Blazers fall to 0-2 on the season

MITCHELL, Neb. – It only took two plays and 28 seconds for the host Mitchell Tigers to take a 7-0 lead on Torrington en route to handing the Blazers a 39-7 loss on Friday evening.

On the second play of the game, the Tigers went 65 yards to the end zone on the ground.

Four of the five Mitchell touchdowns on Friday were courtesy of Mitchell’s strong running game. In all, the Tigers rushed for 328 yards as running back Santi Castillo and quarterback Cael Peters rushed for over 100 yards each. A third Mitchell player, Dez Smith, added 90 yards.

The Tigers also added a safety in the first quarter and a field goal a touchdown through the air in the closing moments of the third quarter.

Not much went right for the Blazers through the first 45 minutes of the game, but coach Russell Stienmetz said the team was able to sustain drives longer in their second game than they did in their loss to Gering in Week 0.

“We had a little longer sustained drives this week, but once we got across midfield, we weren’t able to continue those drives into the end zone because of a penalty or a play where you have a loss,” he said. “We got to fix those things so therefore we can get into the endzone.”

Torrington did show some flashes at times.

The Blazers were able to get the ball to Landre Greiman on several occasions leading to big yardage plays.

“Greiman is a competitor. He wants to make the team better however he can do it,” Stienmetz said. “If that means we need to move some people around, so he totes the ball a little bit more, we’ll do that.”

Finally in the fourth quarter, senior Jacob Durrant blocked a Mitchell punt. Junior Nounou Braddy recovered the punt and returned it a few yards, setting up Torrington’s first touchdown of the season.

“That punt block was against their No. 1. They put their starting punting team out there,” Stienmetz said. “Being able to do that against a team that is well rehearsed with several seniors on it will boost the confidence and keep going from there.”

With 1:37 left in the game, senior Blazer quarterback Bryce Hager was able to slip past the Tiger defense for a 12-yard touchdown. Holden Hackett successfully added the point after.

Torrington opens 2A East Conference play on Friday against Burns at Wiseman Field.

“We are excited for conference play to come around,” Stienmetz said. “Hopefully, we’ll get out of this all healthy.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.