Wheatland Back on track with homecoming victory

WHS junior Ryland Petroski and senior Jake Hicks pursue and tackle a running back from Tongue River. The Bulldogs beat Tongue River to emerge victorious in their homecoming game.

WHEATLAND – After having the wind taken out of their sails last week at Burns, the Bulldogs returned to hard nose defense and power running to defeat Tongue River in the Wheatland homecoming game.

Although the score was close at the half with only a touchdown separating the two teams, it stayed that way all the way until the end as the Dogs came away with a 20-14 victory.

The stat sheet didn’t reflect the score as the Bulldogs put up 439 yards of total offense to Tongue River’s 79 yards. Once again, annoying penalties in critical situations chased the Dogs away from the end zone and one trick play with a double pass halfback option made the score much closer than it really was.

“We played a really good game that the score doesn’t necessarily show,” head football coach Cody Bohlander said. “We put up 439 yds of offense and held them to 79. Some penalties in the red zone definitely weren’t ideal and stopped us from putting more points on the board.”

Offensively, though the Bulldogs pretty much had linemen up front that moved the line of scrimmage and opened up holes for the running backs. Tongue River played tight man-to-man coverage and at times would double Jake Hicks over the middle. The tight coverage in the backfield left openings for Kade Preuit who literally got past the line of scrimmage with little or no problems. Once he busted into the secondary, he had a nose for the end zone and found it twice.

Preuit was the leading rusher with 112 yards on 14 carries followed by Aric Suko who rushed 27 times for 105 yards. Hyanni Fausto also accounted for 37 yards on the ground. Overall, the Bulldogs gained 284 yards on the ground and Preuit was 13-18 for 149 yards, but more importantly, instead of throwing into coverage, he lowered his tucked the ball and ran, lowering his shoulder and making the Tongue River smaller defensive backs pay for trying to tackle him.

“We gave up 2 big plays on the night and they ended in scores,” Bohlander said. “We have to make sure we tighten down and stay focused to limit those type of plays. We are happy with the win and excited for the game this week. We are going to prepare for Torrington the same way we have for any other team. The only difference this week is that Mother Nature is bringing in some cold days that we will just have to work through it.”

The Friday night game has a kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. It is a pink night in remembrance of breast cancer awareness month. The football players will have pink ribbon stickers on their helmets. It will also be senior night at the stadium with cross-country, golf and football seniors being honored with their parents prior to kickoff. In addition, the booster club will have a pink store running this week to get all of your pink Bulldog gear.

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