LUSK – Despite a slow start from the Lingle-Fort Laramie offense on Friday evening in Lusk, the Doggers managed to score 41 points over the final two and a half quarters en route to a 41-0 drubbing of the Niobrara County Tigers.
The Doggers ran only six plays in the first quarter, but the LFL defense was up to the challenge all night long.
“We told those guys all week Lusk is going to bring it, and they will come downhill at you,” coach Brandon Gifford said. “I told them this was going to be a test to find out how tough we really are. The guys bought into that. You could hear pads popping. We had multiple hats to the ball. It was so much fun to watch.”
The Lingle defense limited the Tigers to only 146 yards of offense and only one trip to the redzone.
The single trip inside the Doggers’ 20-yard line came early in the second quarter. With 11:41 to play in the second quarter, NCHS made it to the LFL 4-yard line before the Dogger defense stepped up again, keeping the home team out of the end zone.
“That was a huge stop and a turning point for us,” Gifford said. “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot the whole first quarter. We’d get stops and get stops, and then we shoot ourselves in the foot. We couldn’t get the defense off the field.”
The Doggers capitalized on the stop and used the momentum to their advantage.
With 3:25 remaining in the half, Lingle moved into Tiger territory for the first time in the game, before LFL senior quarterback Brian McCoid connected with sophomore Louden Bremer for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 2:04 left before halftime.
NCHS couldn’t do anything offensively over the final two minutes before half, and the Doggers looked to start out strong out of the gates in the third quarter.
Bremer returned the opening kick back for a score, but a penalty negated the six points. However, it only took another 10 seconds for McCoid to hit sophomore Kaiden Riggs in stride down the Lusk sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
“We called the play in the huddle, and I said, ‘Brian, if you like it, check it.’ He checked it and delivered a beautiful ball, and it was a beautiful catch by Kaiden Riggs,” Gifford said. “It’s just those guys playing football and believing in themselves.”
From there, the Doggers dominated the remainder of the game on both sides of the ball.
A failed fake punt by the Tigers gave Lingle a short field which resulted in senior Slade Hopkins punching in a 6-yard rushing score, pushing the Dogger lead to 21-0 with 7:48 left in the third quarter.
LFL also got rushing touchdowns from Nolan Spears (64 yards) and Riggs (58 yards) extending the visitors lead to 34-0 with a little more than 11 minutes to play in the game.
With the junior varsity players in for the final moments of the game, freshman Brady Cook hit fellow freshman Anthony Arnusch for six more points.
Arnusch was also 5-of-6 in his point-after attempts for the game.
Riggs led the team in rushing with 114 yards on seven carries and 81 yards receiving on three catches, while Spears added 85 yards rushing on five attempts. McCoid was 7-of-7 passing for 138 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Owen Schilreff tallied 10 tackles, while Bremer had eight. Cooper Smith had two sacks.
The Doggers now have outscored their opponents 112-0 through the first two weeks of the season.
“I think Lingle football has finally turned that corner, and it’s fun to be around and fun to watch,” Gifford said.
On Friday, Lingle (2-0 overall and 1-0 in the 9-Man East) opens the home portion of the schedule, hosting Guernsey-Sunrise (0-2 and 0-1) for Homecoming. The Vikings are coming off a 61-0 loss to the Pine Bluffs Hornets last Friday.
“Finally get to play at home, and the kids are excited about it,” Gifford said. “It’s our Homecoming so there will be some distractions that come with that, but we have a team that have really bought in. I believe the kids will be focused and flying around playing in front of some fans that don’t normally get to see us.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Kirk Field.
Doggers move up one spot
in latest rankings
The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School football team moved up one spot in Wednesday’s WyoPreps.com Coaches and Media Poll.
The Doggers come in at No. 4 in the Class 1A 9-Man rankings, receiving two second-place votes, six third-place votes, four fourth-place votes and three fifth-place votes.
Pine Bluffs holds down the top spot picking up 19 of the possible 20 first-place votes. Shoshoni is second, Wind River third, and Big Piney is fifth.
In Class 2A, Lovell holds down the No. 1 ranking for the second week in a row. Lyman is second, and Tongue River is third. Mountain View is fourth, while Cokeville is fifth.
Class 1A 9-Man
1. Pine Bluffs (19) 294
2. Shoshoni 216
3. Wind River (1) 144
4. Lingle 111
5. Big Piney
Receiving votes: Rocky Mountain 27 and Riverside 12
1. Lovell (17) 288
2. Lyman (1) 219
3. Tongue River (2) 192
4. Mountain View 66
5. Cokeville 63
Receiving votes: Big Horn 60, Kemmerer 9, Newcastle 3