L-FL falls to Hulett, loses playoff hopes

The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers took a first-quarter lead over Hulett on the road Saturday, but fell behind and lost 58-30, extinguishing all of their playoff hopes.

“Hulett came out tough. They came to play,” coach Matt Cornelius said. “Between injuries and illness, we are running a little thin. The guys we had gave it their all, but we are a little low on numbers.”

Brandon Hill got the scoring going for the Doggers on a one-yard touchdown run on L-FL’s fourth carry of the game. It was Hill’s only carry of the game. Gaven Niles scored a touchdown in the first quarter on a 75-yard kickoff return. At the end of the frame, L-FL led Hulett 16-14.

“It was a field position battle,” Cornelius said of the first quarter. “We just kept jockeying for position.”

The second quarter went in favor of the Red Devils. Niles scored his second touchdown of the game on another kickoff return, but Hulett got momentum on their side and took a 40-24 lead into the break.

“Once they found that their running game worked, they went with that,” Cornelius said. “We didn’t have an answer.”

The home team scored another 18 points in the third quarter, while blanking the Doggers. Brandon Hill recorded the final touchdown of the game, a 23-yard pass from Cordell Forkner in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 58-30.

Hayden Hill was the top rusher for the Doggers, accounting for 13 yards on 11 carries. Brandon Hill and Gaven Niles combined for four yards on two carries.

Forkner was the top signal caller for the Doggers, accounting for 100 passing yards, going 8-for-22. His favorite target was Brandon Hill, who had five receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. Cooper Hill had 37 receiving yards on one reception, while Hayden Hill kicked in another 10-yard reception.

Cooper Hill had L-FL’s only forced turnover for the game, which came in the form of an interception. He also had a pass break-up, four solo tackles and three assisted tackles.

Brandon Hill, Hayden Hill and Dustin Swartwood all tied Cooper Hill in the solo tackle department, with four apiece. Hayden Hill also had six assisted tackles, while Swartwood and Brandon Hill combined for six.

Forkner was all over the field, accounting for 19.5 defensive points. He had three solo tackles, nine assisted tackles, a tackle for loss and a half of a sack. Gaven Niles was the other man in that sack, finishing his defensive stat line with 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, two solo tackles and seven assisted tackles.

The Doggers now sit at 1-6 on the season, with a 1-5 conference record. They are sixth in the east, with not enough games left in the season to make a run to the playoff. L-FL will get a win on their conference record this week due to a forfeit win over Rock River, who canceled their season due to lack of numbers. The Doggers final game of the year comes on the road Friday against South Platte, Neb. The game will be played in Dalton, Neb. at 2:30 p.m.

“We have to look at building our program and ending on a win,” Cornelius said. “It’s a balancing act (of playing upperclassmen and underclassmen). We will just play it by ear and see how it goes.”

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