Big first quarter lifts L-FL to win


GUERNSEY – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School football team knew what was at stake heading into Friday night’s match against the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings.

It was Homecoming for the home team, and there was playoff seeding implications for the Doggers.

“The kids seemed to be pretty focused. We knew that it was Homecoming over here,” coach Matt Cornelius said. “The kids were fired up. They knew it was for playoff seeding. We showed up, and I’m really impressed with how the kids responded.”

L-FL scored 44 first-quarter points en route to a 62-6 win over the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings.

The win secured the Doggers a trip to the 6-Man playoffs, and for the second week in a row, it was the first win for Cornelius over the Vikings.

It took L-FL all of 69 seconds for the visitors to grab an early 12-0 lead.

Dogger senior Caeden Riley took an interception to the end zone to put L-FL in front, and after recovering an onside kick, junior Cooper Hill broke free for a 40-yard sprint to the end zone.

It was the first of three consecutive touchdowns by the Dogger quarterback, who added a run of 26 yards and a 55-yard fumble recovery for a score to put L-FL in front 28-6 midway through the opening quarter.

“We had a couple defense touchdowns which is always nice to help the offense a little bit,” Cornelius said.

The Doggers got additional scores from junior Cordell Forkner, senior Alex Puglsey and freshman Corey Ducheneaux.

Lingle’s final score came with 6:20 left in the third quarter with a running clock for the entire second half.

“I tried to spread it out and diversify the portfolio going into the playoffs,” Cornelius said. “There were a couple different looks we used.”

From that, he liked some of the things he saw and disliked some others.

“We want to try to tighten up our game going into next week,” Cornelius said. “It was really nice for that to happen. It was nice for the older guys to do their thing, and then, for the younger. The younger guys held their own. The younger kids didn’t get scored on. They also drove down the field and scored a touchdown.”

With the win, the Doggers punched their ticket to the playoffs. Next week’s match up in Hulett will set the seeding. With a win, L-FL will earn a No. 2 seed and a home playoff game, but a loss would drop them to a No. 3 seed and a road game.

The Doggers rushed for 298 yards in the win.

Defensively, junior Dustin Swartwood led L-FL with four tackles and an interception.

Kickoff next week is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday in Hulett.

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