Prairie City High School’s varsity football team lost their home opener Friday, 26-12, to Wheeler County.
The Panthers, fresh off a 54-0 win over Dayville/Monument last week, kept the game close throughout.
In the first quarter, Prairie City junior running back Cole Teel put the Panthers on the board with a touchdown. However, the Rattlers blocked a field goal attempt and answered back with a touchdown on the next possession.
The Panthers’ defense held Wheeler’s offense scoreless for the rest of the first quarter, but the Rattlers put another touchdown on the board before halftime.
Then, with a little less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, Prairie City senior John Titus scored a touchdown to put the Panthers within one point of the Rattlers.
Wheeler was able to find a moderate offensive rhythm, scoring two more times in the third quarter, but the Panthers did not go down without a fight.
The Panthers’ defense was relentless. Midway into the fourth quarter, junior Doyal Lawrence got an interception while Trey Brown picked up a sack.
Thompson said after the game that the Rattlers put a lot of pressure on Prairie City’s offense which in turn “caused a few issues.” However, he said the offensive line played well.
“That was varsity football,” he said.
Teel said, while the team did not play “great,” they played “hard.”
“We did not run out of energy, and we kept playing the whole way,” he said.
Thompson said he thought both Teel and sophomore quarterback Wes Voigt played well for the Panthers.
According to Thompson, Voigt, who shared quarterback duties last season, was in what was just his fourth high school game Friday.
“He’s a competitor, a ball hawk,” Thompson said. “He just has a way of being around the ball, and these guys rally around him. He’s the leader of our team as a sophomore.”
Thompson said he is impressed with the whole team, and Friday’s game was valuable in that the team has a better read on where they match up in the league.
“Football’s a funny game,” he said. “You win some. You lose some. But we’ll be ready next week.”