Mustangs fall in close game to Rangely

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photo by Mike Wilson | Wyatt Howell makes a critical catch from Jakob Buller, and scores. In a battle of the best in Northwest Colorado the Rangley Panthers defeated the West Grand Mustang 14 to 12. Amazing support from the community despite the challenges of fire and COVID.
photo by Mike Wilson | Wyatt Howell makes a critical catch from Jakob Buller, and scores. In a battle of the best in Northwest Colorado the Rangley Panthers defeated the West Grand Mustang 14 to 12. Amazing support from the community despite the challenges of fire and COVID.

by Chris Brown
WG Football, Head Coach

The West Grand Mustangs playing their second game in five days put up a heroic effort only to fall short 14-12 to the #8 ranked Rangely Panthers. On a cool, blustery day both teams provided some outstanding plays, excitement, and a last ditch effort by the Mustangs to pull off a comeback win.

The two games in the same week was caused by the school shutdown due to Covid. The 15 days lost for practice was apparent in the passing game where the lack of work with QB and receivers resulted with a lot of near misses. Still, with less than a minute a failed 2 point conversion kept this game from going into overtime. On the final kickoff with 58 seconds left Rene Dominguez with a tremendous hit, caused the ball to be fumbled which Wyatt Howell recovered. The Mustangs ended up running 8 plays advancing to the 22 but could not connect on that one big pass play to propel them to victory.

The game started very quickly for the Mustangs as a 3 play 60 yard drive resulted in a 28 yard TD run by QB Jakob Buller. The extra point run was stopped short and the home team had an early 6-0 lead. The defense then stopped the Panthers but the offense continued to make little execution mistakes
to stop any semblance of a drive.

For the game West Grand punted 6 times while the Panthers fumbled multiple times with 5 of them recovered by the Mustangs. Parker Graves recovered the first on the 5 yard line after a mishandled exchange. Also recovering fumbles
were Jesus Dominguez scooping one up and running 16 yards.

Jacob Murphy and Landon Williams also nab one each. Mustang fans will be happy and relieved to know Jacob, who was removed from the site in an ambulance, was deemed ok to leave the hospital later on his own accord.

This game had the feel of a playoff game as both teams knew with the shortened season this was a must win for that to happen. In our 11 years in 8-man this Panther team was by far the biggest in size we have seen. Both teams battled hard for control, but it was a very close exciting game. It was the Panthers first win vs the Mustangs in 8man. We wish them well in their remaining games.

Up next for the team will be a much needed “normal” week of practice with a Saturday game in Blackhawk against a good 2-1 Gilpin County team. Like all of Grand County, we welcomed the big snow storm.