BOULDER — The emotions got the better of senior Max McLoughlin.
The Panthers wide receiver has poured his heart and soul into the program and wanted nothing more than to be rewarded with a win on Friday night.
In a battle of winless teams at Recht Field, it was visiting Overland that made the most of basically two big plays to earn win No. 1, 17-13, over the Panthers in the newly formed Mount Massive League.
"This one stings," said McLaughlin, who wasn't afraid to hide the tears on his face.
Boulder drops to 0-7 overall and 0-2 in league play. The Trailblazers go to 1-6 overall and 1-1 in the Massive.
The Panthers trailed 17-7 at the half and it stayed that way through the third quarter and into the fourth.
Boulder finally caught the break it was looking for midway though the final stanza. Sam Lowery, who had a magnificent night punting the ball for the Panthers, sent Overland's Jaion Colbert back towards his own end zone and the Trailblazers junior couldn't handle it and Boulder's Zair Hoyos was able to fall on the loose ball.
Three plays later Max Bajza, who came in relief of starting quarterback Drew Maier, scampered in from three yards to make it a one-score game.
Overland threatened to answer right back, when Colbert nearly busted the kickoff for a score, but Lowery made a touchdown saving tackle at the 41-yard line.
Boulder's defense — notably the front seven — stepped up and made one last defensive stand to get the ball and momentum back to the offense.
"Momentum was on our side," McLaughlin said. "The team was working hard together, like we had been all week."
Boulder took over on their own 20 yard line with 5:36 to play and drove the ball into Trailblazers territory. The play that will haunt the Panthers during film study this week came on 3rd-and-10, when Bajza had a wide open McLaughlin at the 10 yard line, but led him just a little too much and McLaughlin couldn't hang on for the tough catch.
"We had some bad breaks and we always have a hard time overcoming those bad breaks," first-year panthers coach Vincent Smith said. "We had our chances. There are no excuses in this, but we are a young team with a bunch of great kids who are still learning how to get it done."
Overland would get both of its touchdowns in the first quarter. A 79-yard counter by fullback Donovan Carver and a Colbert 38-yard pick-six of Maier were the differences.
"Other than those, it's a whole different deal," said Smith, whose team will be at Arapahoe next week and then hosts winless Smoky Hill in two weeks. "I can't be mad at my guys. They came out and they played hard."
OVERLAND 17, BOULDER 13
At Recht FieldOverland (1-6, 1-1) 14 3 0 0 — 17
Boulder (0-7, 0-2) 7 0 0 6 — 13
Boulder — Ryan Travis 26 pass from Drew Maier (Sam Lowery kick).
Overland — Donovan Carver 79 run (Matt Stravato kick).
Overland — Jaion Colbert 38 interception return (Stravato kick).
Overland — FG Stravato 23.
Boulder — Max Bajza 3 run (run failed).
RUSHING — Overland: Donovan Carver 16-186, Jaion Colbert 18-112, Jalone Wright 2-2, DJ Reid 2-(minus-2). Boulder: Patrick Flecther 10-61, Shane Provost 6-19, Drew Maier 3-(minus-8), Max Bajza 5-(minus-19).
PASSING — Overland: Luis Ruiz 6-12-1, 50. Boulder: Maier 3-7-1-54, Bajza 5-21-0-53
RECEIVING — Overland: Rice 4-50, Javon Thermidge 1-3, Colbert (1-(minus-3). Boulder: Ryan Travis 2-34, Wilson Maier 2-22, Max McLoughlin 2-12, Jackson Wyatt 1-23, Spencer Clark 1-16.