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Weather detours Delta gridiron play

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Photo by Wayne Crick Delta defensive end Gauge Lockhart (7) applies pressure as Rifle quarterback Holden Stutsman prepares to throw the football in a 2A WSL showdown between the Panthers and Bears last Friday. Rifle's ground game took over in the second

Delta's shot at knocking off a perennial power football team went by the wayside in the second half of a penalty-plagued and miscue-riddled contest. Mother Nature played the biggest part in the game with a steady downpour for the first half of play.

Rifle had the ball to start the game but stalled out to give the Panthers their first possession in Bears' territory.

Several passing plays kept Rifle off guard as the Panthers connected on strikes to Skyler Kraai, Nate Workman and Hunter Hughes. A finger-tip catch by Kraai in the long drive gave Delta a first down at Rifle's 8-yard line. Nolan Bynum finished the drive with a 6-yard pass to Kraai for the game's first score. Felipe Bedoy booted the extra point to give the Panthers their only lead of the game.

A bruising ground game was Rifle's answer to the rain and was enough to keep the Panthers on their heels the rest of the way.

A score just before halftime seemed to sap Delta's resolve and opened the doors to Tanner Vines and the Bears offense for a string of 23 unanswered points and a 34-7 win for Rifle.

The Bears, 6-0 overall and 2-0 in 2A WSL play, keep Rifle in a tie for the league lead with Basalt with identical records matching Rifle. Delta slipped to 4-2 and 1-1 on the season and sits in third place.

Delta will test the Longhorns this Friday with a road trip to Basalt and a starting time of 7 p.m.

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