The Y102 Area Game of the Week is in Natoma this week for an 8-Man-II District 8 match up between the Thunder Ridge Longhorns and the Natoma Tigers.
The Longhorns are out to another great start with wins over Hanover and Otis Bison, both ranked teams, as well as wins over Trego and Hill City. The Longhorns return six starters on both sides of the ball including quarterback Blane Hrabe and runningback Joel Struckhoff. Struckhoff has been one of the best backs in 8-Man II for the last three years and is just 808 yards shy of the state 8-Man career rushing record. Struckhoff has 733 yards so far this season and he has rushed for 12 touchdowns.
The Longhorn defense is allowing just 165 yards per game led by linebacker Zane Kulman who along with Dakota Foreman, lead the defense with 17 tackles each. Struckhoff is the leading tackles returning from a year ago and anchors the secondary that features Northern Valley transfer Austin Herman.
The start to the season for the Natoma Tigers has been a slow one. The Tigers, who return 9 lettermen, finished 3-6 last season. In his seventh season at Natoma head coach Ben Labertew has had to lean on those returning to help bring the youngsters along. One of those upperclassmen is quarterback Corey Dunlap. Dunlap already has 886 total yards and 10 total touchdowns. Dunlap and the Tiger offense average 273 yards per game. Jackson Stull Meiers, 8 receptions and Phillip Murphy, 13 catchers along with runningback Cale Hooper prove to be lethal offensive weapons for the Tigers. Murphy, Hooper and Jared Hachmiester lead the Tiger defense again this season.
After a slow start to the season tonight’s match up in Natoma is a great opportunity for the Tigers to bounce back against the 2nd ranked Thunder Ridge Longhorns on the Country Bull Y102 Area Game of the Week.
Kickoff from Natoma is set for 7:00 with the Fort Hays State Office of Admissions Pre-Game beginning at 6:30.