SARATOGA – The Lingle-Fort Laramie High School football team scored its first win of the season and took another step forward on Friday evening in Saratoga.
“Our kids played really well. It was one of those games that came down to the wire, and our kids found a way to win the game,” head coach Brandon Gifford said. “Being a young team, it was something that we have to learn how to win, and it’s a huge steppingstone for us.”
The Doggers fended off a late drive by Saratoga in a 21-16 victory.
“We had a bad snap and turned the ball over in a critical moment,” Gifford said. “We didn’t execute there, but another one of those pieces in becoming a successful team is, when mistakes do happen, you don’t crack, you don’t break.”
That’s exactly what the Doggers did.
On fourth down, Saratoga was forced to go for it, but a pass breakup ended the home team’s hopes, giving the ball back to the Doggers in the closing seconds of the match.
“You have to respond to those situations. To our kids’ credit, they responded and held Saratoga out of the end zone,” Gifford said. “It’s an affirmation of the work they’ve been putting in the last couple weeks.”
The turnover on downs allowed LFL to go to a knee and bleed off the final seconds of the game.
Over the course of the game, Lingle found the end zone three times, but also had two touchdowns called back on penalties.
“Ideally, we like to see that fixed so we can put more points on the board,” Gifford said. “Offensively, we moved the ball well. There are some situations that we can be better at and exploit a little bit more.”
All three of the Dogger touchdowns came on the ground.
The first came in the first quarter when sophomore quarterback Nolan Spears sprinted 60 yards for a score.
The other two scores came courtesy of freshman running back Louden Bremer.
Bremer scored on a 26-yard run in the second quarter to put the Doggers in front 15-8 and again in the third quarter on a 60-yard scamper.
“We had success running the ball again,” Gifford said. “Our kids are understanding the schemes and blocking assignments. Again, once we understand and execute those, it’s going to be pretty hard to stop us.”
Bremer rushed for 113 yards on six carries, while Spears added 110 yards on 15 attempts.
Defensively, Bremer had 13 unassisted tackles to go along with four pass breakups and two interceptions. Spears added three solo stops and assisted on five other tackles with a pass breakup. Juniors Cooper Fauber and Owen Schilreff added two stops apiece. Fauber, freshman Kaiden Riggs and freshman Cooper Smith recorded one sack each.
The Doggers (1-4 overall and 1-3 in the 9-Man East) host Moorcroft (0-5 and 0-4) at 6 p.m. Friday at Kirk Field for Homecoming.
“We have to be careful. We can’t let this be a trap game for us,” Gifford said. “We have to go in and prepare like any other week and execute our game. If we do that, I believe we will come away with a win.”