Pomona Panthers played host to the Ralston Valley Mustangs Friday night October 23rd at the NAAC Stadium in West Arvada and won 13-6.
Ralston Valley was coming off two great back-to-back shut outs against Lakewood and Bear Creek with a score of 41-0 for each game. Ralston Valley Mustangs came into Friday night’s game being the favorite to come out on top but things did not go their way.
Before the start of Friday night’s game, the fans stopped to pay respect and honor all the Varsity Seniors who have made Pomona Panthers the team they are. As each senior was introduced and walked onto the field with their parents, the rest of the team and fans cheered loudly and some even shed tears as this was their last home game as a Pomona Panther.
Pomona Panthers won the opening toss and opted to defer and gave Ralston Valley Mustangs the ball first. This worked as the Panther’s defense shut down the Mustangs and they had to punt. Who else but Max Burgh is back to receive the punt. Max Burgh did what Max Burgh does best. Max received the ball and had 52 yards to go for a touchdown. Max broke four tackles and was gone. Just like that, Pomona Panthers were on the board. The Ralston Valley Mustangs were stunned. After going eight quarters without the opponent scoring, Pomona Panthers were on the board in the first four minutes of the game. This is where Pomona Panthers stayed the rest of the night. With the PAT good, both defenses started to make a stance and the first quarter came to an end with a score of 7-0 and the Pomona Panthers are making a strong statement by shutting down the team that won back-to-back shut outs.
Mid way through the second quarter, the Ralston Valley Mustangs were on the scoreboard with a field goal. The Mustangs were finally moving the football and got down inside the Pomona Panthers end. But once again, Pomona’s defense came on strong inside the 10 yard line. They held the Mustangs to only 3 points and the Panthers went into the locker room at halftime leading 7-3.
If the Ralston Valley Mustangs are going to put up an offense, hopefully at halftime they discussed the scrum style of play they ran. With the exception of 4 pass plays, the only play ran by the offense was a handoff and the offense would gather around the runner and help push them down the field. Pomona defense found a way around this and Ralston Valley coach Matt Lloyd needs to realize that one play does not make an offense.
The only other score for the Pomona Panthers came in the third quarter when quarterback Ryan Marquez scored on a 4 yard run. The PAT was blocked and there was a glimmer of hope for the Ralston Valley Mustangs. But just as the first half showed the strength of the defenses and the ball trading teams, the third quarter showed not much from both offenses. Just as the offense would begin to move the ball, the defense would dig in deeper, flex their muscles and the drive would be over. The third quarter came to an end and Pomona was on top by a score of 13-3.
With the fourth quarter showing the Mustangs great success of the last two games starting to dwindle the only thing they could conquer was another field goal. The fourth quarter also showed the Pomona Panthers offense being penalize for a personal foul after the play was over. With emotions running high, Max Burgh was punched while under the pile. Max took a swing at a defensive player once he was up. This also caused the emotions of the Pomona bench and they were penalized as well. Ralston Valley’s bench started to act as if this game was all theirs. Pomona was stopped deep in their own end and had to punt. Ralston Valley maybe had hopes of capturing the emotions and running away with the game. Even the players started to mock the Pomona Panthers and chant this game is ours. The only score the Mustangs could capture was the earlier field goal and unlike the last two games, Ralston Valley had played a much tougher team and came out on the losing end.
As the regular season comes to an end next Friday, October 30th with Pomona Panthers taking on Chatfield at the Jeffco Stadium and Ralston Valley Mustangs travel to Mullen, the playoff picture will be announced later and it looks to be an exciting finish for all the high school teams.