If only the Maxwell varsity football team could be dispatched to smother the wildfires of Northern California…
The Panthers smote the visiting Foresthill Wildfires on 17 plays for negative yardage en route to Friday night’s 28-6 victory.
Timmy Kromis and Jake Sutton led the defense with seven tackles and two quarterback sacks, respectively, and the team picked off three Foresthill passes to control the football for most of the night.
“The defense played very well,” Panthers coach Russ Jones said. “Foresthill is much improved (from last year), but we were able to break down their film, and our players followed through with the game plan.”
Cody Pearson, Tony Ambriz, and Ulises Rolon nabbed interceptions while teammates Nick Wilson and Noe Guerrero recorded sacks.
Ambriz was lethal on both sides of the ball, as he brought down five ball carriers and led the receiving corps with six catches for 153 yards.
Maxwell drew blood late in the first quarter, as Rolon launched a 45-yard touchdown pass to Ambriz on the first play of the Panthers’ third drive. Sutton’s point-after kick gave the Panthers a 7-0 advantage.
“Ulises (Rolon) made good decisions with the football and gave us several chances to score,” Jones said.
Rolon, who suffered a mild concussion in the season opener, has rebounded to throw five touchdown passes in a two-week span. The Panthers filled their bye last week with a 43-8 road victory in Clarksburg against Delta.
Rolon posted season bests in completions (12) and passing yards (235) in Week Three against Foresthill, connecting for two more touchdowns in the third quarter.
Ambriz’s interception and a 36-yard catch led to Greg Rangel’s 22-yard scoring haul, giving Maxwell a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter, and hefty ground gains by Rudy Gutierrez set up a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ambriz a few drives later.
Gutierrez, who carried the football 20 times to rack up 112 rushing yards, wrapped up Maxwell’s scoring with a 3-yard dive late in the game.
The Wildfire ball carriers struggled to get past the line of scrimmage, rushing 20 times for -81 yards, but averted a shutout with a successful fourth-quarter air attack. Twenty-plus yard completions from quarterback Kaiden Pennington to Nick Lechner and Cole Moore led to a 3-yard toss to Trace Hendrickson in the end zone.
Kromis finished with three catches for 56 yards to aid the Panthers offense while teammates Nick Azevedo (four tackles) and Wade Wycoff (three tackles) bolstered the defense.
Foresthill (1-2) travels to Biggs on Sept. 15 while the Panthers (2-1) host Fall River. ■