LINGLE – Lingle-Fort Laramie head coach Matt Cornelius was happy with how things went on Friday during the 48-12 Dogger season-opening victory over the Wind River Cougars Friday night in Lingle.
“We put it away in the first half, but things that stand out to me that I felt a real positive with us moving up a division and for the first game of the season, we didn’t put the ball on the deck one time,” he said.
The Doggers didn’t have a single turnover in the win.
“That’s saying a lot for a team in a situation that we are in,” Cornelius said. “I’m very happy with where we are at at this point in the season, as far as having a functional offense and defense. Right now, we are farther along than what I thought we’d be.”
The Doggers did most of the damage in the first half, going into the second half with a 28-0 lead.
L-FL got rushing touchdowns from senior quarterback Cooper Hill and senior running back Ty Prall in the first quarter.
Prall added two more touchdowns in the second quarter – one on the ground and one through the air.
In fact, the Doggers only threw the ball twice for the game, completing both passes – once for a first down and the other the touchdown.
“The secret is out,” Cornelius said. “We don’t plan on showing up and throwing the ball much.”
With a 28-0 lead, Wind River got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on a 2-yard run.
Lingle and Prall answered again with a 15-yard run in the third.
In the final quarter, Hill capped off the Dogger scoring with a 4-yard rushing touchdown.
Cornelius said there are things still to work on.
“The faults we had during the game are still growing pains and us not completely understanding the situations,” Cornelius said. “It wasn’t for the lack of try and the lack of hustle. It’s going to take us even more reps to get into the swing of things and be able to fix those little things.”
Prall led the Doggers with 161 yards rushing, while Hill added 128 yards. Hill was also 2-for-2 passing for 25 yards.
In all, Lingle-Fort Laramie tallied 320 yards of offense.
“We have a lot of different types of weapons in our running game. We have three runners that are formidable to, first of all, catch and bring down,” Cornelius said. “We have weapons to go in different directions too. That’s going to cause a lot of problems for defenses.”
Defensively, the Doggers held to 170 yards of offense and were led by senior lineman Jessy Valentine, who totaled 24 defensive points, including eight assisted tackles and three for loss. Valentine also had a fumble recovery. Hill added 10 unassisted stops and a pass breakup.
The Doggers (1-0) travel to Yoder to face Southeast (1-0) on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“It’s their Homecoming. They are No. 1 in the state for a reason,” Cornelius said. “We’ll go down there and shake things up the best we can. We, of course, are thought of as the underdogs in this game, but we are excited to go play. It’s going to be a really exciting atmosphere.”