YODER – Saturday morning the Niobrara County High School football team gathered with the Southeast Cyclones, Torrington and Burns for a light scrimmage before the regular season gets underway this Friday.
As in previous years there are no special teams, stats or scores kept, but ample water breaks are given.
NCHS faced off with the hosts first, and such as it is a conference rival- neither team showed much of their playbook.
Drake Lamp scored twice and Wyatt Stauffer connected with James Stone on a pair of touchdown passes in the Tigers 20 offensive plays. Southeast scored on their fifth play but from there did little against the Tiger defense.
Against a depleted Trailblazer team, Lusk moved the ball but only got into the endzone twice. The first was a Damien Molzahn touchdown run and the other was Stauffer finding Aric Eaton for a score. The Tigers defense never gave Torrington much room and provided a glimpse of what to expect.
The Stauffer to Eaton tandem was good for two touchdowns against Burns and Lamp found paydirt also. The Broncs did get into the endzone on their 18th play- on a bit of miscommunication in the secondary for the Tigers.
For the first time since the end of the 2014 season, NCHS is ranked in the Wyopreps coaches/media top five. The fifth ranked Tigers will be tested right away with a road trip to Sundance to face the No. 2-ranked Upton-Sundance Patriots.
U-S has handled Lusk recently, but if a home playoff game is on the to-do list, this could be considered an early season must win for both squads.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Croell Field.