Torrington offense, special teams sputter in loss to Douglas


TORRINGTON – The Torrington High School football team suffered its first loss of the season on Friday evening at Wiseman Field to the Douglas Bearcats, 20-7.

Douglas did most of its damage on special teams, scoring only one offensive touchdown.

Both teams found the end zone in the first quarter.

With 1:53 left in the opening quarter, Douglas cracked the end zone on an 8-yard run, but Torrington’s junior Trace Floyd answered with an 88-yard kick return for a touchdown.

The return proved to be the lone score of the night for the Blazers.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Blazers had a bend but don’t break mentality, allowing Douglas to have good field position, but ultimately getting the stop.

“We still aren’t reading our keys correctly. There are a lot of things to fix there,” coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We would let them get down to the 20 or 30 and then we would tighten up and get tougher. We can’t have that inconsistent play. We need to be more consistent, so they don’t drive all the way down.”

Late in the second quarter, Douglas moved into the red zone, but ultimately came up short when junior Carson Schultz stuffed the Bearcat offense for a turnover on downs.

On two other occasions in the second half, Douglas found itself deep into Blazer territory only to get stopped.

One drive ended with an interception by senior D.J. Mackey, while Cody Pierce recorded a tackle, forcing a turnover on downs.

But it was the special teams play and lack of offense which ultimately cost Torrington a shot at a victory.

After a three-and-out to begin the third quarter, Douglas managed to block a punt and return 40-yards for a touchdown, breaking the 7-7 stalemate.

Nine minutes later, Douglas broke free on an 80-yard punt return, for what proved to be the game’s final score.

“We also lost special teams tonight,” Stienmetz said. “There is that huge statistic that if you take a kickoff return for a touchdown, I think, it’s something like 60 percent change you’ll win. We were in that 40 percent.”

The Blazer offense only produced 16 yards in the loss. Schultz had three yards on three carries, while Pierce had two yards on three attempts. Junior quarterback Beau Bivens was 8-of-18 through the air for 17 yards and an interception. Junior receiver Deagan Keith hauled in one pass for eight yards.

“We couldn’t get anything going offensively. Very flat,” coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We were very gassed. I looked up at the end of the first quarter, and we were gassed. Our effort wasn’t there as it should have been.”

The Blazers (1-1) open the conference portion of the schedule at home against the Glenrock Herders (2-0). Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Herders are coming off non-conference wins against the Natrona County sophomores (56-12) and Pinedale (48-20).

“It’ll be different having Glenrock as a conference opponent this year,” Stienmetz said. “They’ll come with that double-wing right at us. We need to toughen up, cinch up and get our jobs done.”

Last season, the Blazers scored their only win of the season against the Herders, and Torrington is 4-1 against Glenrock since 2013.

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