LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers struck first Friday against Little Snake River, but let the game slip away, falling 66-20 in their season opener at home.
“We are still learning our positions right now,” said coach Matt Cornelius, who has players starting in all different positions this fall. “Some young kids are showing aggressiveness, but we still need to come together and find our team identity.”
Brandon Hill was the Dogger who found his way into the end zone, coming on a three-yard run. He knocked through the ensuing point after attempt, giving the Doggers an 8-0 lead. The Rattlers quickly rebounded, scoring a touchdown of their own but missing the PAT.
After a slow first quarter, with 14 combined points, Little Snake River piled it on in the second quarter. The visitors poured on 35 points in the second frame to hold a 41-8 lead going into intermission. The Doggers were shutout again in the third frame, with LSR adding another 12 points.
L-FL’s other two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. Alex Pugsley scored on a 24-yard touchdown, with Dustin Swartwood turning in another touchdown run.
In the running game,
Pugsley was the top rusher for the Doggers, racking up 88 yards on seven carries, including rushes of 24 and 44 yards. L-FL racked up 95 yards on the ground in the game, with 76 coming in the fourth quarter.
Cordell Forkner carried the load in the passing game, going 10-for-19 and racking up 58 yards with an interception. Ty Mueller was a major part in the aerial attack, amassing 37 yards on five receptions. Hill hauled in three receptions for 19 yards.
“We are kind of changing our identity this year,” Cornelius said. “Our group of kids are more guided athletically toward a passing offense. Brandon Hill, Ty Mueller and Alex Pugsley are a solid little trio and I think they can do great things.”
Hill also had a big day on the defensive side of the ball, amassing seven solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Gaven Niles also had seven unassisted tackles, paired with a tackle for loss. Pugsley (five) and Forkner (four) both kicked in solid contributions in the solo tackle category. Pugsley and Hayden Hill each accounted for a pass breakup, with Forkner recording a blocked kick.
“Obviously no one likes to lose, but you have to learn from your mistakes and move on and get better,” Cornelius said.
After suffering an opening game loss, the Doggers hit the road to kick off their conference schedule. L-FL’s Week 2 match up comes against Guernsey-Sunrise on Friday at 7 p.m.
“Every week is going to provide a solid competition for us,” Cornelius said. “Each Friday could decide a playoff berth.”