Last regular-season game
By Gary King
On Saturday, November 14th the Gilpin Eagles varsity football team played the Rangely Panthers on their home field in Rangely, Colorado. It was a sunny day with a chilly brisk wind when game started at 1:00 in the afternoon.
The Eagle’s head coach Craig Ball summarized the Gilpin-Rangley game as follows: “We traveled to the undefeated #5 ranked Rangely for our last regular-season game on Saturday. Our boys were confident in our chances to stay with the Panthers. We were within six points at the half 20-14 and felt that we could win this game if we played a solid and mostly mistake-free half. We scored first in the second half and tied the game and then kicked it deep to pin the Panthers deep in their own territory. We did a good job of causing a 3 and long situation and then we made a mistake in coverage. Our flow linebacker came off his man during a quarterback scramble and allowed an 80 TD pass. We were now down by 8 with three minutes left in the game. Our offense was ready and we drove to the Panther 10-yard line and had two great pass opportunities in the end zone to tie the game. On both occasions, we did not execute. It was a heartbreaking loss for our seniors. We play Elbert for our postseason game on Saturday.”
The game began with a Panther’s kickoff that was returned by the Eagles to their own 43-yard line. The Eagles possession lasted for only four plays turning the ball over to the Panthers with a 4th down punt that rolled out of bounds at the Panthers 10-yard line. The Panthers controlled the ball for 18 plays before turning the ball back over to the Eagles on a failed 4th down pass on the Eagle’s 15-yard line. On the first play of the Eagles possession they fumbled the ball turning control back over to the Panthers on the Eagles 15-yard line. The Panthers took full advantage of the turnover by scoring a touchdown in four plays and following up with a 2-point conversion making the score 8-0 in favor of the Panthers with 3:23 remaining on the 1st quarter clock. The Eagles recovered a Panther’s on-sides kick on their own 40-yard line. The Eagles advanced the ball 15 yards in five plays, but on the 6th play threw a pass that was intercepted by the Panthers for a 69-yard (pick-6) Panther touchdown. After an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt, the score was pegged at 14-0 Panthers with 2:03 remaining on the clock. After another Panther’s on-sides kick the Eagles began a short 3-play, 3-yard gain possession from their own 42-yard line that ended with a turnover to the Panthers on another fumble. The Panthers held the ball for three downs and a gain of just 6 yards before the quarter ended.
The Eagles improved their game in the 2nd quarter, turning the ball over only once on downs and playing fumble free. Early in the quarter the Panthers turned the ball back over to the Eagles on a 4th and 10 run with no gain on the Eagles 49-yard line. The Eagles took the next two plays including a 25-yard pass from Stephen King (2) to Kamron Brewer (17) and a 5-yard off-sides penalty against the Panthers to move the ball to the Panther’s 19-yard line. From there on a 1st and 5 the Eagle’s King (2) ran a QB keeper up the middle for the Eagle’s first touchdown of the game. After a 2-point conversion on a short pass from Blake Boulter (19) to Nolan Lindberg (6) the scoreboard displayed 14-8 Panthers with 10:14 left before halftime. The Eagles followed with an on-sides kick that was recovered by the Panthers on their own 45-yard line. On the first play of the Panther’s possession the Eagles recovered the ball on the Panther’s 45-yard line on a fumbled hand-off. Determined to get back in the game, the Eagles took only four plays ending with a pass from King (2) to Boulter (19) to score another touchdown to tie the score at 14-14 with 9:14 left on the half-time clock. After an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt the Eagles attempted an on-sides kick that was recovered by the Panthers on their own 40-yard line. The Panthers proceeded to put together a 14-play, 50-yard drive to score their only touchdown of the quarter on a QB keeper up the middle from the Eagles 8-yard line. After an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt the score was set at 14-20 Panthers with 3:56 remaining on the half-time clock. After a short Panthers kick that went out of bounds on the Eagles 38-yard line the Eagles controlled the ball for 10 plays moving the ball to the Panther’s 36-yard line before turning the ball over to the Panthers on a failed reverse play on a 4th and 14. The Panthers had only one down for four yards before the end of the half.
With some good defensive play by both teams the there was no scoring by either team during the 3rd quarter. Following the Eagle’s 2nd half kickoff, the Panthers held the ball for nine plays turning the ball over to the Eagles on downs on the Eagles 34-yard line. The Eagles then controlled the ball for 13 plays turning the ball back over to the Panthers on the Panther’s 25-yard line on an incomplete pass on a 4th and 3. The Panthers held onto the ball for seven more plays to end the quarter still in possession of the ball on the Eagle’s 46-yard line.
To begin the 4th quarter the Panthers continued their 7-play possession from the 3rd quarter for an additional nine plays before turning the ball over to the Eagles on downs on the Eagle’s 25-yard line. The Eagles organized a 75-yard, 11-play drive ending with a 7-yard rushing touchdown by King (2) to, again, tie the score with 5:00 left on the game clock. After a failed 2-point conversion by the Eagles the score was 20 to 20. The Eagle’s following kickoff resulted in a touchback giving the Panther’s possession of the ball on their own 20-yard line. After a gain of only three yards in 2 plays, the Panthers were able to get a receiver behind the Eagles defense to complete a long pass for a 77-yard touchdown that was followed up by a successful 2-point conversion. The new score was 28-20 Panthers. The Eagles recovered the Panther’s following on-sides kick on their own 35-yard line and from there drove to within 18 yards of the Panther’s end zone where, on a 3rd and 12, the Eagles missed a clear pass across the goal line with no defenders near. Then on the following 4th and 12, the Eagles missed another pass to an open man nearly in the end zone without defenders near. The result was a turnover on downs trailed by two Panther runs, followed by the Panther’s taking two knees to end the game with the Panthers ahead by eight points on a score of 28 to 20.
Final Game Vs Elbert Bulldogs on Saturday
With their loss to the Rangely Panthers, the Eagles now have a record of 3 wins and 2 losses in league play and 3 wins and 3 losses overall. The Eagles have a final post season, non-league game scheduled for next Saturday, November 21, 2020 against the Elbert High School Bulldogs to be played on the Bulldogs home field in Elbert, Colorado.