GLENROCK – When the 2018 football schedule came out, Torrington coach Mark Lenhardt knew he was going to learn a lot about his team in week one against Glenrock.
Both teams used a power running game most of Friday night’s game, but ultimately, it came down the passing game to determine the victor.
“I thought our guys did a pretty good job for the most part,” Lenhardt said. “We bent but didn’t break. It was a battle of wills. You have to give our kids a lot of credit in the red zone.”
In the end, senior quarterback Casey Britton connected with senior running back Bryan Lemmon on a 15-yard completion to put the Blazers back on top for good 20-16 with 3:17 remaining in the contest.
On the ensuing Glenrock drive, senior Josh Posten secured the win, picking off a Herder pass with a little more than a minute left in the game.
“Our kids showed some mental toughness tonight,” Lenhardt said.
Before that point in the contest, it was a battle of the running backs.
Glenrock threw the first punch with a near six-minute drive to take an early 8-0 lead.
“Anytime you play Glenorck, you have to totally tip your hat to these guys,” Lenhardt said. “Coach (Ray) Kumpula and coach (Donnie) Stewart and staff do a such a great job of coaching their kids up. They don’t make mistakes. Fundamentally, they play as good as anybody.”
The teams traded possessions over the next four minutes, but it was Lemmon who cracked the end zone on a 43-yard sprint, drawing the Blazers within one after the successful point-after touchdown.
Four minutes later it was again Lemmon who darted 49 yards down the Torrington sideline to put the Blazers on top 14-8.
The score remained 14-8 until late in the third quarter when Glenrock slipped past the Blazer defense to go back in front 16-14.
In the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Glenrock drove all the way down to the THS 10-yard line before the drive stalled.
The Blazers responded by marching 90 yards in under five minutes to when Britton connected with Lemmon on a 15-yard pass to put the visitors back in front by four.
“Bryan is an incredible player,” Lenhardt said. “We are going have to find a way to get better around him. People are going to be keying on him left and right, and we have to have guys playing better in certain areas.”
Glenrock had one more shot, and the Herders were moving the ball until Posten made a leaping interception to end Glenrock’s hopes of a late-game touchdown.
A minute later, it was Posten again who punched through the Herder defense to pick up the game’s final first down allowing the Blazers to go to a knee, securing the victory.
Torrington (1-0) hosts Gering, Neb. (0-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at Wiseman Field.
“Now that I’ve seen our guys play a game and re-evaluate where we are at and continue to move forward from there,” Lenhardt said. “The biggest improvements football teams make are from week one to week two.”