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Inexperienced Tigers upended 28-0 by Cody to start season

Sep 2, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Late in the third quarter, Lander Valley High School was in position to tie up the football game vs. Cody at 7-7, but the Tigers couldn't pound the ball over the goal line and settled for a 25-yard field goal attempt.

The Broncs blocked the field goal scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to spoil the home opener for LVHS in a 28-0 victory at Bill Bush Memorial Stadium.

Cody is now 1-0 on the season. The Tigers stand at 0-1.

"We just didn't take advantage of our opportunities," LVHS coach Doug Hughes said. "We turned the ball over several times in key situations. We didn't score when we were down inside the 5-yard line a couple of times. We just lost a little bit at the end."

LVHS had 124 yards rushing against Cody's defense. Jonah Burke had 11 carries for 52 yards.

Burke was playing in the tailback position in the final two quarters because starting running back Jack Mazurie went out late in the second quarter with an injured knee. He didn't return in the second half.

"I didn't think that we were nervous on the field," Hughes said. "I thought that we played a pretty good football game through at least three quarters. Our defense held really well."

Mazurie is the only returning starter back from last year's squad.

"We kind of ran out of bodies toward the end," Hughes said. "The injury bug kind of got us early, which is not good this early in the year. We will have to build our depth and get our younger kids a lot more time."

The Tigers had 26 yards passing and threw three interceptions in the first half. Cody finished with 269 yards rushing. The visiting team had 173 yards on the ground in the second half when they blew the game open. Cody threw for 90 yards passing to finish with 350 total yards of offense.

"The kids played hard the whole game. You can't fault them for that," Hughes said.

LVHS will host Star Valley at 7 p.m. Friday at Bill Bush Memorial Stadium in another non-conference game. The Braves won their opener 20-10 over Snake River, Idaho.

"I'm expecting Star Valley will try to spread it out again," Hughes said. "They usually have a pretty shifty quarterback. They like to get the ball to the outside to run the screens and the short passing game."

Cody 28, Lander 0

Cody's defense caused problems in the first half for Lander's offense.

The visiting team picked off LVHS quarterback Tylor Baker three times. Baker, a junior, was making his first varsity start for the home squad. Cody took advantage of the first mistake in the first quarter after Ryan Nieters pulled in a pass from Baker to put the ball on the 49-yard line.

Cody running back Noah Rivera had a 20-yard run. Quarterback Bryce Neary scored on a 1-yard run at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, LVHS had an opportunity to score, but Nieters intercepted his second pass of the evening from Baker in the end zone to keep the momentum on its side.

LVHS backup quarterback Andrew Von Rein played in the last series for the Tigers in the first half. Hughes put Baker back in the game in the third and fourth quarters.

"Our quarterback is a work in process," Hughes said. "We have a young quarterback who doesn't have a lot of varsity experience."

Midway through the third quarter, Cody was called for a pass interference to keep a drive alive for the Tigers.

With the football on Cody's 34-yard line, Burke had a 30-yard run to move it to the 5-yard line. Cody's defense stopped LVHS on three straight plays and blocked the field goal attempt by Kyle LaTorre.

The final 12 minutes belonged to Cody.

The longest play of the night was an 80-yard pass play from Neary to Cody's Cody Hult right down the visiting team's sideline. Three plays later, Carter Myers had a 14-yard touchdown run.

The second score of the period was on a Taylor Neuman run from 57 yards at the 6:28 mark to increase the cushion to 21-0.

Cody's final score was a 33-yard touchdown run from Tate Pehringer.

"Cody did pretty much what we thought that they were going to do," Hughes said. "One problem is that they kind of wore us down at the end of the game. It was a pretty physical game. We have a lot of kids that are going both ways."

Cody 28, Lander 0

CODY 0 7 0 21 -- 28

LVHS 0 0 0 0 -- 7

Second quarter

Cody -- Bryce Neary 1-yard run (Carter Myers kick), 6:37.

Fourth quarter

Cody -- Myers 1-yard run (Myers kick), 9:15.

Cody -- Taylor Neuman 57-yard run (Myers kick), 6:28.

Cody -- Tate Pehringer 33-yard run (Myers kick), 3:50.

Team stats

Rushing -- Lander, 124 yards. Cody, 269 yards.

Passing -- Lander, 26 yards. Cody, 90 yards. (Only stats made available).

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