Tigers rounded up by Herders despite Jay's playSep 10, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
On Friday in Glenrock, the Lander Valley Tigers lost their game against the host Herders by a final score of 32-14.
However, it was what happened during a second-quarter Lander possession which provided the highlight, as well as the headlines, for this contest.
The Tigers' Connor Jay took off on a route down the left sideline of the field and made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder circus catch on a pass from quarterback Max Mazurie, which earned the Lander wideout a spot on ESPN's "SportsCenter Top 10 Plays."
Despite the defeat, it's something Jay and his teammates will certainly be talking about for years to come, long after all of them have played their last game.
"It was pretty exciting for the kids," said Tigers head coach John Rounds. "It's tempered a bit by the loss, but we can certainly celebrate the success -- it's a pretty cool deal."
Oh, yes -- the game.
Brody Dempster scored on a pair of two-yard touchdown plunges late in the game to make the scoreline a bit more respectable, by by then it was far too little, far too late for the Tigers.
However, the game remained close through the first quarter, as the hosts had only a 7-0 lead thanks to Ian Arnold's 20-yard scoring run, part of a six-play, 67-yard drive which provided the only points of the opening period.
The Herders are top-ranked squad in Class 2-A and get it done with a powerful running game, which provides several options on each play, making it maddening for defenses to decipher.
Glenrock marched 98 yards in only four plays for its second score of the contest, with 76 yards coming in one very big piece from Payton Steinmetz, before he punched it in from four yards out for a 14-0 lead.
Next, the Herders took advantage of a Tigers fumble and scored on a Brysen Collier four-yard scamper to make it 19-0 before adding another six points on a Tucker Bopp 10-yard run, which made it 26-0 at the break.
Steinmetz added a 16-yard run for another touchdown in the third quarter for a 32-0 lead before Dempster's pair of fourth-quarter rumbles provided the game's final points.
On the first, Lander drove 39 yards in 10 plays before Dumpster burst into the end zone from two yards out.
Following a successful onside kick, the Tigers executed a four-play, 60-yard march, providing Dempster with another two-yard crash for the Tigers' second score of the contest.
DeAundre Velarde led Lander with 17 carries for 72 yards, while Mazurie was 11-of-20 for 138 yards in the air.
Jay caught eight passes for 106 yards, including his national television-worthy effort.
Glenrock had three backs hit the century mark on the night, as Bopp ran 18 times for 177 yards, while Steinmetz added 133 yards on nine attempts and Arnold contributed 22 rushes for 127 yards.
Jasper Roy led the Tigers defense with 17 points, while Jori Shakespeare had 16 and Austin Bennett added 14.
Rounds admitted his club came up short in the clutch early on.
"We were doing some things well in the first half," he said. "We moved the ball well, but couldn't put any points on the board with the turnovers we had in the red zone. We just couldn't finish."
According to Rounds, his squad is just a bit short in a critical area when they need it most, but it's something they will continue to work on.
"All we need is that little bit of extra determination and effort," said Rounds. "We'll keep working hard to perfect what we're doing."
Lander (0-2) will next host Class 2-A Thermopolis on Friday.
Lander 0 0 0 14 -- 14
Glenrock 7 19 6 0 -- 32
Glenrock - Arnold 20-yard run (Bopp kick).
Glenrock - Steinmetz 4-yard run (Bopp kick).
Glenrock - Collier 4-yard run (PAT failed).
Glenrock - Bppp 10-yard run (PAT failed).
Glenrock - Steinmetz 16-yard run (point failed).
Lander - Dempster 2-yard run (Renner kick).
Lander - Dempster 2-yard run (Renner kick).
Lander - Velarde 17-72, Motherway 7-22, Dempster 9-21, mazuriw 5-15, Swenson 1-8.
Glenrock - Bopp 18-177, Steinmetz 9-133, Arnold, 22-127, Collier 1-4, Elisson 1-3, Moore 1-0.
Lander - Mazurie 11-20-1-138.
Lander - Jay 8-106, Swenson 2-17, Dempster 1-13.
Lander - Roy 17, Shakespeare 16, Bennett 14, Renner 9, Velarde 9, Dempster 9, Lee 8, Motherway 6, Debett 4, Lesher 3, Mazurie 2, Swenson 1.
Glenrock- Arnold 19, Steinmetz 18, Elisson 14, Bopp 12, Collier 11, Moore 8, Davies 6.5, Jones 6.5, Blaylock 5, Moreno 4, Harries 4.