Doggers fall to Punchers

Lingle-Fort Laramie’s Colt Brown (2), Cooper Smith (77) and Colter McFarlin team up to tackle Big Piney’s Caden Clifford Saturday in Lingle. Rob Mortimore/Lingle Guide

LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers could not overcome four first-half turnovers and fell to the Big Piney Punchers Saturday at Kirk Field in Lingle, 51-27. 

Lingle-Fort Laramie ended the season 9-1 overall. 

Big Piney opened the contest with the first possession and went 59 yards on 14 plays, capped off by a Caden Clifford two-yard pass to Reuben Stoutenburg. The Doggers defense had Clifford wrapped up in the backfield, but the junior quarterback managed to flip the ball out to Stoutenburg, who found paydirt to give the Punchers a 7-0 lead with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter.

Lingle-Fort Laramie looked to respond, taking over possession at their own 33-yard-line. Sophomore Colt Brown broke free for a 10-yard gain on first down and the Doggers were in Puncher territory just two plays later, but on a 13-yard run, junior Louden Bremer had the ball punched out of his arms from behind and Big Piney recovered at their own 34-yard-line.

Big Piney wasted little time, when Clifford connected with Karsy Gurr on a 41-yard pass to set the Punchers up with a first and 10 at the Doggers’ 25-yard line. Three plays later, Stoutenburg found the endzone on a 12-yard run, pushing the Punchers lead to 14-0 with 1:30 remaining in the first.

On the Doggers’ ensuing possession, Lingle-Fort Laramie managed three yards before facing a third-and-seven, when Big Piney’s Jerrett Fear stepped in front of a Brady Cook pass for an interception. Fear returned the interception to the Doggers’ 35-yard-line.

Big Piney was flagged for holding on their first play after taking over possession, and after Lingle-Fort Laramie’s Jaden VanGundy tackled Stoutenburg for a loss, the Punchers were facing a third and 24 situation at midfield. Clifford connected with Stoutenburg on a 20-yard pass over the middle of the field to set up a fourth down and five to go situation, and Clifford again connected with Stoutenburg for a 29-yard-touchdown pass to give Big Piney a 20-0 lead with 8:49 left in the first half.

The Doggers got on the scoreboard on the ensuing possession.

Brown returned the kickoff to the Doggers’ 39-yard line and after not gaining anything on first down, Cook connected with sophomore Anthony Arnusch on an 11-yard pass and then Brown broke free on a 44-yard run to set the Doggers up with a first and goal at the 6-yard line. After the Punchers stopped Lingle-Fort Laramie on three straight plays, Brown was able to find the endzone on fourth and goal to get the Doggers on the board and cut the Punchers lead to 20-7, with 5:20 left in the first half.

Big Piney came storming right back.

The Punchers returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield and four plays later, Clifford scored on a 25-yard run to extend Big Piney’s lead to 26-7 with 4:22 on the clock.

Big Piney would add another touchdown after a Clifford interception on the Doggers’ next possession and eventually led 33-7 at halftime.

Bremer added a pair of touchdown runs in the third period and Nolan Spears capped off the Doggers scoring with a 17-yard touchdown reception from Cook midway through the fourth period.

Brown led the Doggers ground attack with 84 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown, while Bremer had 56 yards on 17 carries and two scores. Cook finished 11-of-26 passing for 144 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.