Arnold & Bopp run all over Newcastle

Mike Moore photo
Zane Moore reels in an interception against Torrington Aug. 31. Moore added another interception in Friday’s 48-6 win over Newcastle.

Eddie Poe

After giving up the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds of their week one loss to Torrington, the Herders returned to their style of football this past Friday.
On offense, Glenrock wore the Newcastle Dogies down for four complete quarters. Defensively, the Herders flew around the field and prevented the home team from creating any sort of positive momentum.
“We needed to see a big improvement after Torrington,” head coach Ray Kumpula said Tuesday afternoon. “We made a lot of mistakes. We were able to go out and fix some things. It was good to see.”
Tucker Bopp scampered for two touchdowns in the first quarter. A 59-yard run capped off an 11:24 drive and a 75-yard breakaway completed a 9:32 drive. Brysen Collier added a short 1-yard touchdown of his own.
By halftime, the Herders were dominating time of possession. 24 power. 42 power. The Dogies were being exhausted on the ground.
“(They’re) definitely down as a team this year,” Kumpula said about Newcastle. “Scheme-wise we were able to keep them contained. They weren’t able to get anything big going.”
The Dogies ran for just 32 yards on 27 carries Friday night. There was no luck to be found through the air either. The Herders limited Newcastle to just 99 yards offensively - the first time an opponent was kept under the century mark since Sept. 9, 2016.
On the ground, Ian Arnold complemented Bopp with 119 yards and a score. But it was his defensive performance that stole the spotlight. He finished the game with a sack, an interception and 10 tackles.
After struggling against Torrington, Arnold pointed to the defensive unit up front for stepping up to the challenge Friday.
“I think Torrington sort of scared them at first,” he said. “But halfway through that game they adjusted and then they looked even more comfortable against Newcastle. The effort was really good.”
“They were able to slow some things down against Newcastle,” Kumpula added. “It was good for them.”

Next stop, Wheatland
Kumpula and the Herders traveled down Interstate 25 to Wheatland in 2016 and took care of business. On their home turf last season, the same fate was dealt to the Bulldogs.
But this year is a new year.
“This week’s game against Wheatland is huge,” Kumpula emphasized. “They have a new coach but their offense looks a lot like they did last year.”
In week one, Wheatland downed Newcastle with ease 49-12. This past Friday in their home opener, a barrage of points were put on the scoreboard but the Bulldogs dropped their first game of the season, 44-34 to Upton/Sundance.
The focus for the Herders this week in practice all comes back to the basics. But it’s also centered on what lies ahead.
“(They) prepare well for us and we prepare well for them,” Herders running back Brysen Collier said about Wheatland. “For us the focus has been on just getting better. We have some tough games coming up the next few weeks.”
For Kumpula, improving the team’s effort and execution will be key to outplaying the Bulldogs.
He knows what to expect.
“They’re going to try and get their athletes into space,” Kumpula said. “It’ll be the same focus as it’s been through two weeks . . . keep the ball away from them. If we give them enough opportunities to make plays, they’re going to make some big ones.”


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