Wranglers shut out by BulldogsSep 10, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
Improvement often takes tiny steps and the Shoshoni Wranglers made a few of those after a slow opening period against the visiting Class 2-A Lovell Bulldogs on Friday. Lovell shut out the Wranglers 39-0, behind three first-period touchdowns from Bulldogs running back Porter Nichols.
Nichols gashed the Wranglers defense in the opening minutes of the game, beginning with a 38-yard breakaway run, a 30-yard pass from Logan Hitz and another 47-yard scamper.
Trailing 20-0 at the end of the first, the Wranglers defense stiffened in the second and Mason Lucas put Porter out of the game after a hard hit with injured ribs.
The Bulldogs were more limited offensively without the fleet- footed Nichols and tallied just a single score in the second period when Hitz took a broken pass play wide for a nine-yard quarterback keeper.
Shoshoni's Manny Gonzalez blocked well at the point of attack and Wyatt Weaver and freshman Kade Fike were solid on defense.
Shoshoni's offense sputtered throughout the opening half with senior running back Wyatt Ramsey a marked man in the Wranglers single-wing attack.
Ramsey gained a hard-earned 21 yards on 22 carries on the game.
As the half drew to a close, quarterback Wade Cornell picked up Shoshoni's initial first down with 4:39 left in the second on a quarterback keeper up the middle.
Cornell's inside running freed up senior Andrew Jennings on the inside counter and he added another first down on a 19-yard scamper, the longest of the game for the Wranglers.
Lovell tacked on a pair of scores in thethird with Hitz connecting on a two-yard pass to Wil Lillard and Coy Trainer crashing in from the six.
The Wranglers had chances to score in both halves, but luck was no lady for Shoshoni on their home field.
In the second period, Cornell rolled right under heavy pressure and connected with sophomore Kaden Dewitt in the west corner of the end zone, but Dewitt was upended on the catch and when he hit the ground, the ball popped loose.
Ramsey was on his way to an apparent score early in the fourth period, but fumbled at the 5-yard line and Lovell's Jaxson Jasso recovered the spinning pigskin for the Bulldogs.
The Wranglers showed improvement at the individual level throughout the game.
Jared Gregory flew around the field on defense and mixed it up on most plays.
Senior Levi Coyle snapped the ball well and blocked a Lovell punt with 4:24 left in the game to give the Wranglers excellent field position at the 30, but the Wranglers fumbled the ball away on the following play and Lovell was able to pick up a pair of first downs to run out the clock.
Shoshoni and Lovell were regular opponents in the old Five Rivers Conference in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The two squads met the last time in 1989 in Big Horn County, with the Bulldogs breaking a 12-12 tie in the third quarter with 24 unanswered points for a 36-12 win.
Entering Friday's contest, the Bulldogs held a slight 4-3 advantage in the series.
Lovell 20 7 12 0 - 39
Shoshoni 0 0 0 0 - 0
LOV - Porter Nichols 38-run (Logan Nunn kick) 8:08
LOV - Nichols 30-pass from Logan Hitz (Kick blocked) 4:03
LOV - Porter Nichols 47 run (Nunn kick) 1:15
LOV - Hitz 9-run (Hitz kick) 6:24
LOV - Wil Lillard 2-pass from Hitz (kick failed) 4:48
LOV - Coy Trainer 6-run (kick failed) 1:42
Total Offense: Shoshoni 97,Lovell 373.
Rushing: Shoshoni 43/97, Lovell 46/314.
Passing: Shoshoni - Wade Cornell 0-5, Lovell - Logan Hitz 5-7-48, Mat Savage 3-3-11.
Individual Rushing: Shoshoni - Andrew Jennings 12-69, Wyatt Ramsey 22-21, Kade Fike 1-6, Wade Cornell 8-1; Lovell - Porter Nichols 7-130, Mikel May 14-80, Coy Trainer 10-52, Logan Hitz 8-17, Mat Savage 2-12, Hunter Harris 3-10, Wil Lillard 1-9, Jordan Vasquez 1-4
Individual Receiving: Lovell - Porter Nichols 1-30, Kaleb Snyder 4-22, Jordan Vasquez 1-6, Wil Lillard 1-2, Mikel May 1-(-1)
Punting: Shoshoni - Andrew Jennings 4-133, 33.3. Lovell - Mat Savage 2-17, 8.5.
First Downs: Shoshoni 8, Lovell 22.
Penalties: Shoshoni 1-15, Lovell 5/-5