Rylan Gauthier, defense have huge game in Panther victory over Harlowton

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer
A gang of Panther defenders attempt to strip the ball from Harlowton’s quarterback. The defense held the Engineers scoreless in the second half, and came up huge on a clutch red zone stop with 0:36 left in the game.
A gang of Panther defenders attempt to strip the ball from Harlowton’s quarterback. The defense held the Engineers scoreless in the second half, and came up huge on a clutch red zone stop with 0:36 left in the game.
Senior End Rylan Gauthier streaks to the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown reception during the Panthers 20-12 home victory against Harlowton on Friday evening. Gauthier had two interceptions to go along with two TD receptions.
Senior End Rylan Gauthier streaks to the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown reception during the Panthers 20-12 home victory against Harlowton on Friday evening. Gauthier had two interceptions to go along with two TD receptions.

Panther senior end and defensive back, Rylan Gauthier, had two interceptions and two touchdowns in Park City’s 20-12 victory at home on Friday.
Park City struck first on a 5-yard TD pass from Garrett McMillen to Rylan Gauthier with 8:32 left in the first quarter. The 2-point conversion failed and the Panthers took the 6-0 lead.
Harlowton scored on a fourth-and-3 run by Kane Lawson and the conversion was stopped resulting in a 6-6 tie that remained at the end of the first quarter.
At 11:28 in the second, the Panthers scored on a short Carson Baker run to reclaim the lead 12-6.
Harlo and Park City traded punts on the next two series before the Panther defense forced an Engineer fumble, recovered by linebacker Eli Larsen.
On the next play, McMillen connected on a 24-yard TD pass to Gauthier, who ran in the 2-point conversion to give Park City a 20-6 lead with 6:23 left in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Harlo’s Gunnar Eoff broke free for a 75-yard return and the score. A Panther stop left the score 20-12 at 6:08.
Neither team was able to score the rest of the first half.
Harlo’s first possession of the second half ended with a swarming Panther defensive stop on fourth-and-2.
Park City fumbled their second snap of the game on second down and turned the ball over on downs.
With 8:24 left in the third, on third-and-12, Gauthier picked off an Engineer pass giving the Panthers excellent field position, but the offense couldn’t push the ball in, throwing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-6 from the Engineer nine.
Harlo’s next possession resulted in a punt and after Seth Popp picked up a first down on a nice 20-yard run, the Panthers fumbled the next play, resulting in a turnover with 0:59 left in the third.
The Engineers got a first down to start the fourth quarter then the Panther defense had a sack and a stop on a run. On third-and-15, Harlo chucked the ball down field but Gauthier cut off the pass and snagged his second interception of the game, but the offense was unable to move the ball and the Panthers were forced to punt.
The defense stepped up once again, making two good run stops then recovering a fumble on third-and-long.
Park City’s offense stalled on the next possession and they turned the ball over with a fumble on third-and-8.
Harlo turned the ball over on downs after three big run stops and an incomplete pass, but Park City had yet another fumble and Harlo got the ball back with 1:35 left in the game, down 20-12.
On a second-and-6 pass, Gauthier nearly snagged his third interception of the game but couldn’t hang on, bringing up third-and-6 with 0:56 left in the game. The Panther defense swarmed the Engineers running back setting up the biggest play of the game; fourth-and-6 with 0:36 left.
The Park City defense disrupted the rollout and forced a fumble that Harlo recovered, turning the ball over on downs and ending the game. Park City took a knee and celebrated the home victory as the final seconds ticked off.
Park City’s homecoming game against Gardiner kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m., with the parade starting in Park City at 2:30 p.m.

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