Bulldogs crush Pinedale on the road

David Peck
The Lovell Bulldogs’ second long trip to Southwest Wyoming went much better than the first. After falling to Cokeville in Cokeville on September 8, the Bulldogs crushed Pinedale on the road Friday night, 51-6.

The win improved the Bulldogs to 3-1 on the season, 2-1 in the 2A West.

Coach Nicc Crosby said the win is a quality win, with Pinedale improving under second-year coach David Thrash.

“This was an improved Pinedale team,” Crosby said. “We knew about their size, and they had some pretty good speed. Their quarterback was a shifty runner, and they brought in a backup quarterback who was a good passer.

“I thought our defense played quite disciplined and tackled pretty well. We did a good job overall limiting their yards and points.”

In scouting the Wranglers, Crosby noticed that they play with a defensive scheme the Bulldogs could exploit, and the result was quarterback Davin Crosby hitting 14 of 23 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns.

“Almost all of their coverage was man with no high safeties. There’s not a free safety or two free safeties,” he said. “They’re like linebackers underneath to help against the run, which really left the field wide open for the passing game.”

Crosby noted that the Bulldog passing game is becoming more and more efficient as quarterback Crosby gets more in sync with his receivers and as receiving targets are developed.

“Because of his size and success that he’s had, Owen (Walker) is drawing a lot of attention, which opened up things for our other receivers, and they’ve done a good job taking advantage. I thought our pass protection was really good throughout the game. Davin threw the ball well, and receivers caught the ball and did a good job of getting extra yards after the catch.”

Sophomore Matthew Newman has seen increasing time as both a slot and wide receiver, to add an additional arrow to the quiver for the Bulldogs.

“He’s really good at catching those screen passes and has great vision and made some really good plays for us,” Crosby said. “Most of these guys spent a ton of time running routes and catching footballs this summer. The chemistry is really good. The receivers are seeing different looks and realizing the differences between the zone coverages we’re seeing and the man coverage.

“Again, our offensive line is giving Davin time to throw and go through his reads.”

Pulling away

The Bulldogs kicked off to start the game, and Pinedale gained three first downs before missing a 40-yard field goal.

The Bulldogs then drove 80 yards to put the first points on the scoreboard as Crosby hit Walker for 35, Jared Mangus for 13 and Walker again for 12 before fullback Braxton Felkins scored on a nine-yard run. Mangus booted the PAT, and Lovell led 7-0 late in the first quarter.

After forcing Pinedale three and out, the Bulldogs drove 66 yards to score again as Mangus carried the ball four times for 39 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run, and Crosby connected with senior Blake Wilson two times for 27 yards. Lovell led 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Pinedale drove to the Lovell 34, then fumbled, with Felkins pouncing on the loose ball. Crosby then found speedy senior Adnan Khan deep over the middle for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was blocked, but Lovell led 20-0.

Late in the half, the Bulldogs put together a 91-yard scoring drive as Crosby found Wilson for 39 yards, and Crosby carried twice for 31 yards and Felkins once for 10, setting up a six-yard scoring pass from Crosby to Mangus. The PAT failed, and Lovell led 26-0 as the first half came to a close.

Lovell had the ball first in the second half and drove 62 yards to score. Newman got the drive going by taking a screen pass for 30 yards. Mangus then ran the ball four times for 30 yards, setting up a two-yard touchdown run for Wilson. Lovell led 32-0 (PAT failed).

The  opportunistic 
Lovell defense put more points on the board as a pass bounced off a receiver and sophomore Karson Mollett snatched the ball and returned the interception 27 yards for a touchdown. Lovell led 39-0.

Following a Lovell fumble later in the third quarter, the Wranglers scored their only touchdown of the game on a 30-yard pass. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Bulldogs up 39-6.

Lovell answered with a 90-yard drive that included a 37-yard pass to Walker, followed by a 43-yard run by Mangus that saw the senior go up the middle then break outside and down the sideline for the score. Lovell led 45-6 (PAT failed).

The final Lovell score was set up by a remarkable defensive play by senior lineman Weston Crumrine, who batted a pass, then intercepted the ball. Lovell then drove 41 yards to score as Mangus found pay dirt on an 18-yard run to cap the Lovell scoring (PAT failed) as Lovell led by what would turn out to be the final score of 51-6.

Walker caught four of Crosby’s 14 completions for 93 yards, and Mangus caught four for 39 yards, Wilson three for 64, Newman two for 45 and Khan one for 64. Mangus carried the ball 18 times for 181 yards and three touchdowns, Crosby six times for 27 yards and Felkins twice for 18 yards and a score.

Lovell finished with 528 yards of total offense: 305 yards passing and 223 rushing.

Homecoming game

Lovell will host Rich County, Utah, for homecoming Friday at 7 p.m. The Rebels, of Randolph, Utah, play all of the 2A West teams and so far have fallen to Lyman 28-7 and Mountain View 24-6, then defeated Kemmerer 35-0 and Thermopolis 20-8.

“They are very aggressive and like to be very physical,” Crosby said of the Rebels. “They’re quite athletic, too. They’ll run a little bit of option and some traditional two-back sets and spread it out a little bit, too. They do a little bit of everything. They’re solid.”

A junior varsity game with Rich High School precedes
the varsity game at
4 p.m.