Blazers fall in opener


Turnover late in game seals fate in 14-9 loss to Gering

TORRINGTON – With Torrington leading 9-7 with four seconds remaining in the third quarter, the visiting Gering Bulldogs faced a 4th-and-8 situation from the Torrington 11-yard line.

The Bulldogs went for it, and Gering running back Tanner Gartner sprinted untouched in the end zone for the go-ahead score and ultimately the game winning score as time expired in the quarter.

Torrington had one more shot late in the game.

With 3:32 left in the game, the Blazers were able to stop Gering on a 4th-and-9 play, giving Torrington the ball on the Gering 18-yard line.

THS drove down the field, but the drive stalled when senior quarterback Beau Biven’s pass came up short of its intended target and was picked off at the Gering 5-yard line.

The turnover allowed the Bulldogs to run out the clock to secure their first win since the 2019 season.

Throughout the game, Gering’s frontline dominated much of the game.

“The line of scrimmage, we lost that battle on both offense and defense. Gering came in more physical than us, and with our missed assignments, it didn’t help our cause at all,” coach Russell Stienmetz said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board, get our lineman back on the same page, get our missed assignment fixed and get our pad level low and get ready for the Bearcats.”

The Bulldogs took the opening drive 80 yards, chewing up almost six minutes of the quarter to take a 7-0 lead after Gering recovered a fumble in the end zone for the game’s first score.

Torrington got on the scoreboard with 10:24 left in the first half after a fumbled snap on a punt gave the Blazers good field position, starting the drive on the Bulldog 17-yard line.

After two dropped passes in the end zone, Torrington settled for a 29-yard field goal from senior kicker Chase Miller.

On the ensuing possession, the Blazers forced the Bulldogs to punt for their second straight possession.

“With stopping the run or slowing their run down was when our players started reading their keys that they are supposed to be reading,” Stienmetz said.

Torrington capped off its next drive with a 9-yard pass from Bivens to senior receiver Deagan Keith to put the Blazers in front 9-7.

“It was great awareness for Beau. It was a bad snap, but he found Deagan in the end zone,” Stienmetz said. “Gering’s defensive backs and linebackers were in Beau’s face the entire night. We’ll go back and work on our pass protection.”

Torrington ended up throwing the ball 35 times for the game.

“You aren’t going to go very far in Wyoming with throwing the ball 35 times like we did,” Stienmetz said. “In Wyoming we are going to have rainy games. We are going to have windy games. We are going to have snowy games, and you can’t rely on throwing the ball all the time. We have to establish a run game, and with establishing a run game, you are going to open up the passing game.”

The score remained the same until the end of the third quarter when Gering went in front for good as time expired on the quarter.

Torrington (0-1) travels to Douglas (0-0) on Friday, Sept. 3 for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

“Douglas has a great program and a great tradition of winning,” Stienmetz said. “We know Douglas is fast from camps they attended this summer. We are expecting a very fast offense.”

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