On a rare day game, NCHS welcomed Kemmerer to Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium Friday afternoon. Before the senior Class of ‘18 played their final home game, the seven of them were honored with their families. Since there is no history between the schools, the first quarter was a feeling-out process. The Tigers had an opportunity to score as they marched inside the Ranger’s 25 yard line before fumbling away the ball. As the period expired the game was scoreless.
The visitors took just 42 seconds to move the scoreboard as Josh Thatcher connected with Hayden Walker for a four yard score. The conversion was no good-yet Kemmerer led 6-0. The lead would hold up for the majority of the second quarter as neither team could muster solid drives. Freshman Drake Lamp tied the game with a three yard plunge but was denied on the two-point attempt. It was knotted at six at the halftime break.
Just as it appeared the first Lusk drive would stall out, Ryan Gilkey broke a couple tackles and turned on the jets to outrun everyone to the endzone. 77 yards later NCHS had taken the lead and Lamp’s two-point run moved it to 14-6. With one quarter left to play, the lead remained just eight points.
The Rangers managed to make their way deep into Tiger territory and with well over eight minutes left, Donny Proffit capitalized with a three yard touchdown. The two point conversion was denied and Kemmerer trailed 14-12. NCHS effectively used the clock and moved downfield before Damien Molzahn bulled in from one yard away. Lamp went in almost untouched to extend the lead to 22-12 with under a minute to play. The defense held and for the first time in three years, the seniors won their final home game. “Hopefully this can be a confidence booster,” said Head Coach Ryan Nelson. “We needed that as we try to get back in the playoffs.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
KEMM 0 6 0 6 12
NCHS 0 6 8 8 22
KEMM: Passing- 2/10, 93 yds; Rushing- 35 atts/150 yds; Receiving-2 catches/93 yds; 11 first downs; 5 penalties/45 yds; 1 fumble/1 recovered.
NCHS: Passing- 1 catch/2 atts, 41 yds; Rushing- 62/297; Receiving- 1 catch/41 yds; 15 first downs; 6 penalties/45 yds; 4 fumbles/1 lost.
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing- Kyle Anderson 1 comp/2 atts, 41 yds. Rushing- Lamp 27 atts/117 yds; Gilkey 4/90; James Stone 13/47; Molzahn 11/35; Anderson 7/8. Receiving- Gilkey 1 catch/41 yds. Defensive points- Molzahn 29, Cole Mellott 19, Anderson 10, Ryan Bruegger 8, Jacob Miller 6, Jake Heil 6, Gilkey 5, Garrett Wurdeman 5, Teagan Tschacher 4, Jasper Caldera 4, Traylin Bruegger 4, Stone 3, Lamp 2, Stephen Daniels 2.
Although the schedule says that the final two games are regular season affairs, the Tigers are in full playoff mode with two must-win games to get in. This week Lusk travels to Wright-who is currently 0-5 in conference play (and eliminated from playoff contention). An NCHS win eliminates TR and should set up a finale in Yoder for the four seed and trip to Cokeville on the line. “They average about 150 yards passing a game,” added Nelson. “And they run as many formations and different sets as anyone we’ll see, so we’ll need to be ready to defend.” Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Wright.