Rylan Gauthier had a pretty good Friday night last week.
The first play after the Park City senior was crowned homecoming king, he returned the kickoff for 70 yards and a touchdown.
The night would see Gauthier return another kickoff for a 75-yard touchdown, in addition to two interceptions.
Gauthier, as well as the rest of the Panther team, made Park City’s homecoming picture perfect as the Panthers rolled past the Gardiner Bruins 60-6.
The Panthers stepped on the gas early in the first quarter and they never slowed down.
Sophomore Carson Baker ran in a 25-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left in the first quarter – the first of three touchdowns he would score before the scoreboard read quarter two.
Two more rushing touchdowns were added by junior Lance Courtney in the first, the second of which put Park City up 38-0 going into the second quarter.
Baker scored the only points of the second quarter on a 37-yard rushing touchdown with about 9:30 to go. This put the Panthers over the Bruins at half 46-0.
Gauthier’s kick-off return touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion proved to be the only score of the third quarter.
The first play of the final quarter saw Gardiner finally put points on the board, following a recovered Park City fumble at the Gardiner five-yard line that was returned for a 75-yard touchdown.
Gauthier capped off the night with his second kick-off return touchdown on the next play, setting the final score at 60-6.
The Panthers dominated both sides of the ball. The offense could hardly be slowed – Baker led the team with 148 yards and four touchdowns.
Of the four times the Panther offense was held on downs, two were followed up by interception by the Park City defense on the very next play.
The Panther defense finished the night with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Bruin offense was held on downs for a large percentage of their possessions.
Park City looks to add another win to their 2-1 conference record with an away win over Broadveiw-Lavina on Friday. The Pirates are 0-3 this season.
The Renegades also chalked up a conference win last Friday.
RPR ran past Roy-Winifred at home with a final score of 50-22.
Coach Derek Marsh said his team played very well. They came out playing tough from the beginning, and the boys continued to tackle and block well for the entire game.
The success will not make the Renegades complacent, with Marsh noting his team will continue to work on technique, as well as communication at the line of scrimmage.
RPR will travel to Busby to face Northern Cheyenne in a conference matchup this Friday. The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week.
The Cougars began conference play last week on the wrong foot, falling to the Broadwater Bulldogs (Townsend) 31-18.
The first half yielded only one scoring play, so going into the locker room it was a close game with Columbus down 6-0.
Broadwater came alive in the third, scoring two more touchdowns before Columbus was able to find the end zone on a four-yard Connor Goddard run. Another Bulldog touchdown rounded out the quarter and set the score at 24-6, in Broadwater’s favor, going into the last quarter.
Yet another Bulldog touchdown began the fourth, but the rest of the game belonged to the Cougars, as the offense finally found a rhythm. Columbus added two more touchdowns – the first on a 53-yard screen pass to Kenneth Smith, and the second on a 10-yard pass to Dylan Raihl. Those 12 points were not enough, though, and the Cougars came up 13 points short.
Despite the loss, the Cougars put up some big numbers.
Quarterback Eddie Foos had 370 yards passing, completing 28 of 57 attempts. On top of his two touchdowns, he also had one interception. Foos led the team in rushing with 10 of the 39 total yards.
Carson West led the receiving corps with 151 yards on 11 receptions. Smith had 80 yards receiving, and Raihl had 71 yards.
On the defensive side, Tommy Campbell led the team with three solo tackles and seven assists, followed by Michael Jacobson with one solo and nine assists, West with four solos and one assist, and Colton Getz with three solos and three assists.
“In a close game, it usually comes down to just a handful of plays that could go either way and whoever wins those plays comes out on top,” Coach Blake Hoge said. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t us this week.”
He mentioned the need to capitalize on opportunities including scoring when the Cougars are in the red zone, changing opposing turnovers into points, and getting stops when the other team is in a long yardage situation.
His team is getting better, Hoge feels, but it still has some work to do to really compete in Southern B.
Going into this Friday’s game at Jefferson (Boulder), Hoge said the team’s game plan is simple – “we’ve got to finish drives in the end zone and we’ve got to stop the run.”
If the Cougars can do that, Hoge feels like they can finally showcase their full potential.
Boulder is undefeated this season, beating Three Forks last week 47-0.
The Huskies also found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard this week.
In Harlowton last Friday, Absarokee lost to the Engineers 40-14.
Coach Chris Gunderson said that his team struggled to find a rhythm offensively, and he gave credit to the tough Harlow defensive ends.
He feels that the Huskie defensive line and linebackers are improving well, and he noted the team’s tackling is more aggressive each game.
“When we get all the pieces of this team working together, we will be difficult to stop,” Gunderson said.
He is hoping that cohesion can occur this Saturday against a very tough Tri-City team (Hobson-Moore-Judith Gap).
The game has been moved to Saturday because Tri-City’s game last week was postponed until Monday due to poor air quality.
Tri-City is tied for first in the conference with a perfect 3-0 record, and Gunderson said his team has been working hard and is looking forward to the challenge.