Oct 3, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorDouglas has marched through its first four football opponents in convincing fashion to remain in the elite category in the Class 3-A division.
The Lander Tigers have the opportunity to slow down Douglas at 7 p.m. Friday in Converse County.
Both Lander and Douglas are 1-0 in the Class 3-A East conference standings.
"You have to bend but not break against Douglas," Lander coach Doug Hughes said. "The key is to try and not give up the big play and make them settle for field goals."
Douglas and Lander battled in 2012 in a tight game at Bill Bush Memorial Stadium.
"Last year, we were successful in doing this," Hughes said. "We will also have to control the ball on offense and establish field position, which will shorten the game."
The Tigers edged Torrington 14-13 last Friday night for their first win of the season.
"We were excited for the success we had against Torrington," Hughes said. "You have to put the previous week behind you and concentrate on your opponent for Friday night."
Douglas has rolled over Green River, Cody, Star Valley and Buffalo.
"We need to match their athleticism," Hughes said. "They are extremely quick and can score form any part of the field," Hughes said. "Against Star Valley, they moved the ball 90 yards in under a minute to tie the game at halftime."
Jaxon Hedges and Jack Mazurie had the two touchdowns for Lander vs. Torrington.
The touchdown by Hedges was on a 77-yard kickoff return.
"I feel that we have improved as the season has progressed," Hughes said. "We are building depth in a number of positions that has helped give some of our two-day starts some breaks during the games."
"We have been playing at a pretty high level in the last four weeks," Douglas coach Jay Rhoades said. "I thought that our games against Cody and Star Valley were really solid."
Douglas hammered Buffalo 52-0 in its conference opener.
"To go up to Buffalo in adverse conditions and play as well as we did, I was extremely happy," Rhoades said.
Douglas makes sure the offense and defensive lineman go one way.
"That has been huge for us," Rhoades said. "We don't get to do it every year, but when we have the numbers it keeps the kids so much fresher."
Douglas running back Logan Barker averages over 100 yards per game.
"We try to be as balance as we can," Rhoades said.
Austyn Matthews, Garrett Boner and Micah Thompson are the other key running backs.
"We have to be able to play consistent," Rhoades said. "You have to be able to adjust during the game."
Douglas plays Rawlins and Torrington at home in the rest of the league schedule.
In the seventh week, Douglas faces Riverton at Wolverine Field.
"Every game is critical for us," Rhoades said. "It's important game for both teams."
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