Blazers score 27-21 OT win

Courtesy/Erin Hager Jacob Durrant (34) and Dylan Packard (44) celebrate a first-quarter touchdown. The duo combined for three scores on Friday. Durrant scored the winning touchdown in overtime.

BURNS – The Torrington High School football team picked up its first win of 2022. It took a little bit of overtime to get it done, but when the final horn sounded on Friday in Burns, the Blazers picked up a 27-21 win over the Broncs.

The first score of the game went to senior running back Dylan Packard. He scampered 13-yards for the score with 3:48 left in the opening quarter.

“Came out on the first drive with new sophomore quarterback Ryan Moorehouse taking the snaps for us,” coach Russell Stienmetz said. “He guided us down the field really nicely, led by Dylan Packard toting the rock for us.”

It also proved to be his last carry of the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, Packard injured his shoulder, limiting his playing time for the remainder of the game.

He carried the ball 10 times for 99 yards through the first 12 minutes of the game.

“He was limited the rest of the game,” Stienmetz said. “He’s a tough kid. He did come back in sparingly, more as a decoy. Hopefully that diagnosis gets better as the week goes on.”

Burns tied the game at seven in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass. It was the first of three touchdown passes the Broncs threw in the game.

“Defensively, I didn’t like my gameplan to stop them,” Stienmetz said. “Hand it to them, they threw the ball really well against our defense. We need to clean up some things defensively.”

In the third quarter, with 7:49 left in the frame, Torrington broke the tie courtesy of an 8-yard run by junior Jacob Durrant. The point-after touchdown was no good.

The lead was short-lived as Burns answered right back with a score only seconds later, adding the point-after to take a 14-13 lead.

Over the final 12 minutes of the game, each team scored once. When Torrington scored though, the quarterback Ryan Moorehouse added the two-point conversion to go back in front 21-14 with 4:20 left in the game. However, 65 seconds later, Burns found the end zone for a third time.

In overtime, Torrington held Burns out of the end zone, and the Blazers capped off the win with a 5-yard run from Durrant to seal the victory.

Not only was it the first win of the season for the Blazers, but it was also the first conference win.

“Every game from here on is a conference game and everything matters. The real season started Friday night, and you have to take every game serious,” Stienmetz said. “It helps the morale greatly. Also, getting several kids in the game helps with the morale.”

In addition to Packard’s 99 yards rushing, Durrant added 78 yards on 14 carries, while Moorehouse was 13-of-21 passing for 92 yards in his first start under center at the varsity level. Senior Brendan Flock hauled in six catches for 43 yards.

“We practiced all week without (Hager),” Stienmetz said. “We are a little bit better of a team when he’s on the field since he’s such a dynamic player offensively and defensively. Hopefully, get him healed up and back out there, but the kids rallied around Ryan Moorehouse well and accepted him as the new leader for who knows how long.”

Defensively, sophomore Kaden Romig led the team with 19 defensive points including five unassisted tackles. Junior Ty Bennick and Durrant had 10 points each. Bennick had a sack, while Durrant had three solo stops including one for a loss.

The Blazers (1-2 overall and 1-0 in the 2A East) are back at home on Friday, hosting the Wheatland Bulldogs. Wheatland (0-3 and 0-1) is coming off a 20-18 double overtime loss to the Newcastle Dogies last Friday evening in Wheatland.

“A huge rival there,” Stienmetz said. “You have to have a good week of preparation as we know Wheatland will be a very hungry, well coached team. We’ll have to go right at them.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Wiseman Field.