Aug 28, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorLander Valley High School football coach Doug Hughes knows Cody will come into Bill Bush Memorial Stadium Friday night and try to establish the running game from the start.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Lander. The opener is a non-conference contest. The Tigers are in the Class 3-A East conference. Cody is in the Class 3-A West conference.
"I think that Cody's big strength is in its size," Hughes said. "Their front line on defense and front line on offense are very big and physical."
The Tigers beat Kemmerer 22-6 in the week-zero preseason game in Lander.
"Cody likes to pound at you and take advantage of that size," Hughes said.
"When you put too many guys in the box, they will try to go around you or over the top."
Laurel, Mont., blanked Cody 35-0 in another week-zero game Saturday afternoon.
"Cody lost a number of their starters, especially in the skilled positions, but they have a little bit more experience coming back than we do," Hughes said. "The majority of the offense is on the ground."
Cody and LVHS both made the Class 3-A playoffs last year. The top four teams from each conference advance to the playoffs.
"Lander is always a physical team and disciplined," Cody head coach Cris Williams said. "We look forward to a heck of a challenge."
Cody had a several turnovers in its setback to the Montana team.
"We need to cut down on mental mistakes and protect the football," Williams said. "That is going to be huge for us."
Williams said Cody is a young squad this season.
"At one point in the game Saturday, we had eight sophomores in the game," Williams said.
"We are excited about the line and how they played Saturday against Kemmerer," Hughes said. "If they continue to improve, we expect to have a positive year."
Senior Jason Hanson is Lander's starting center. Seniors Austin Coppock and junior Kyle LaTorre are the guards.
The tackles are senior brothers Robert and Ross Sloss.
"They didn't have a lot of varsity experience last year," Hughes said.
"They will continue to improve as the season goes. We expect big things out of our senior lineman."
The starting wide receivers are Reb Lindwurm, Jess Oldham and Marvin Aragon.
"All three of them have very good hands," Hughes said. "If we can get the ball to them, we expect them to catch the ball."
Junior Tylor Baker is the starting quarterback vs. Cody in the season opener.
"Tylor probably has the toughest job on the team, in getting the ball to the right positions and taking advantage of our opportunities," Hughes said.
"We will have to continue to make the right decisions."
Junior Jack Mazurie is the halfback, and senior Alex Bone is the fullback.
Mazurie had some long runs Saturday against the Rangers. Bone played on the line last year for the Tigers.
"Alex is getting better at running the ball," Hughes said.
"He still needs to get used to the position."
Junior Arion Mefferd is Lander's tight end.
"He is a good strong kid," Hughes said. "He will do a real nice job for us."
Hughes said Lander's starting defense wasn't set as of Tuesday.
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