GUERNSEY – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers kept the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings quiet in the second half, but could not mount a comeback of their own, falling Friday on the road, 33-6.
The Vikings struck first on a 16-yard run with 7:55 remaining in the first quarter. L-FL immediately bounced back, with Cordell Forkner linking up with Alex Pugsley on a 31-yard touchdown pass. The ensuing two-point kick was blocked, putting the Doggers behind 7-6.
After L-FL scored in the first, it was all Guernsey-Sunrise until intermission. The Vikings scored on three rushes, one of 17 yards, one of 35 yards and one of 5 yards. At halftime, the Doggers found themselves in a 27-6 hole.
“There were just a couple of things that went wrong at the very wrong time and that was the key,” coach Matt Cornelius said.
Coming out of the break, the Vikings looked to pick up where they left off, scoring on a 4-yard run less than three minutes into the third quarter, but that was the last score of the contest. Neither L-FL nor Guernsey-Sunrise were able to reach the end zone again.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Cornelius said. “The first half we didn’t come out as strong as I hope, but I have to hand it to the kids. They fought hard all through the second half. It’s very, very encouraging to watch a team get better throughout the game.”
The passing game was the strength of the offense for the Doggers, with Forkner going 17-for-28 for 179 yards. He had one touchdown and one interception in the loss.
Pugsley hauled in six receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Ty Mueller accounted for four receptions for a team-high 79 reception yards. Five different receivers hauled in a pass from Forkner in the loss.
On the ground, the Doggers went backwards, accounting for -17 yards on 18 carries. Mueller went positive, racking up three yards, while Pugsley added 14.
Forkner also had a big presence on the defensive side of the ball, recording 12 assisted tackles and three solo tackles. Mueller paced the team in solo tackles, with four, while racking up five assisted tackles. Mueller and Zane Rising both had two pass break ups, with Rising adding nine assisted tackles, a solo tackle and a tackle for loss to his stat line.
Gaven Niles and Jaden McDuffie each recorded a sack Friday, with Hayden Hill coming up with two fumble recoveries.
“Our defensive philosophy is bend but don’t break,” Cornelius said. “Or defensive line play improved dramatically in the second half and that helped us out in the secondary as well.”
L-FL dropped to 0-2 on the season, with the loss to Guernsey-Sunrise as their first conference defeat. The Doggers look to right the ship on the road Friday in Sheridan against Normative Services Institute Academy. The game between the Doggers and Wolves kicks off at 2 p.m.