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Late Rally Leads Tigers to Laramie

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 13th, 2013


Tiger Offensive line, #76 Shawn Thompson, #72 Garrett Smith, and quarterback #22 Hunter Dockery


After having their 30 quarter shutout streak come to an end early, the NCHS football team rallied for a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to defeat Lingle-Ft. Laramie last Friday in Lusk. The 30-21 win was the Tigers 23rd straight on Gibson Field at Fullmer Stadium, extending a new school record. The previous longest home winning streak of 21 was during the 1999-2002 seasons.

The win moves NCHS into the 1A state championship game against Cokeville Saturday (1 p.m.) at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. The Panthers defeated Southeast 39-7 in the other semifinal game in Cokeville Friday afternoon.

The cold air Friday night was secondary to the long-standing bitter rivalry between the schools as vehicles were double-parked anywhere possible. Both grandstands were packed and throughout the intense fourth quarter-were quite vocal.

LFL’s Wyatt Hageman put an end to the NCHS scoreless streak that had been going since the third quarter of the opening game at Newcastle two months ago. His three-yard run capped a drive which saw the visitors march through the Tiger defense with relative ease. Lane Hageman kicked the PAT and LFL led 7-0 after one period.

Both defenses had success stopping the other on fourth down plays, creating a game of field position. In the second quarter it appeared Lusk might be in trouble starting deep in their own territory. The 12 play drive covered 98 yards and was capped on Derick VandeBossche’s five yard touchdown run. Hunter Dockery connected with Martin Fitzwater to give the Tigers the 8-7 lead.

The joy was short lived as Wyatt Hageman, on the next series, broke free for a 47 yard touchdown run. His two point conversion was good, the Doggers led 15-8 and NCHS was in for the toughest game of the season.

“We needed that, we needed to be pushed, be hit in the mouth and have our backs to the wall,” said head coach Matt VandeBossche. “It was a great game for us, they pushed us to our limits, but I kind of think the kids handled it better than the coaching staff did, because I was a little nervous for sure.”

The backfield trio of Fitzwater and both VandeBossches helped march the Tigers back downfield, and was cleaned up on Derick’s 20 yard touchdown run. Matthew VandeBossche was stopped short on the conversion, yet Lusk was within one at halftime.

Neither team could break through for most of the second half as they traded big hits and defensive stops. M. VandeBossche stopped one Dogger drive deep in Tiger territory with an interception but Lusk could not take advantage. Very few flags were being thrown and the rivals were involved in a good old fashioned football game. The outcome became very much in doubt for Lusk after Wyatt Hageman erupted for a 52 yard run with barely six minutes to go. Five plays later he scored his third touchdown of the night to increase the lead to 21-14. The two point conversion was stopped after a penalty backed up the Doggers and were stuffed just short of the goal line.

Senior M. VandeBossche got the bulk of the carries on the next drive and was responsible for six first downs on the drive, as the LFL defense could not get off the field. Junior D. VandeBossche scored his third touchdown of the game as he got to the endzone from four yards away. Quarterback H. Dockery called his own number on the bootleg and snuck just past the pylon to give the home team the lead with 2:31 left on the clock. Tiger fans erupted with cautious joy while Dogger fans knew their team had plenty of time left.

The hometown joy grew in confidence as just a minute later H. Dockery stepped in front of a Hageman pass and scampered 52 yards down the sideline to the endzone. M. VandeBossche scored the two point run and NCHS led 30-21. Bryce Sturman ended the next drive with a fourth down near-interception on the visitors sideline and a pair of kneel downs to run out the clock. “Wow, what a great high school football game, a packed house, noisy-that’s how it should be,”

For the complete article see the 11-13-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-13-2013 paper.









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