A New Chapter

Mike Moore photo
Ian Arnold reaches across the pylon for a touchdown in the first half against Torrington. Arnold rushed for 158 yards and two TDs.

Eddie Poe eddie@glenrockind.com

Time slowly ticked away as the blinding sunset disappeared beyond the horizon and the Torrington Tigers’ offense marched toward a late first-half score.
A few minutes into the drive, on a pass deep down the center of the field, Zane Moore leapt in the air with a Trailblazers’ receiver a step behind him and reeled in an interception. Torrington’s seven-play drive was cut short. More importantly, the Herders prevented themselves from going down by two scores.
In the second half, Glenrock’s power fullback Ian Arnold muscled his way to a first down. A few plays later, the Herders converted their second fourth down of the drive. Another fourth down conversion followed. And on the 14th play of the possession, Patrick Bruno executed a key block and Arnold pumped his fist in the air as he sprinted into the end zone for a game tying 20-yard touchdown.
“We weren’t afraid to get physical with (them),” Herders head coach Ray Kumpula said earlier this week.
One play after the game tying score, Arnold sneaked into the end zone for a two-point conversion to propel the Herders to a 16-14 lead.
On Friday night, an unfamiliar presence was felt on the offensive line. With tackles unable to play in Glenrock’s week-one matchup, the Herders’ starting quarterback, by nature of the double wing offense, wore a different number.
“I hadn’t played line since fourth grade,” Moore said about his change in position. “I went in there and I learned as much as I could at practice the week before and prepared as much as I could.”
As he helped create space up front, Arnold scampered into the end zone twice Friday night - 17-yards in the first half and on a 20-yard run in the second half - and the Herders held a two-point lead with one quarter left to play.
Torrington’s offense was mostly held in check by Glenrock. Aside from Bryan Lemmon’s two rushing touchdowns, the Trailblazers were held to under 200 rushing yards. By comparison, the Herders compiled 335 rushing yards.
On the 11th play of a drive late in the game, Lemmon found another way to expose Glenrock’s defense. On a lob pass to the end zone, flanked by two purple jerseys, Lemmon reached in the air and hauled in a go-ahead 19-yard touchdown pass to give the Trailblazers the lead for good.
Herder faithful were stunned. And rightfully so.
“He just made a great play,” Kumpula said about Lemmon’s game-winning catch. “For the most part we kept him in check but he found a way to make a great play. That’s what good athletes do.”
After watching film on Monday, it became clear to Moore and the Herders that the Trailblazers were a bit deceiving in strength and size.
The film lent a feeling of encouragement that despite the tough season opening loss, things will only look upward.
“It was a positive note for us,” Moore said. “Performing as well as we did, with players missing and making some mistakes, that adversity showed some promise for us. It was a loss we can learn from and build off of.”
With an already young offensive line this season, it was inevitable for Friday’s game to open up an opportunity at the backbone of Glenrock’s double wing offense. Without the natural size up front the Herders have been accustomed to in recent years, Moore’s move to tackle was less of an opportunity, and more of what makes a player, a “team player.”
“I felt like I went out and did the best I could,” he said about the move. “Whatever I can do to help the team is most important.”
This Friday, on the road in Newcastle, the focus for Glenrock will be to maintain the early season effort. As a lack of technique and experience blossoms into comfortability on the offensive and defensive lines, the game will begin to slow down.
Against the Dogies, a team of familiarity to the Herders, halting the single wing offense will be key.
“It’s going to come down to who can be more physical,” Kumpula said. “We’ll try to contain the football, keep the ball out of their hands as much as possible and wear them down.”
“Yeah, their line is usually pretty big,” Moore added. “We’ll be prepared for what they throw at us. We have a lot of great athletes and if we can get everyone on the same page, we’ll be a competitive team as always.”


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