Tigers fall to Torrington on road, 52-7Sep 24, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
On Friday night in the far southeast corner of the state, the Lander Valley Tigers took on the Trailblazers of Torrington and engaged in a battle which would see the visitors vanquished by a scoreline of 52-7 at the hands of the hosts.
Lander rolled up nearly 300 yards of total offense in the contest and moved the ball effectively between the sides' respective 20-yard lines, but ultimately failed to capitalize by putting points on the board once reaching the red zone.
"We moved the ball from our own 35-yard line all the way to their 25, which was a nice drive, but then we stalled," said Tigers head coach John Rounds, of his squad's opening possession of the game. "We drove the ball, but couldn't take advantage. They took the ball and went 70 yards to the house on the first play."
After Torrington scored first for a 7-0 lead, the Tigers got the ball back and drove inside Trailblazers' territory again, only to be stopped on a third-down conversion attempt, forcing Cody Renner to drop back into punt formation.
However, a high snap sailed over Renner's head, bounded into the end zone and was recovered for the home side's second score of the game, making it 14-0 only five minutes into the opening period.
According to Rounds, the quick momentum shift swung the game in the hosts' favor, as did his club's inability to cash in once they were within striking distance.
"We were inside their 30-yard line three times in the first half," said Rounds. "We felt like our offense was moving the ball well, but when we get into scoring position, we're not finishing. It's definitely something, as coaches, we have to look at."
One Tigers player who moved the ball with authority was running back DeAundre Velarde, who carried 21 times for 92 yards, along with fullback Brody Dempster, who bashed his way for 48 yards on only five rushing attempts.
In all, Lander ran for 175 yards on the game, as quarterback Max Mazurie was 8-of-17 for 113 yards through the air, with Conrad Swenson leading the way with six catches.
The first half ended with the Tigers trailing, 29-0.
Lander got its only score of the contest on a one-yard Mazurie run in the third quarter, as Torrington scored three more times in the second half to provide the final margin of victory.
Lander (1-3) will next travel to Riverton on Friday to face the Wolverines in the Class 3-A East conference opener for both clubs.
Rounds is anticipating a slugfest, he said.
"Out bread-and-butter is to give the ball to our backs," said Rounds. "Riverton is a dangerous team, who still has plenty of offensive weapons, but we're a better team and are excited for the opportunity."
Lander 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Torrington 21 8 7 16 -- 52