Eagles, from left, Jaxn Kobza, Mason Schroder and Lane Dockery defend a pass from Wheatland quarterback Critter Ruwart Sept. 13 in Dayton. (The Sheridan Press/Brad Estes)Eagles, from left, Jaxn Kobza, Mason Schroder and Lane Dockery defend a pass from Wheatland quarterback Critter Ruwart Sept. 13 in Dayton. (The Sheridan Press/Brad Estes)

Prep football preview: Moorcroft at Tongue River

DAYTON — The next time Tongue River and Moorcroft play after Friday, it will be a 1A game.

Head coach John Scott says that’s a good thing for both squads even this week, two teams which were named in August by the Wyoming High School Athletic Association as enrollment qualifiers for dropping from 2A to 1A class in 2014.

“The matchup is really a positive for us and Moorcroft,” he said. “This game should be being played on a Saturday morning as a JV contest rather than a varsity game as both teams are very young.
“I believe the matchup will bring out the best in both teams and no different than when two contenders play — it will come down to who makes the fewest errors.”

The two teams are ranked last in most statistical 2A offensive categories, with Tongue River’s nine turnovers better than Moorcroft’s 11 through three games. The Eagles (0-3) fell 51-13 in Glenrock (3-0) last week, while Moorcroft suffered a 63-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle.

“Offensively we are not sustaining blocks and at times just very confused — we will continue to simplify the scheme to improve execution,” Scott said. “We are a much better offensive team than we have shown. I must do a better job of identifying what a young offense can do — what I consider simple is not the same to them right now.

“Defensively, we must get off blocks, take better angles to the ball and wrap up on tackles, to try and slow down our opponents run game.”

Senior Tyler Kane is fourth among top defenders in 2A in terms of defensive points. He’s averaging 9.3 tackles per game with 17 solo tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack along with two fumble recoveries.

Lane Dockery has scored two of the Eagles three touchdowns this year — one on an 85-yard kick return and then another on a 90-yard run from scrimmage last week in Glenrock.

Scott said last week was something of a wake-up call for his team, as they cope with being the underdog week in and week out.

“I think the upperclassmen on the team are humbled by the lack of effort and toughness we displayed against Glenrock,” Scott said. “We really did not give ourselves a chance right from the start. Right now we are really struggling with the mental part of the game — we just don’t believe we can line up and be more physical.

“Everyone seems to be saying the ‘right’ things, but when it comes to the ‘action’ part we lack confidence,” he continued. “What I like about this team is that they really are trying to buy in to what we need to be competitive — it comes down to just letting it loose, and hopefully that will be Friday.”
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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