Glenrock smothers Kemmerer, test awaits in Thermopolis

File photo
Glenrock coach Ryan Collier signals a defensive fumble recovery by Glenrock during their home win over Burns on Sept. 28.

Eddie Poe

On a team where offensive execution is the primary focus and opposing teams are often playing from behind, it’s not uncommon for defensive prowess to go unnoticed. The Glenrock Herders average well over 400 yards per game on offense, an almost inconceivable fact, but a well-known one.
The Herders pride themselves on an offense that will wear you down for four quarters. On defense, the focus is simple: fast and physical football.
Leading their defensive effort each week is a coach who has been with head coach Ray Kumpula and Glenrock since the early 2000s.
“Donnie Stewart is one of the best in the business,” Kumpula said about his longtime coach. “We’ve been together for a while now. He’s one of the best football minds I know.”
Prior to last Friday’s 49-0 win on the road in Kemmerer, Stewart’s defense was allowing just 15 points per game and had the second-most sacks in the conference (6) behind only Mountain View (13).
The Herders are led on the defensive line by Patrick Bruno, Urian and Andrik Moreno, Bryton Jennings, Julih Pittsley, Cade Griffitts and Kale Kuhlman. Behind them, Ian Arnold and Zane Moore are two forces that opposing teams dread running into each week. In the secondary, Glenrock lacks noticeable size, but have held their own this season.
“They did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Kumpula said about the defensive line during Friday’s win.  “We challenged them to keep them from penetrating and it was gratifying to see them play so hard and execute.”
In their only two losses this season to Torrington and Buffalo, the Herders kept themselves in the game thanks in large part to their defensive effort.
Often times coaches rely on their defense to take them to the promise land. In Glenrock’s case, a strong defense could make or break them. It could push them over the top during times of need. And it could show teams that they’re much more than just a dominant offense.
On the road in Thermopolis this week, Kumpula and the Herders will run into the fourth-best rushing attack in 2A. They’ll be asked to stop Chandler Maddock, the eighth-best player in the conference in terms of all-purpose yards.
“They’re playing really well,” Kumpula said about the Bobcats. “They have great speed, use a trap toss and sweep game. It’s tough to digest.
“It’ll be a good football game.”
The Bobcats are (2-4, 2-2) and are coming off a 66-0 win over Newcastle.
Kickoff from Thermopolis is set for 7 p.m. 


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