TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School football team put up 14 points and forced Burns to punt three times in the first quarter en route to a 24-6 victory on the Blazers’ Senior Night.
It took less than one minute for the THS defense to force Burns to punt on their opening drive.
“I’m proud of our secondary. With a team that is going to throw as much as Burns is going, we knew we were going to have to be very tough in the secondary,” THS coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We rotated some guys and played a couple different coverages than we’ve done. It was nice to have in our bag now.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the Blazers looked to strike early.
With 8:10 left in the opening quarter, Torrington went for it on a fourth-and-11, and quarterback Beau Bivens hit receiver Chase Miller in stride for what appeared to be the game’s first score. However, an ineligible man downfield penalty wiped the points off the board.
The penalty forced Torrington to punt, but another three-and-out gave the Blazers the ball inside Burns’ territory.
This time, it took less than three minutes for THS to march down the field and for Bivens to plow his way through the Broncs defense on a 1-yard keeper.
A minute and 14 seconds later, Bivens went deep on the Burns defense again. This time the senior signal caller found receiver Kieser Wolfe open in the middle of the field, who sprinted 79 yards for the touchdown, pushing the Torrington lead to 14-0.
“It was great playing calling by coach [Robb] Nicolay, seeing the weakness of the team and exploiting it,” Stienmetz said.
For the next two and a half quarters, it was a defensive battle.
“The one that really sticks out in my mind is in the fourth quarter when they are setup a middle screen to their back, and [Carson Schultz] waylays the guy. He was all over the field tonight,” Stienmetz said. “We asked [Dylan] Packard to do a little more out on the edge, on the perimeter tonight, and drop back into coverage. Cole is always solid. He sees the whole picture, and it’s like having another coach out there.”
The only points scored in the second or third quarters came with 5:26 left in the third when Miller launched a 41-yard field goal right down the middle of the uprights.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Burns turned the ball over on downs in the red zone. With 5:35 left in the game, Bivens found Wolfe on a 34-yard pass.
On the ensuing drive, Burns managed to get into the end zone for the the only time in the game.
After the unsuccessful two-point try, Burns was also unsuccessful on the onside kick with two minutes left in the game.
Once the Blazers managed to pick up another first down, Torrington was able to go to a knee and run the clock out.
Bivens was 17-of-23 passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while Wolfe was his top target with six receptions,158 yards and two scores. Senior receiver Deagan Keith also had five catches for 36 yards. Senior running back Carson Schultz ran for 101 yards on 13 carries, while sophomore Bryce Hager added 28 yards on seven attempts.
The win pushes the Torrington win streak to seven heading into the playoffs. The top-seeded Blazers now turn their attention to the Class 2A playoffs when they host the fourth-seeded Cokeville Panthers in the opening round for the second consecutive year.
“Ball security, for sure, is going to be imperative throughout and just getting off the field in third down,” Stienmetz said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.