“The line up front did a great job blocking tonight and Josh (Cragoe) did an awesome job of throwing the football,” said junior Dewey Schwahn, who finished with almost 100 receiving yards in the contest. “This was totally them. It wasn’t …
Wet weather, Worland can’t stop No. 3 Powell
Dewey Schwahn hauled in three touchdown passes while Keithen Schwahn returned a kickoff for a touchdown as third-ranked Powell bounced back from its first loss of the season for a 36-10 victory over Worland. The win lifts the Panthers to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in 3A West conference play.
“The line up front did a great job blocking tonight and Josh (Cragoe) did an awesome job of throwing the football,” said junior Dewey Schwahn, who finished with almost 100 receiving yards in the contest. “This was totally them. It wasn’t me.”
Nevertheless, it was Schwahn who put the Panthers on the board first as he pulled down a touchdown pass while standing virtually alone on the right side of the end zone. After the Warriors countered with a field goal, the Panthers added a score just before halftime on a 4-yard Josh Cragoe run to carry a two-score lead into intermission.
The Panthers really kicked things into high gear in the third quarter. Cragoe and Schwahn combined forces on a pair of third quarter scores that threatened to transform the game into a runaway.
The Warriors strung together a lengthy scoring drive that culminated in an early fourth-quarter touchdown, trimming the scoreboard gap to 29-10. The touchdown also represented the first end zone trip recorded against the Panthers’ defensive unit in more than 12 quarters of football.
Any momentum gains and hopes for a late-game rally among Warrior faithful who made the rain-soaked trek from the southern Big Horn Basin were short lived, however. On the ensuing kickoff, Worland attempted an onside kick. The ball bounced right into the arms of Keithen Schwahn, who had only an arm tackle to avoid before running through 50 yards of open field for the game’s final score.
The Panthers managed one other late-game drive deep into Warrior territory, but saw the trip come up about 20 yards shy of paydirt due to a fumble.
“We played with better focus tonight,” Panther coach Jim Stringer told his team after the game. “We weren’t perfect, but we executed better this week.”
In some facets of the game, the Panthers were pretty close to perfection, however. Cragoe finished the night 12-for-14 in the passing department for 242 yards. The Panthers’ senior signal caller, who began the night as Wyoming’s Class 3A leader in all-purpose yardage per game, padded his stats with 300 yards of offense in the contest, 77 more than his average.
The Panthers’ homecoming effort also received a pair of monster games on the defensive side of the football.
Sophomore Brendon Phister was a constant thorn in the Warriors’ side. Phister finished the night with a game-high 27 defensive points after registering seven solo tackles and 13 assisted stops of Worland ball carriers. Junior Vince Sleep, who started the night No. 10 on Class 3A’s defensive points chart for the season, took steps to climb the ladder with seven solo stops and six assisted tackles.
Only one other Panther defender finished in double figures on the defensive point chart as the team spread the workload around evenly behind Phister and Sleep.
The victory sets the stage for this Friday’s Park County rivalry game against Cody (1-5 overall, 1-2 conference). The game will take on a deeper significance by virtue of being the last regular season game played at Panther Stadium.
Depending on what happens over the final two weeks of the season, the Panthers could still host a home playoff contest at their traditional stadium. Beginning next year, all games will move to the new field, currently in its final stages of construction northeast of Powell High School.