TORRINGTON – A near two-hour weather delay worked in the favor of the Torrington High School football team Friday night as the Blazers handed first-year head coach Russell Stienmetz a 28-10 victory over the run heavy Glenrock Herders.
Following the game, Stienmetz said he was excited to get that first win under his belt, but he quickly turned the focus back to his team.
“Most importantly, the kids played hard. The sophomore class stepped up huge tonight in those skill positions,” Stienmetz said. “With that, you have our senior quarterback. Sam is very valuable and is a fun kid to coach. Then our line is a little bit older with juniors and seniors. They help with the supporting cast with those sophomores. They meshed well tonight and got the victory.”
The teams traded scores on each of their opening drives in the first quarter with senior quarterback Sam Firminhac finding senior tight end Jackson Jones for a 14-yard score to give Torrington the early lead, but on the ensuing drive, Glenrock marched 80 yards – all on the ground – for a score of its own, adding the two-point conversion to make it 8-7.
The teams traded possessions until the 7:28 mark in the second quarter when Mother Nature decided to get in on the action.
It left fans and teams scrambling for safety as the lightning delay lasted just shy of two hours.
When play resumed at 9:30 p.m., Torrington’s defense got a big stop on a 4th-and-2 attempt by Glenrock.
“The kids had energy from that,” Stienmetz said. “We were frustrated there was a break, but it was them who came out with the spark. I’m very glad they had that spark.”
On the very next play, Firminhac connected with sophomore receiver Keiser Wolfe for a 64-yard completion and another touchdown.
After a shortened halftime, Firminhac found Wolfe again, this time on a 10-yard score, putting the Blazers in front 21-8 with 10:29 left in the third quarter.
“Sam has great vision,” Stienmetz said. “He knows where his receivers should be. The sophomores are getting there.”
Torrington added to its lead at the end of the quarter when Carson Schultz sprinted 54 yards to the end zone.
During the same time frame, Glenrock offensively never came close to the end zone again until the fourth quarter when the Herders drove down to the Blazer 1-yard line before fumbling the ball.
“That is a very tough offense to defend,” Stienmetz said. “You have to be very disciplined and know your assignment. It takes the d-coordinator out the game. It’s the players who have to make the adjustments. They adjusted and did great things.”
Following the turnover, Torrington wasn’t able to get any offense going on the drive to chew up the final minutes of the game. With 52 seconds left, the Herders tallied a safety when Firminhac ran out of the side of the end zone, leaving the Blazers with an 18-point advantage.
The game ended with Glenrock’s only pass attempt of the evening being picked off in the Blazer secondary.
Firminhac was 6-of-9 passing for 105 yards and three touchdowns, while Wolfe hauled in three catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Schultz rushed for 79 yards and one score on seven carries.
The Blazers (1-0) travel to Gering, Neb. for a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, Sept. 13.