Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. In the first home game of the season, the Nederland High School Panthers lost 19-50, a significant loss, but a hard-played defensive game resulting in some hard-learned lessons that will stick with the players for the rest of the season.
The Panthers came out nervous against the Miami-Yoder Buffalos, making jumpy mistakes at the line of scrimmage, giving away many yards. Ned took the kickoff and moved the ball to the 50-yard line where they hit a wall and turned the ball over to Miami on their own 48. The result was a Buffalo touchdown. Panther Taylor Hoffman stopped the conversion and the score was 6-0, Miami.
Nederland takes the kickoff back to their own 48, but then fumbles the ball and Miami recovers it. Two plays later, Miami fumbles and Panther Rain Larrabee scoops up the ball. After one play, the ball was intercepted by the Buffaloes and then they made a drive from the 34 to first and goal and the ultimate touchdown. Once again, the Nederland defense stopped the point after touchdown and the score was 12-0.
On Ned’s next possession, quarterback Damon Vigil connects with Taylor Hoffman to put the Panthers on Miami’s 23 and a pass to Adler Mueller in the end zone puts Ned on the scoreboard. Chris Francis kicked the extra point and the Panthers narrowed the gap, 12-7.
In the second quarter, Miami capitalized on a couple of Ned mistakes and scored again. The Panthers held off the extra point attempt and the score was 18-7.
A touchdown pass and a conversion put Miami way out front with a 26-7 score. A long Miami drive brings the Buffalos to a fourth and goal situation. They get hit with a delay of game and are moved back, giving the Panthers some wiggle room. The Panthers defense holds strong and the third quarter begins with a drive from their own territory and ends with a touchdown pass from Vigil to Hoffman for a 34 -13. score.
Vigil demonstrates what he can do once he settles down and once his receivers are in their slots, but the Buffalos manage to score again.
The fourth quarter begins with a 42-13 score and the Panthers in Miami territory. Vigil passes to Mueller and then to Taylor who grabs the touchdown. The score is 42-19.
The Panthers defense was unable to keep the Buffalos from pushing for a long drive and touchdown before the end of the game which ended with a score of 50-19.
Ned quarterback Damon Vigil said, “Throwing the ball is finally working for us. We showed a lot of improvement.”
Nederland head coach Beth Buglione says, “We were flat to start with. The kids were nervous and we were shorthanded which means they play in places they aren’t used to. But they are growing better and getting to know each other and what to expect.
Damon Vigil was named the Player of the Game.
Nederland’s Friday night game against West Grand has been cancelled. The next home game will be Nederland’s Homecoming game against Rocky Mountain Lutheran on Saturday, September 23.
Passing: Damon Vigil, 9/26 for 220 yards; Taylor Hoffman, 3/8 for 57 yards and 1 touchdown.
Rushing: Elijah Volk, 1 carry for 3 yards; Aubrey Charleston, 19 carries for 37 yards; Adler Mueller, 10 carries for 29 yards; Taylor Hoffman, 13 carries for 70 yards
Receiving: Aubrey Charleston, 3 receptions for 67 yards; Taylor Hoffman, 6 receptions for 157 yards and 3 touchdowns
Tackles: Charleston, 12 solos; Rain Larrabee, 15 solos, 1 assist; Brandon Schreiber, 7 solos; Adler Mueller, 13 solos, 1 assist; Chris Francis, 18 solos, 1 assist; Damon Vigil, 3 solos; Ian Dunham, 2 solos; Taylor Hoffman, 10 solos, 1 assist; Noah Sineni, 2 solos; Cooper Nielson, 5 solos.
Aubrey Charleston made one sack
Rain Larrabee made 1 fumble recovery, Taylor Hoffman made 3 interceptions.
Chris Francis made 8 kickoffs for a total of 273 yards.
Damon Vigil kicked 14 punts for 409 yards
Aubrey Charleston returned 8 kickoffs for 113 yards; Brandon Schreiber returned 1 kickoff for 16 yards and Taylor Hoffman returned 4 kickoffs for 19 yards.
(Originally published in the September 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)