From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 11 - 11/10/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Pinedale quarterback Garrett Hartwig (#12) struggles to find the corner against the Lusk Tiger defense last Saturday as Donner Bell, Mike Moulton, and other Wranglers look on. Game day saw beautiful weather in Lusk and many Wrangler parents and fans drove
Penalties, Turnovers Cost Wranglers A State Championship At Lusk
Lusk scores three second half TDs in 28-16 win over Pinedale.
by Rob Shaul

The undefeated Lusk Tigers and the large hometown crowd awash in red and white seemed shaken in the warm afternoon sun. Pinedale's defensive lineman Seth Swank had just registered a monster sack of the Tiger quarterback to end the second half. Swank and the rest of the Wrangler defensive front had totally shut down yardage between the tackles for the vaunted Lusk running attack and held the tigers to just 8 points.

Offensively, Pinedale's bruising senior fullback Jordan Konicek had punished the Tigers for 89 yards on the ground and two up-the-gut touchdowns - a 38 yarder and a 9 yarder. The Wranglers were playing confidently, and were taking a 16-8 lead into halftime. Just twenty-four minutes stood between the Wranglers and Pinedale's first state football championship since 1975.

It went downhill hill for the Green and White from there. A second half full of penalties and turnovers cost the Wranglers, allowing the Tigers to gain momentum and take away the championship.

Lusk received the kickoff to begin the third quarter. On their second play from scrimmage, a Pinedale personal foul helped along the Tiger offense for an easy 15 yards. Seven plays later Lusk scored on a sweep. The conversion failed, and with 8:33 left in the third quarter, the Tigers had narrowed the game to 16-14.

After the ensuing kickoff, Pinedale took over at their own 14-yard line. Two plays and two consecutive illegal procedure calls left the Wranglers facing a first and 20 from their own six yard line. They ended up punting and Lusk began winning the field position game.

Seth Swank (#63) gives the Pinedale crowd a “Mile High Salute” after sacking the Lusk quarterback to end the first half.
On the Wrangler's next possession, an offensive holding call negated a much-needed first down and Pinedale was forced to punt.

Lusk took over at their own 43-yard line when yet another Wrangler penalty, this time a personal foul, gave the Tigers an easy 15 yards to the Pinedale 36-yard line. Three plays later Lusk scored and took over the lead, 22-16 at the end of the third quarter.

The two teams traded punts to begin the fourth quarter. With 9:20 left in the game, the Wranglers took over at their own 17-yard line. Yet another Pinedale penalty, this time holding, negated a Wrangler first down. The penalty left the Wranglers facing a first and 18 and a passing situation. Quarterback Garrett Hartwig's under-thrown pass was intercepted by Lusk's Brett Hytrek who returned the ball all the way down to the Pinedale 8-yard line. On first down, the Tigers scored their last touchdown to extend their lead to 28-16.

Pinedale was unable to convert a fourth and ten on their next possession. After forcing the Tigers to punt, the Wranglers got one more chance late in the fourth quarter. However, another turnover, this time a fumbled punt return, cost Pinedale the opportunity. Lusk ran out the clock and took home the state championship on their fourth try in five years.

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Copyright © 1999 The Sublette County Journal
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
The Sublette County Journal, PO Box 3010, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3713
Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul