Due to the Upton-Sundance merger, NCHS had to find a makeup game on their schedule for week six. With over 150 football players Casper Natrona has sent teams to Yoder, Lingle and Upton also this fall to help fill the void. All of Niobrara County was in shock and mourning as former Tiger Colten Bruegger (class of 2010) was killed in an auto accident less than 24 hours before kickoff. The game had a subdued feeling as the five seniors and their parents were honored before the game.
The Mustangs showed why they are annually one of 4A’s most dominant teams with a quick early score. Chance Jones raced 32 yards on just their second play from scrimmage for the touchdown. The PAT was good and Natrona led 7-0 less than four minutes in. Lusk answered right back as Grady Penfield began the biggest game of his career with a 15 yard touchdown run and Colter Larson’s PAT was good to knot the game at seven. Matthew VandeBossche scored on the Tigers next series from three yards out and Larson’s kick was good for the 14-7 lead after one quarter.
The Mustangs answered on a 42 yard touchdown pass and PAT to once again tie the score. From that point Lusk controlled the line of scrimmage and was able to move the ball quite regularly. Bryce Sturman and Derick VandeBossche connected on a five yard touchdown play with brother Matt hitting Sturman for the two point conversion.
After Zane Hladky covered up a Mustang fumble, Sturman found Kevin Christianson on a fourth and eight. The diving Christianson made a nice catch in the endzone for a 23 yard touchdown. Larson nailed the kick and the lead was 29-14 at halftime.
In the third quarter Penfield had big runs of 22, 11, 18 and 18 and another 25 yard gallop in the fourth on his way to 195 yards on 19 carries. Larson and M. VandeBossche each capitalized from short distance and Larson hit both PATs to extend the lead to 43-14 as the final period approached. Penfield also had a key interception late in the game.
Lusk’s defense held off all of NC’s deep pass attempts as the visitors tried to catch up. Freshman Logan Lamar, making his first varsity start in place of injured Hunter Dockery was often the target NC attacked but knocked down four long passes and had six tackles. The Mustangs did get one final score after blocking a punt deep in the Tigers end of the field. Harshman scored from nine yards away and the PAT was good but not enough. Lusk moves to 6-0 on the season after the 43-21 final.
“It was a very good matchup, they brought a lot of their juniors and we were hoping it would be a good game,” said head coach Matt VandeBossche. “You get down to this time of year, you don’t want any walkover games and want to be running on all cylinders.”
SCORE BY QUARTERS
7 7 0 7 21
14 15 14 0 43
NCHS PLAYER STATS: Passing- Sturman 7/10, 104 yds, 2TD. Rushing- Penfield 19/195, TD; D. VandeBossche 6/52; Larson 13/48 TD; M. VandeBossche 16/46, 2TD; Sturman 5/31. Receiving- Larson 2/38; D. VandeBossche 3/29, TD; K. Christianson 1/23, TD; M. VandeBossche 1/14. Kicking- Larson 4/4 PAT. Defensive points- Lamar 17; Travis Smith 14; Hladky 13; Penfield 12; D. VandeBossche 11; M. VandeBossche 8; Sturman 5; K. Christianson 4; Dakota Clark 4; Larson 3; Craig Christianson 3.
TEAM STATS: NCHS Passing- 7/10, 104. Rushing- 59/372. Receiving- 7/10/104. 19 First downs. 3 penalties/35 yds. 2 fumbles/1 lost
NATRONA JV Passing- 7/25, 135 yds. Rushing- 16/89. Receiving- 7/135. 7 First downs. 8 penalties/55 yds. 1 fumble/0 lost
This Friday NCHS travels to Sheridan to face Normative Services. The Wolves are 0-4 in the conference and 1-5 overall. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
For the complete article see the 10-10-2012 issue.
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