THS earns Homecoming revenge, punches postseason ticket

DOUGLAS – Propelled by 189 receiving yards and three touchdowns through the air by Nathan Stitt and five interceptions by the defense, the Torrington Trailblazers shutout previously undefeated and second ranked Douglas on their field Friday, 41-0.

The game between the Blazers and Bearcats was on Douglas’ Homecoming. In Torrington’s Homecoming game last year, Douglas won 37-6, so this year the Blazers paid back the favor.

“We wanted to come prepared. It was their Homecoming so we knew they were going to be all riled up,” Stitt said. “We kind of had a bad taste in our mouth from last year when they came to our Homecoming and beat us.

“We came out and started early and just kept going. We never let them get any momentum.”

After both teams punted on their opening possessions, Torrington got the scoring started with Bryan Lemmon crossing the goal line on a one-yard touchdown run in the first. That played capped off a 17-play drive that started at the Blazer five.

In the second quarter, Cade Schwartzkopf came up with a pick and set the Blazers up deep in Douglas territory. On the first play of Torrington’s possession, Breyden Bivens linked up with Stitt for a 29-yard score.

“Our game plan wasn’t really to (get an early lead), but we wanted the jump,” Bivens said. “As players, we were telling ourselves we were going to get one them early and then momentum carried us.”

Then the Bearcats went three and out and Torrington drove the ball down the field but penalties limited them to a 32-yard field goal by Stitt. The senior got in on the scoring action yet again late in the half, scoring on a 39-yard reception from Bivens, giving Torrington a 24-0 lead going into the break.

The two teams combined for four punts to open the second half, before Schwartzkopf recorded his second interception of the night, setting up Stitt for another 32-yard field goal, upping the Blazer lead to 27-0. The Bearcats punted again and Stitt and Bivens had their longest connection of the night, scoring on a 59-yard pass late in the third quarter.

“Those long plays are something we work on in practice every day,” Stitt said. “We have a whole section devoted to that, where we just work on those deep routes. When we get on the field, it really pays off.”

Schwartzkopf was not done for the night, hauling in another interception on the second play of the fourth quarter, setting up Torrington on the Douglas 5-yard line. Lemmon scored his second touchdown of the night on the next play, giving Torrington it’s 41-0 lead. To close out the game, Torrington stopped two more of Douglas’ drives with interceptions, one from Stitt and one from Moorehouse.

“We prepared really well all week for this. My coaches gave me the correct tools and the correct formations to be able to come out and play like that,” Schwartzkopf said. “But it was all our secondary. Our whole secondary was well prepared… I think our coaches did a great job of preparing us. I don’t know if you can cap this though, this feels good.”

As a team, Torrington allowed only 169 total yards on defense, with 121 of Douglas’ yards coming through the air. Schwartzkopf finished the night with three interceptions, two pass breakups and three tackles. Stitt accounted for an interception, two pass breakups and four tackles. Moorehouse paired his pick with four tackles as well.

Lemmon and Josh Kingsley were not in on any turnovers, but they did rack up the defensive points. Lemmon had nine tackles, while Kingsley had five tackles and two tackles for loss.

On offense, Bivens went 13-for-19 for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Stitt led the Blazers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Moorehouse and Lemmon combined for five receptions and 47 yards.

“It started with a solid run game. Whenever we got the chance to take shots when they got out of cover-2 and cover-4, that’s just what we did,” Bivens said of his hot night. “With the line and everything, that’s where it all started was up front.”

Lemmon was the top ball carrier, toting the rock 19 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Trace English added 19 yards on six carries.

Stitt’s two field goals were the first field goals for the Blazers this fall.

“That was my first two field goals of the year. I haven’t attempted any so I was happy to get both of them to go through,” Stitt said. “It was a big confidence boost to see both of those field goals go through.”

The shutout win over Douglas was the first time the Bearcats have been blanked at home since 1994, according to WyoPreps.

The Blazers now sit atop the standings in the east with a 5-1 record and a 3-0 conference record. With the win, Torrington punched its ticket to the postseason. The Blazers hit the road this week in an effort to better their chances for a top seed. They play Rawlins (5-1, 2-1) on Friday at 7 p.m.

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