Park City Panthers season ends

Connor Waddingham
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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The Park City Panthers sea- son has finally came to an end. Their senior-heavy squad fell just two games short of the 8-Man State championship game. After a close win in the first round against the Mission Bulldogs, Park City played another close game this past weekend. The Panthers faced off with the Fort Benton Longhorns. Park City found themselves leading after the first quarter, but lost their lead in the second quarter and were unable to regain it. The Panthers allowed 26 points in the second quarter, and scored 22 points in the fourth. The late surge of points in the final period of the game was not enough to put up a comeback, and the Panthers wound up losing 33-30.

Nov. 9

Park City 30, Fort Benton 33

1 2 3 4 — F PC 8 0 0 22— 30 FB 7 260 0 — 33

Fort Benton struck first in this game. They scored on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Garett Diekhans to receiver Jace Thompson. Shortly after this opening score, the Panthers got on the scoreboard as well. Garrett Zimdars broke off a 40-yard run and caught the successful two-point conversion to give Park City a one-point advantage. The Panthers led 8-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter is when the Longhorns really took over this game. Their quarterback, Diekhans, threw for three more touchdown passes in this quarter, including two touchdownscoring passes to leading WR Thompson for 31 and 37 yards. Thompson had three touchdowns in the quarter, including a separate 3-yard rushing score. The Fort Benton Longhorns went into the locker room at halftime with a 33-8 lead.

The third quarter was a defensive battle, as neither team was able to score. Down by four possessions going into the fourth quarter, the Panthers had a lot of work to do to complete the comeback.

Early in the fourth quarter, quarterback Carson Baker drove his team down all the way down to the one-yard line. Baker scored the easy, one-yard touchdown to cut into the Longhorns’ lead.

Later in the quarter, Garrett Zimdars scored his second touchdown of the game, coming courtesy of Baker. The 12-yard touchdown was successful, but the two-point conversion was not. The Panthers then trailed just 33-22.

The final touchdown of the Panthers’ 2019 season was a 20-yard touchdown pass from Baker to Tucker Johnstone.

The Panthers converted the two-point attempt to cut the game to just 33-30, but were unable to score again. Fort Benton scored just one more touchdown than the Panthers, and it was enough to move onto the next round. The final score of this close contest was 33-30, Fort Benton.

The Panthers season has now came to an end. The 11 seniors on the team this season have now played their final games as a Panther and will move on in their academic and athletic careers. Players such as Austin Dennis, Garrett McMillen and Carson Baker will not be on the team next season. Young playmakers such as Tucker Johnstone and Garrett Zimdars will be back on the Panthers squad next year, and will look to lead their team even further into the playoffs.

Congrats to the Park City Panthers for all they have accomplished this season. The Panthers playoff victory before this unfortunate loss was their first playoff victory since 2006, so the Panthers’ football program is headed in the right direction under head coach Mark Rathbun.

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