A league title is up for grabs in the Class 1A 9-man East Conference in a WyoPreps Game of the Week.

No. 3 Lingle-Ft. Laramie visits top-ranked Pine Bluffs on Friday night.

Both teams are 6-0 on the season and 5-0 in conference action.

These two squads have the top two offenses in the class. They are separated by only one yard. The Hornets average 417 yards per game, while the Doggers are at 416 yards per game. Lingle is averaging a 9-man best 46.7 points per game. Pine Bluffs is at 38.8 points per game.

What separates the two? Defense is the answer. The Hornets have the top defense in 9-man. They allow only 156 yards and 8.7 points per game. The Doggers are No. 11. They give up 303 yards and 23.8 points per game.

Lingle’s led by a one-two punch with Loudon Bremer and Nolan Spears. They combine for 219 yards rushing per game and have scored 21 TDs on the ground. Cooper Smith anchors the Doggers on defense. He’s No. 6 in defensive points and averages 20 per game.

Pine Bluffs is paced by QB Justin Lerwick. He’s the No. 2 passer in 9-man at 168.5 yards per game. Lerwick is completing nearly 55 percent of his passes with 9 TDs and only four interceptions. Ryan Mohren adds 117.2 rushing yards per game and has 11 TDs. Cameron Jessen leads the Hornets on defense. He ranks No. 13 in the division at 17.2 defensive points per game.

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WyoPreps spoke to Lingle head coach Brandon Gifford and Pine Bluffs head coach Will Gray to preview the game. Coach Gifford discussed how his team’s done in their season up to now, some unsung heroes, playing in a big game, what the Hornets present, and some keys to the game. Coach Gray spoke about how things have gone for the first six games, learning some lessons from a close win over Wright, some personnel that have stepped into big roles, what he sees from the Doggers, and keys in the game for his team.

Friday night is the 68th meeting on the football field between Lingle-Ft. Laramie and Pine Bluffs. From the record kept at wyoming-football.com, the Doggers lead the series 40-25. There have been two ties. Pine Bluffs has won three straight games in the series, which began in 1949.

The game is set for a 7 p.m. start at Carlstrum Field in Pine Bluffs.

Pine Bluffs-Saratoga Football

Pine Bluffs-Saratoga Football

Gallery Credit: Ashley Jessen

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