Tyler Duarte (8) tucks and runs during Alamosa's 15-18 loss to the Delta Panthers on Friday night. (Photo courtesy Aaron Parrill)
ALAMOSA– Powered through five games with a balanced offense and stingy defense, Alamosa struggled on both sides of the ball at times last night while losing a heart-breaking Intermountain League game against visiting Delta on a field goal in the waning seconds, 18-15.
The Moose couldn’t produce even 100 yards of offense in the first half while trailing 6-0 going into intermission after two second quarter fumbles while falling to 4-2 on the season to the now 2-4 Panthers. Alamosa will travel to Gunnison next Friday, an IML foe that was trounced by Pagosa Springs, 56-7, Friday.
Injuries and a few untimely penalties cursed the Mean Moose as seniors Reis Martinez and Jaden Gurule were lost during the course of the tilt, and some decisions by the referees didn’t seem to go in the host’s favor. The future status of the injured Maroons was not known at press time.
Alamosa took its only lead of the game with 8:52 left in the third quarter on a John Lujan to Kolten Hillis pass from 41 yards out as senior Katie Gallegos nailed the PAT kick, 7-6.
Delta regained the lead just over a minute of clock time later when quarterback Drake Horne scored on a seven-yard keeper after a 70-yard scamper by Panther offensive stalwart Star who finished the night with more than 150 yards. The visitors made it 15-7 at the 4:23 mark of the third stanza on a 35-yard field goal with a blustery wind that was a factor all night.
The Moose battled back with just over four minutes left when senior Angelo Ramirez stepped in as quarterback and nailed Chad Jackson with a 73-yard TD strike, the latter outsprinting the Panther defense to paydirt. Ramirez smashed over the end zone on a QB keeper to knot it at 15-15 with 4:10 to play.
Delta’s Horne and Star continued to pound the ball on their ensuing drive and in spite of some good red zone defense by the Moose, the Panthers snuck a 29-yard field goal narrowly past the right upright with just over six seconds remaining for the 18-15 final.
Three final IML matches with Gunnison and Pagosa Springs on the road, and undefeated Bayfield at home, will determine the post-season hopes of the Mean Moose