LUSK – The 58th meeting between Lusk’s closest rival is a renewal five years in the making.
The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers – up from 6 man – still run the deceptive single wing offense, it took Niobrara County High School some time to figure it out.
A packed Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium saw Drake Lamp open the scoring with a 58-yard burst midway through the first quarter, and Walker Kupke overthrew Mason Wells on the conversion pass.
L-FL moved the ball but couldn’t capitalize against an improving Tiger defense and the score stood at 6-0 after one.
On his next touch, Lamp went 80 yards to paydirt, and Jasper Caldera scored the conversion for a brief 14-point advantage.
The visitors responded as Cooper Hill scampered 69 yards to the endzone, and Ty Prall kicked the point after.
Eleven seconds later, Lamp was at it again, this time for 74 yards on the ground. Caldera upped it to 22-7 with more than eight minutes left before halftime.
Another defensive stop gave the Tigers good field position and once again Lamp broke into the open for a 45-yard touchdown. Aiden Applegarth got around the right end for the conversion run and at 30-7, the Doggers were befuddled.
Applegarth’s key stop on defense returned the ball to NCHS and was rewarded with a 25-yard touchdown run. Caldera lunged over the goal line and the Tigers led 38-7 at the break.
Lusk took possession and marched downfield before Caldera carried a few would-be tacklers to the endzone from eight yards away. Kupke to Wells worked this time and the third quarter ended with NCHS in firm control 46-7.
Lamp had one more touchdown as the final frame got underway, this time from 15 yards. Dylan Molzahn put the running clock in motion with his conversion run and the varsity offense was done for the evening. Another stop by the Tiger defense, and the JV guys finished up the 54-7 Homecoming victory.
“We worked on it all week, but it’s hard to replicate their speed with our JV offense,” said head coach Ryan Nelson. “You have to be responsible with your assignments, otherwise they will get away from you-like they showed on that score.”
This week NCHS travels to Wright for another conference game and look to avenge losses that have kept the Tigers out of the playoffs the past two seasons.
“Coach Larry Yeradi likes to run the option, and again we have to stay focused and get better,” Nelson said, referring to Rocky Mountain’s visit next week and a much-anticipated trip to Yoder on Oct. 16. “Because the next two after that are No. 2 and No. 1 in the state.”
The 4-0 Tigers remain third in the Wyopreps Coaches and Media Poll as the season passes the midpoint of the regular season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Wright.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
L-FL 0 7 0 0 – 7
NCHS 6 32 8 8 – 54
L-FL: Passing – 1 comp/2 atts, 1 yd. Rushing – 48 atts/273 yds. Special teams- 8 atts/156 yds. 11 first downs. 5 penalties/50 yds.
NCHS: Passing – 0/1. Rushing- 33 atts/500 yds. Special teams- 2 atts/21 yds. 8 first downs. 9 penalties/50 yds.
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing – Kupke 0/1. Rushing – Lamp 11 atts/366 yds, 5 TDs; Caldera 8/38, TD; Molzahn 4/36; Collin Taylor 6/32; Applegarth 1/25, TD; Kupke 1/3; Cody Taylor 1/3. Defensive points – Dayne Lamp 32; Molzahn 27; Caldera 18; Riley Blackburn 16; Applegarth 16; Aric Eaton 11; Miles Ashurst 5; Mason Wells 4; Stanton Ricketts 3; Cody Taylor 3; Collin Taylor 3; Colton Coffman 2; Chris Knopp 2.