By Nolberto Waddell
Copper Basin News
Since going to eight man football, the Superior Panther teams have had their way against the Hayden Lobos and Friday’s homecoming game continued that trend.
The Lobos won the opening coin toss, lined up to receive, only to lose the football on an onside kick at the Hayden 45 yard line. On the next play, after showing a run and sucking in the Lobo defense, the runner stopped and threw a 20 yard pass to a lone receiver left uncovered taking the football over the goal line with nobody near him. The two point run was good giving the Panthers a 0 to 8 lead before a stunned Lobo crowd at 11:48 of the first quarter. Another onside kick, this time covered by the Lobos, and no offense by the Lobos gave the ball back to the Panthers. Another blown pass coverage resulted in another long touchdown pass of 46 yards to give Superior a 0 to 14 score at 8:23 of the period. With Superior focusing on every Aaron Lagunas move, Ezekiel Bolaterz was called on and he responded taking the Lobos for a touchdown at 5:22 of the period to cut the Superior lead to 6 to 14. It would be a close as the Lobos would get to Superior on the scoreboard. The Panthers scored once more to take a 6 to 20 lead after a quarter of play.
The onslaught was on! A 61 yard pass, a 5 yard pass and a 6 yard pass by the Panther offense combined by a Lobo offense that could not get untracked led to a huge Panther lead at the halftime break 6 to 42.
After the long halftime break to present the Lobo homecoming royalty and the work of all the classes in the homecoming float competition, the Superior attack continued assisted in part by poor tackling of the Lobo defense. The Lobos kick off, drove to the 47 yard line and from their ran it in, assisted by the weak tackling, for the touchdown and now a running clock with the 6 to 50 score at 11:06 of the third quarter. The Lobos did not give up. Lagunas took the ensuing kickoff at the 15 yard line for an apparent 85 yard touchdown return only to have in nullified on an illegal hit penalty. With the football at the 42 yard line, Boltarez took the handoff and bulled his way for a 58 yard touchdown. Jacob Manriquez scored the two points to cut the lead to 14 to 50 at 8:25 of the third and fighting the running clock. Hayden tried an onside kick; Superior recovered and with good field position soon scored again on a 8 yard pass for the final 14 to 58 score as the officials kept the clock going through the fourth quarter.
The game was not a good showing by the Lobo team. The Lobo defense gave up 478 total yards on 45 plays resulting in eight touchdowns and five good two point plays. Francisco Moreno led Lobo tackling with nine tackles followed six tackles by Aaron Lagunas and five from Manny Armenta. Santiago Pina, Robert Sandoval, and Jacob Manriquez each had four tackles. Boltarez recorded two tackles and Ryan Donovan had three. Getting one tackle apiece were Brandon Cruz, Chris Rabago and Gabriel Marical who also recovered a fumble.
It only gets harder the next three games. The Lobos travel to Ft. Thomas this coming Friday to take on the Apaches with a 7 p.m. kick-off and will finish up the season with Duncan and the highly ranked Pima in the next two weeks.