GRANBY – Middle Park High School’s homecoming game on Thursday, Oct. 10, started off chilly and with a bit of snow in the air as the Panthers prepared to take on the Academy Wildcats.
The offenses of the Wildcats and the Panthers were unable to score on their first drives in the first quarter as each teams’ defense proved hard to crack. With seven minutes to go in the first quarter the game was still scoreless as both defenses fought hard to keep points off the board. With 6:48 to go in the first quarter the Wildcats were driving deep in Middle Park territory when the Panthers defense sacked the Wildcats quarterback on fourth down and took over at the 25-yard line.
It looked like the second quarter would be scoreless as well until, with 1:45 left, the Wildcats worked their way into field goal range and Academy scored the first points of the game with a field goal to go up 3-0.
The Academy would increase their lead right before halftime as the Wildcats scored a touchdown to increase their lead to 9-0. Bright said during the half to them “Our level of energy is there, we are playing at the right level. We just need to clean a few things up.”
During halftime the homecoming court was announced by the Middle Park Student Council. The court included seniors Jenna Curran, Erin O’Connor, Jace Linke and Adam Visconti; juniors Will Colley and Mary Acord; sophomores Brad Lutz and Callie Hale; and freshmen Brianna Barnett and Kadin Cathey.
The Panthers received the ball to open the second half, but went three and out to quickly give the ball back to Academy.
With seven seconds to go in the third quarter Panther fans erupted as senior running back Adam Visconti scored the Panthers’ first points of the game with a touchdown run. With the extra point good, the Panthers only trailed Academy 9-7. The celebrating was short-lived as the Wildcats ran the kickoff back for a touchdown to start the fourth quarter. The Wildcats converted on the two-point conversion to increase their lead to 17-7.
The Panthers fought bravely down to the last second as they tried to score.
The Panthers last game of the season will be against Pinnacle on Oct. 26 and Coach Bright said after the game, “We got our three words: ‘fight, finish, faith,’ and we’re gonna’ finish strong I know that, and we’re gonna’ come out and fight.”