MOORCROFT – The Niobrara County High School football team improved to 3-0 on their first road trip last Friday.
After the Wolves honored their seniors, Lusk came out flat on both sides of the ball. A pair of Tiger turnovers in the first period were sandwiched around Aiden Applegarth covering up one of the home team’s giveaways. The game had more turnovers than points in the scoreless first period.
Aric Eaton intercepted a pass backed up against the Wolves endzone, and NCHS went 97 yards in seven plays as Jasper Caldera did most of the work on the ground. Drake Lamp scored from 10 yards, and Lusk led 6-0. Ninety seconds later, Lamp broke open for 61 yards to the endzone and minutes after that he went all the way on a 79-yard scamper.
The Tigers led 20-0 before the Wolves responded when Hunter Garouette scored on a seven-yard run. Zane Linder had an easy path on the conversion run to cut it to 20-8. NCHS made one more opportunity count before halftime as Walker Kupke connected with Mason Wells on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The conversion snap was botched, yet Lusk led 26-8.
After a Tiger turnover to open the third, the defense held strong to set up Lamp’s historic run.
From deep in Moorcroft territory, Lamp took the handoff around the left end and went 39 yards before being pushed out of bounds. As the stats guys confirmed it with a few smiles, the game continued before the Tigers fumbled it away moments later. Lusk got the ball back and Lamp wasn’t done yet with an 88-yard blast. Caldera’s run moved it to 34-8 for the Tigers before fumbling it away as the quarter expired.
Early in the fourth quarter Lamp wrapped up another historic night with his fifth touchdown – of 32 yards – and a total of 371 yards on 17 carries. Dylan Molzahn carried in the conversion and it was 42-8 for the men in red and white. Molzahn score on a pair of long runs (43 and 44 yards), with Caldera scoring the conversion on the final one. The JV finished the game as the Tigers won 56-8. The JV returned to Moorcroft Monday evening and won 44-16.
This weekend is Homecoming, and Lusk’s most common opponent is back on the schedule. NCHS and Lingle-Fort Laramie have played 57 games all time but none since 2015. The Doggers are up from the 6-man ranks and are 2-1 so far. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
NCHS 0 26 8 22 – 56
MHS 0 8 0 0 – 8
NCHS: Passing 2/6, 41 yds. Rushing 37 atts/578 yds. Special teams 7 atts/90yds. 9 first downs. 4 penalties/45 yds. 5 fumbles lost.
MHS: Passing 9/28, 53 yds. Rushing 35 atts/105 yds. Special teams 5/63. 6 first downs. 6 penalties/35 yds. 1 fumble lost.
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing- Kupke 2/6, 41 yds, TD. Rushing- Lamp 17/371, 5TD; Caldera 13/111; Molzahn 3/92, 2TD; Applegarth 2/4. Receiving- Wells 1 catch/21 yds, TD; Aric Eaton 1/20. Defensive points- Molzahn 33; Caldera 29; Dayne Lamp 26; Riley Blackburn 20; Applegarth 13; Eaton 11; Miles Ashurst 7; Wells 6; Collin Taylor 5; Colton Coffman 2; Jayce Cummins 2; Stanton Ricketts 1; Grey Emerson 1.