BAXTER SPRINGS - Baxter Springs (1-1) dropped their 2017 football home opener last Friday to the St. Mary’s-Colgan Panthers, of Pittsburg (1-1) 31-15. The Lions stayed close with the Panthers the first half going into the locker room down only 18-13.

Colgan scored on their first possession. The Panthers Jeremiah Bushe took the opening kick off from the 20 to their 31. Later after a Baxter Springs holding call, the Panthers advanced to the Lions’ 31. Quarterback Cade Simmons went to the four, and with two-and-a-half minutes gone, Simmons went in from there.

Baxter Springs tied the game 6-6 with 1:53 left in the opening period on quarterback Trey White’s three-yard keeper up he middle. The touchdown started when Blythe Ipock recovered a Panther fumble, and the Lions started at Colgan’s 34. On runs by Narciso Ortiz and Kyler Reece got the Lions to the their 42. A White sideline pass to Ortiz advanced them to the 31. White caught Reece at the five and moved to the three.

Colgan was put on their 30 yard line after Justin Schnieders’ tackle behind the line. A false Panther start moved Colgan from their 45 to the 40. After A.J. Himes quarterback sack, and another holding call, Colgan was back to their 28. The Panthers faced 25 yards for a first down. With no time left in the opening period Cal Marquardt broke loose and went 72 yards to put Colgan up 12-6.

With three minutes gone in the second quarter, Reece caught a 23-yard White pass in the end zone, and the Lions took the lead 13-12 after Julio Mojica’s PAT kick.

With nine minutes gone in the second quarter, Alex Wilson returned a punt to put Colgan up 18-13.

Domenic Bevilaqua went up the middle, and with three Lion missed tackles, went to pay dirt from 42 yards out with five minutes gone in the second half. The extra point kick was good by Luke Orender and the Panthers now led 25-13.

Later in the third quarter Colgan was pinned at their 12 after Himes’ tackle for a loss and went for a punt. A bad snap went into the end zone and Kaid McCully recorded a safety.

Colgan midway through the fourth quarter put their deciding touchdown on the scoreboard after Buche grabbed an end zone 12-yard pass from Simmons.

The Lions were held to 28 yards rushing, but White completed 11-of-21 passing attempts for 167 yards. The opposite was for the Panthers. Colgan only had 21 passing yards, but pounded out 314 yards on 43 carries.

For the Lions, Reece caught four passes for 71 yards, and Koby Stark finished with 48 yards receiving on his two catches. Himes had 10 tackles, with Ortiz getting eight.

The Lions are at home this Friday facing 2-0 Galena. The Bulldogs downed Colgan 16-0 in their opener, and defeated Frontenac 28-21 last Friday.