The Panthers are moving forward.
After last week’s 42-0 loss to Bayfield, in which they gained only 59 yards offensively, interim head coach Scott Conklin and the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers are putting it behind them and looking ahead.
This week, the Panthers (2-5) will host the Olathe Pirates (4-3) in what should be a much more competitive game.
The Panthers’ defense has been steady throughout the season, and Conklin expects the team to perform well against the Pirates’ rushers.
“They’re a power-running team and they’re going to run the ball,” he said.
Juniors Tanner Desrosiers, Coby Baer, Elisha Vaquera and Zach McDonald lead the team in tackles, and they’ll have plenty of chances to tally more against the Pirates’ run-game.
M-CHS’ offense has been the team’s Achilles heel at times.
While the Panthers aren’t making major changes, Conklin and his staff have made a few tweaks to improve the unit heading into Friday’s game.
Sticking to the script, quarterback Cordell Ridings and running back Coby Baer will be the primary ball-movers. Ridings has two rushing touchdowns on the season and Baer has five.
Sol Carver and Vaquera will likely also be worked into the mix with carries.
The point of attention will come down to the offensive line.
The Panthers have been fairly successful moving the ball in games in which the line has been able to create holes and pass-protect, and Olathe’s defense is not near the force that Bayfield provided.
Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m. in M-CHS’ final home game of the season.