GERING, Neb. – The Torrington High School football team scored 18 unanswered points Friday night to open the 2020 season with a 24-6 road victory over the Gering Bulldogs, snapping a seven-game losing streak dating back to Sept. 6, 2019.
“I’m really excited for these players, and we are taking things day-by-day,” THS coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We had a lot of young players step in and some players out of position play tonight, and we were able to get the victory.”
Torrington scored on its opening drive when junior quarterback Beau Bivens connected with junior receiver Keiser Wolfe for a 72-yard completion.
The 80-yard drive took less than two minutes to complete to go in front 6-0.
“We wanted to soften up our box a little with three starting sophomores on the o-line,” Stienmetz said. “In order to soften up the box, we wanted to sling the ball first. The explosive play by Keiser was nice.”
Gering answered with more than an eight-minute methodical drive which ended in a touchdown.
Those two scores proved to be the only scores in the first half of play.
“I’ll hand it to the Gering o-line,” Stienmetz said. “They shoved it right down our throat that first series, but after that, our defense relaxed and executed their assignments and were able to stop them from then on.”
Torrington had multiple opportunities in the second quarter with three trips to the red zone, but a turnover, dropped passes and a missed field goal to end the half left the game tied at six as the teams headed the locker room.
It didn’t take long for the Blazers to regain the lead in the second half.
On the second play of the third quarter, the Torrington defense came up with a fumble recovery and two minutes later, Bivens connected with Carson Schultz on a 26-yard pass for a touchdown.
“We talked about it at halftime that they were putting the ball on the ground, and we weren’t getting those in the first half,” Stienmetz said. “In the second half, we were able to capitalize on some of those turnovers.”
Blazer kicker Chase Miller added a 29-yard field goal late in the quarter to give the Blazers a 16-6 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter, Gering put together only its second drive of the game deep into Torrington territory, but the Blazer defense was up to the challenge, holding on a 4th-and-9 situation with an interception by Deagan Keith.
Two plays later, junior running back Trace Floyd broke free for an 87-yard sprint towards the endzone.
When the final horn sounded, Bivens was 7-of-17 passing for 141 yards, while Floyd rushed for 121 yards on 11 attempts. Wolfe hauled in four passes for 84 yards.
The Torrington defense forced four Gering turnovers, including two fumbles and two interceptions.
The Blazers (1-0) host Douglas at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I know it’s non-conference now, but it’s still a rivalry,” Stienmetz said. “We are looking forward to that game.”