Tigers throttle Eagles in home opener


LUSK – Two days after Tongue River traded places with Niobrara County High School in the fifth spot in the WyoPreps.com Coaches/Media Poll, the Tigers emphatically humbled the visitors. It was a beautiful night for football on Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium last Friday and NCHS gave the crowd a scoring explosion not seen since 2016 when the Tigers scored 58 against Saratoga.

The Eagles fumbled away the ball just two and a half minutes in, and Lusk used it right away.

Drake Lamp took the first play 49 yards around the left end for a touchdown, and Damien Molzahn rammed in for the conversion.

Tongue River coughed another one up, this time on their own 22-yard line and it took the Tigers just three plays to roll the scoreboard again. Molzahn had the 5-yard TD and James Stone made it 16-0 barely five minutes in. Wyatt Stauffer got into the endzone as the quarter neared the end, and Lamp made the conversion run.

To close the quarter, Eagles QB Braden Mccafferty lifted a pass over the Tigers defense to an open Kyle Breen for a 79-yard touchdown. Breen kicked the PAT and narrowed the score to 24-7 as the first quarter expired.

Stone answered the visitors score immediately by taking the first handoff from Stauffer and weaving his way 58 yards to pay dirt. Lamp got the conversion and it was 32-7, where it stood at halftime.

On the second play of the third quarter, Molzahn rumbled through the middle for a 31-yard blast. Two plays after that Lamp found the endzone from 18 yards, and it was Stone’s turn to get the two-point run.

Late in the period as NCHS kept running the ball over, through and around the Eagle defense, Stone found the endzone again – this time from 13 yards. Kade Clark was denied on the conversion attempt, but 46-7 showed smiles on the sideline and the bleachers.

Tongue River scored early in the final frame as Cashe Van Tassell managed to elude several Tiger defenders for a 15-yard score. The two pointer was no good and the lead cut to 46-13 with 9:01 to play.

While Molzahn’s night was done with a thigh injury, Lamp had one more burst in him. He scored on a 34-yard run that Stauffer capped with the QB keeper to wrap up the 54-13 win.

The Tigers travel to Wind River next week for a 5 p.m. kickoff in Pavillion at LeRoy Sinner Field. The teams met last season with NCHS winning 28-20.

“They’re struggling a bit with some issues it sounds,” said head coach Ryan Nelson. “But it’s a four-hour bus ride for us, and we need to be ready to play our game.”

SCORE BY QUARTERS

TRHS   7-0-0-6   – 13

NCHS 24-8-14-8 – 54

TEAM STATS

TRHS: Passing 3/11, 94 yds, TD. Rushing 37 atts/100 yds, TD. First Downs 7. 1 penalty/5 yds. 2 fumbles/2 lost.

NCHS: Passing 1/3, 13 yds. Rushing 49 atts/434 yds, 7 TDs. First Downs 10, 10 penalties/80 yds.

NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing: Stauffer 1/3, 13 yds. Rushing: Lamp 19/195, 3TDs; Stone 12/101, 2 TDs; Molzahn 12/79, TD; Stauffer 1/1, TD. Receiving- Stone 1/13.

Defensive points: Molzahn 27, Jasper Caldera 21, Dayne Lamp 16, Dylan Molzahn 13, Stauffer 9, Drake Lamp 7, Stone 6, Dmitri Richards 6, Tanner Carpenter 4, Aiden Applegarth 4, Aric Eaton 3, Clark 2, Mason Wells 2, Collin Taylor 1, Riley Blackburn 1.

The JV defeated Moorcroft Monday night 56-14 in a nine-man game.

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