BLANCA— As the storms rolled in the Panthers coasted to a 61-6 victory over the Cheraw Wolverines.
When last these teams met things weren’t all that different but had drastically different results. Cheraw was in the midst of a winless season and Sierra Grande was rocking to a 3-0 record. Sierra Grande went into Cheraw and watched the Wolverines who had been averaging 17 points per game post more than double that as Cheraw edged Sierra Grande 40-39. Cheraw’s victory over Sierra Grande would be their only of the season.
This year, Sierra Grande is midway through their schedule and has been moving with a full head of steam having won each game by an average 44 points. Sierra Grande covered that average in the first half against Cheraw.
An interception from senior Arthur Rodriguez that spanned over 30 yards and struck pay dirt closed out the half with the Panthers up 44-0, one point shy of the mercy rule.
Then with under a minute to go in the third quarter Ryan Nunez of Cheraw rumbled in from a yard out to end the shut out. Sierra Grande answered back a quarter later when senior Dakota Aragon broke loose and darted 65 yards to another Panther score putting them up 51-6.
For the remainder of the fourth quarter the clock stayed rolling as Sierra Grande was up by 45. Sierra Grande still found time in those final minutes to squeeze in two more scoring possessions.
A 5-yard connection from Rodriguez to Ambrosio Mondragon and a field goal from Mario Garcia as time expired. Sierra Grande has sidestepped a game that tripped them up last year but they still have two big dates circled on the calendar ahead, tenth ranked La Veta on Oct. 6 and ninth ranked Cotopaxi on Oct. 20. Next Friday Sierra Grande goes down south to visit Antonito on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.
Caption: Emilio Dehererra (left) and Richie Atencio (right) combine to take down Cheraw's Ryan Nunez (33). The Panther defense only allowed a touchdown after giving up 40 points to the Wolverines in their last meeting. Courier photo by Stephen Jiron