Panthers winning streak continues

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer

The Panthers recovered from a first-half deficit to down the Denton/Stanford/Geyser Bearcats 54-34 on a wet and cool Friday evening that saw three players account for eight touchdowns.
Coach Mark Rathbun called it a good team win, saying “we had to overcome some early adversity.”
The Bearcats got off to a fast start, returning the opening kickoff 65 yards for the score to take the lead. With 5:49 left in the first they scored again on a 7-yard pass and converted on the 2-point conversion to take the 14-0 lead.
Rylan Gauthier got the Panthers on the board with an 8-yard TD reception from Connor McNeil with 1:53 left in the first. The extra point was no good and the score remained 6-14 after one.
On the first play of the second quarter, McNeil kept the ball and streaked 69 yards to the end zone. The pass was good on the 2-point conversion and the game was tied 14-14.
DGS scored on their next series with a 36-yard TD pass and 2-point conversion, then Carson Baker ran it in from the 7. The missed conversion left the score at 20-22 going into the half.
Rathbun cited “poor special teams play and several first half turnovers” as contributors to their deficit. He said they made some halftime adjustments and “took care of the ball much better the second half.”
He credited the defense with “stepping up,” as well.
It didn’t hurt to have the dynamic duo of Baker and Gauthier scoring five second half touchdowns between them to seal the victory.
Gauthier scored on a pass reception, kickoff return and interception return.
After the Bearcats tied the game at 28 with 2:46 left in the third, Gauthier took the kickoff 66 yards for the score and picked off DGC on their next series for a 79-yard interception return, giving the Panthers the lead for good. Baker added 2 and 12-yard TD runs in the fourth quarter and Park City held on for their fourth win in a row.
They travel to Gallatin Gateway to play a 4-1 Lone Peak on Saturday. The Panthers and Big Horns only loss for the season went to the 5-0 Tri-City Titans. Both teams are tied for second in the Southern C League along with Joliet and Ennis.
Rathbun is looking forward to the game, calling it “a great test for us.”

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