Nick Thompson

Panthers head football coach Nick Thompson huddles with his offense during a game last spring.

Prairie City’s football made a good showing Saturday at the jamboree game in Echo.

Nick Thompson, Panthers head coach, said in addition to Echo, the squad faced teams from Huntington, Joseph and Wasco.

In the jamboree format, Thompson said each team gets about 10 plays on offense or defense against each opponent.

Though it was less game time than a full quarter, Thompson said it was an excellent opportunity to see how they would match up against the rest of the league this season.

Thompson said, by watching the film from the contest and talking to spectators, he believes the High Desert League should be competitive this year, which, he said, is a “good thing.”

“Rather than having one really dominant team or two dominant teams, I think it’s going to be up for grabs,” he said. “I’m excited about that.”

Thompson said the Panther defense did not allow Echo to get a first down to kick off the jamboree.

He said offensive highlights included two rushing touchdowns from junior Cole Teel. One of Teel’s touchdowns was a 50-yard rush, Thompson said.

He said sophomore Lane Clark, a backup running back, stepped up and showed “good things” as well.

“He’s never played running back and showed some really good things,” Thompson said.

Overall, Thompson said Clark rushed for 50 yards and got an interception during the defensive series against Huntington.

“He did really well,” Thompson said. “I was impressed.”

Thompson said Wes Voigt, who stepped up as quarterback as a freshman, connected with senior John Titus for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

Thompson said sophomore guard Cody Reagan had two receptions and played well on the offensive and defensive lines. He said Reagan caused pressure on defense and split a sack with junior Eli Wright, and then got another one by himself.

Thompson said Tucker Wright, who played linebacker, stepped up defensively as well and got an interception.

Overall, Thompson said the Panthers are playing well as a team. At the same time, he said, they have improvements to make.

He said the team has new additions from Grant Union with brothers Eli and Tucker Wright, and Trey Brown.

Thompson said the Panthers are more mature this season with an eagerness to learn.

He said he talked to a couple of the players on the bus ride home Saturday about wanting to see their teammates succeed as much or more than they want to succeed themselves.

That, Thompson said, “is the mindset of a successful team.”

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Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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