For the second week in a row the NCHS football team faced a highly-ranked team with much higher enrollments. Big Horn came to Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium last Friday ranked fourth in the Wyopreps 1A coaches/media poll, off a somewhat shocking home loss to Pine Bluffs in week three. The Tigers were licking their wounds from a 48-8 loss in Sundance the week before.
BH took a quick lead with Will Pelissier’s eight yard touchdown run less than two minutes in. While the offense came easy for the Rams, kicker Kade Eisle had a most unusual night. He nailed his first and last of six PAT attempts, but in between had two blocked by Tiger senior Ryan Gilkey, one go wide right and another bounce off the left upright.
After a Lusk drive stalled deep in Ram territory, the visitors made Lusk pay as Quinn McCafferty connected with Eisle for a nine yard score. Eisle scored another TD as time expired in the period with a five yard run and the lead was 19-0.
Another Tiger punt resulted in good field position for the Rams to begin the second. Eisle ripped off a pair of 31 yard runs in a span of three plays-the second a touchdown and the visitors led 25-0 at halftime.
The Tigers settled down in the second half but once again, could not finish drives with any points. Both defenses made key stops and big plays in a scoreless third until 1:12 was left on the clock. Eisle broke loose for a 22 yard touchdown run and with one quarter left, the game was well in hand at 31-0. Despite Eisle scoring one last time with three minutes left, the Tigers were shutout 38-0.
“Until we learn how to finish drives with points,” said Head Coach Ryan Nelson, “we’re going to struggle against playoff caliber teams.” For the third week in a row NCHS had at least three red zone chances come up empty, while the defense was unusually soft. “Our effort to start the game was not very good,” added Nelson. “Other than tackling, after the first quarter I thought our effort was pretty good though.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
BH 19 6 6 6 38
NCHS 0 0 0 0 0
BH: Passing- 8/15, 161 yds. Rushing- 43/303. Receiving- 8/161. 20 first downs. 2 fumbles/1 lost. 1 penalty/10 yds
NCHS: Passing- 0/7. Rushing- 55/188. 7 first downs. 2 fumbles/1 lost. 3 penalties/26 yds.
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing- Anderson 0/7. Rushing- Lamp 13/59; Molzahn 14/56; Stone 15/41; Anderson 10/26; Gilkey 3/6. Defensive points- Wurdeman 21, Gilkey 15, Mellott 15, Heil 14, Molzahn 13, Lamp 9, Stone 9, T. Bruegger 8, Tschacher 6, R. Bruegger 4, Richards 1, Daniels 1.
The 2-2 Tigers are at home again this week with Homecoming against Pine Bluffs. The Hornets are defending 1A state champs and currently are 4-0 on the season, but in almost 40 years have never beaten NCHS three games in a row. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.