By Rebecca Maupin
The Upton-Sundance Patriots opened their 2018 season against the Lead-Deadwood Gold-Diggers at Croell Field in Sundance on Friday night.
The US Patriots took the early lead and never looked back. With touchdowns from Clayton Louderback and Jayden Caylor the score was 14-0 early in the first quarter. The stifling Patriot defense left the Diggers in their own zone for most of the game.
Following a very short punt, the Patriots took over deep in scoring territory with 5:32 left in the first quarter. A screen pass from Clayton Louderback to Tanner Hofland resulted in the third touchdown of the first quarter for the Patriots and Jerrett Schloredt added his third extra point, making the score 21-0.
The Diggers took a time out with 2:27 left in the first, hoping to talk some strategy for the 3rd and long they were facing. After an unsuccessful 4th down for the Diggers, the Patriots took over again deep in Digger territory.
An excellent play fake by Louderback allowed him to run the football in from 30 yards out making the score 27-0 with 1:17 left in the first quarter. Another extra point good for Schloredt puts the Patriots up 28-0 at the end of the first.
Lead-Deadwood made a push to start the 2nd quarter, as they returned the ball to the 40-yard line, but they would fall short again as the US Patriots would take over with 9:12 left to go in the 2nd. After getting close to the end zone, two unsuccessful plays led to a 3rd and long. With a push from the Patriots and a screen pass from Louderback to Hofland another touchdown was on the board for the Patriots.
A Patriot touchdown by Jayden Caylor was called back due to a block in the back, however the draw play to Hofland resulted in a touchdown on the very next play, making the score 41-0 with 3:58 left in the 2nd quarter. Another extra point by Schloredt made the score 42-0, which would prove to be the final score of the game as the second half was sped up due to the running clock.
The first half of the game the Diggers spent moving in the wrong direction thanks to a dominating front seven of the Upton-Sundance Patriots. The Patriot offense seemed to find themselves gaining yardage in large chunks throughout the game.
The second half of the game was a back and forth of downs with the second team seeing action on the field and some starters seeing action in different positions. Jess Claycomb had an interception with 31 seconds left in the 3rd quarter which allowed the Patriots to start the 4th with the ball.
A punt return was called back due to penalties with 4:50 left to go in the 4th giving the Diggers a chance to go for it on 4th down but they came up short again as the Patriots forced a turnover and rode the rest of the game out, leaving the final score 42-0.
The Patriots will play their next game at Lusk on August 31 at 7 p.m.
Stats from the game:
Passing: Louderback: 8/11/82 2TD
Rushing: Louderback 8/97 2 TD, Caylor: 14/52 1 TD, Hofland 2/27 1TD, Barritt 7/7, Gill 1/2, Claycomb 2/5, Baker 2/0, Amann 2,6
Receiving: Hofland 2/33 2 TD, Claycomb 3/21, Barritt 2/14, Rudloff 1/14
Points: Turner 14, Claycomb 12, Louderback 10.5, Hofland 10, Bruce 10,
Interceptions: Claycomb 2, Barritt 1