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Monday, March 19, 2018

Laurel a legitimate test for Red Devils

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Things won’t get any easier for the Dawson County High School football team with the Laurel Locomotives rolling into town on Friday for the first conference game of the year for both teams. 

After nearly completing one of the biggest comebacks in program history on homecoming against Fergus High School on Friday, the Red Devils will get a look at another talented runner and passer this weekend.

The Locomotives (2-1) bounced back from a 29-20 loss in Belgrade to trounce Butte Central (2-2), 42-19, Friday. Senior quarterback Casey Cole ran for 142 yards and passed for 142 more. He scored four touchdowns and will be the focus of the Devil defense, along with his favorite target, senior wide receiver Chanc Lawrence. 

Senior Jared Craig is Laurel’s feature running back. He averaged 10 yards per carry against Butte Central, but only finished with seven carries for 71 yards. The quarterback, Cole, will get most of the carries for the Locomotives. He ran the ball 17 times last week.

DCHS junior quarterback Cade Dockter was impressive in the loss to Lewistown despite two interceptions. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 175 yards and also found a new target in former-center Baxter Baker to go along with Robby Keiser on the outside. 

The rushing trio of Jameson Crisafulli, Tyler Clapp and Karsen Kelly, as well as Dockter, will be glad Lewistown’s experienced defensive line is long gone. The Devils ran for just 147 yards on 47 rushes for a 3.13 yard-per-carry average on Friday. Laurel does have the 280-pound senior Colter Hickok at nose guard, but there should be more gaps than Glendive saw against Lewistown.

Dawson has scored 66 points to Laurel’s 64, the least in the Eastern A thus far, but Laurel’s allowed just 48 points to Dawson’s 58 allowed. 

Glendive (1-2) has lost two games by one score or less, and if they can clean up the turnovers and big plays that plagued them against Lewistown and Glasgow, the Red Devils could scare Laurel, too.

“We basically shot ourselves in the foot in the first half (last week),” head coach Ryan Buckley said. He hasn’t seen his team play at its potential for an entire game yet, but hopes to on Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Perham Field.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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