On the cool autumn Friday evening, Maxwell High School welcomed alumni for the annual homecoming festivities as the varsity football team fell to the visiting Chester Volcanoes, 42-8.
The Volcanoes remained unbeaten in Mountain Valley League action, solidifying their position atop the standings at 4-0 with one game remaining. They launched a 400-yard ground assault led by Tony Rogers, who rushed for four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Panthers quarterback Ulises Rolon scrambled for 30 of Maxwell’s 40 team rushing yards. The team’s leading rusher, Rudy Gutierrez, saw limited duty in the first half and was ultimately sidelined with an ankle injury. Senior lineman Jake Sutton, the 2017 Homecoming King, also suffered a mild concussion to compound Maxwell’s injury woes.
Gerardo “Tony” Ambriz recovered a fumble in the second quarter, but the Panthers were unable to gain any offensive traction. That drive ended in a punt, and Rolon threw a pair of potential touchdown passes on the opening drive that fell incomplete in the end zone.
Chester mounted a 20-0 lead at halftime, and the Panthers were unable to score until the fourth quarter.
Rolon completed a pair of 30-yard passes to sophomore call-up Trent Hendrix, then he found Hendrix again on an 18-yard route to the end zone. Greg Rangel snagged another pass from Rolon to tack on a two-point conversion.
Wade Wycoff, Angel Velazquez, Nick Azevedo, Timmy Kromis, and Rolon led the Panther defense with five tackles apiece.
Rolon finished with 15 completions in 32 air strikes, spanning 212 yards. Ambriz, Rangel, and Cody Pearson caught four passes each.
Chester quarterback Sawyer Durkin was 4-for-5 in the air with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Owen Delacour. Delacour also rushed for a score following teammate Colton Dreith’s interception in the second quarter.
Maxwell’s cheerleading squad performed an arresting “Cops and Robbers” routine during halftime, complete with an on-the-field “police chase,” and Bailey Wilson was crowned Homecoming Queen before the game.
After the game, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club raised money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month by releasing pink balloons purchased by local donors.
The Panthers (1-3 MVL, 3-6) will conclude league play in Quincy this Friday at Feather River College.■