yards for his second score of the game. The Glenwood defense forced the Panthers into a three-and-out, and two minutes later, sophomore Sam Carmer ran four yards off the right tackle to make it 48-3.

Glenwood led by more than 40 points with seven minutes left in the third quarter, meaning the clock did not stop unless there was an injury or a timeout by Colorado High School Activities Association rule.

“Getting the win tonight was important,” said Page. “All these guys are my brothers and tonight was our night to remember.”

Glenwood will finish its regular season at winless Battle Mountain on Friday at 7 p.m.

Dakota Goosen had two catches for 40 yards for the Panthers. Trenton Gustafson rushed for 49 yards on seven carries and tallied a team high seven tackles on defense.

M-CHS concludes its season at home Friday night versus Durango (3-6) at 7.