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Local Sports

Big Plays Spark Natoma Rout

Natoma TigersNATOMA-The Natoma Tigers scored in a variety of ways as they as they ended a two-game losing streak with a 59-14 romp over Western Plains-Healy on Friday at Tiger Field.

The game, originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. start was moved up three hours to 4 p.m. due to a forecast of thunderstorms.  Both teams went three and out on their first possessions before Natoma got on the scoreboard with 5:02 remaining in the first quarter on a 47-yard run by Shayne Engling.  The two-point kick failed and the Tigers led 6-0.  Natoma widened the lead to 12-0 later in the quarter when Kayden Martinez scored from 47 yards out himself but the two-point kick attempt was blocked.

The Tigers lead grew to 20-0 when Freshman Quarterback Tracen Frye connected with Jayson Engling on a 29-yard touchdown pass.  This time with Martinez replacing Preston Ostmeyer as the kicker, the two-point conversion was good.  Western Plains-Healy which came into the game having scored just seven points in its previous four contests, broke through on a one-yard run by Tim Hair after a long run by Jayme Flax.  Hair ran in the one-point conversion to make the score 20-7 after one quarter.

Natoma scored both touchdowns in the second quarter on two more Frye touchdown passes of 23 yards to Ostemeyer and 71 yards to Shayne Engling.  Natoma made one two-point kick and missed the other but the Tigers still held a comfortable 34-7 lead at intermisson.  The score could have been much closer but Natoma stopped the Bobcats twice inside the 10-yard line including once on a fourth and goal at the one-yard line.

The third quarter only lasted two minutes and 51 seconds but there was plenty of scoring.  Shayne Engling returned the second half kickoff 71 yards for a score to widen the lead to 40-7 after the kick failed.  Nine seconds later, the Tigers found the end zone again when Martinez intercepted a deflected Hair pass and ran it in from 12 yards out.  The two-point kick was blocked leaving the score 46-7.  Flax then put Western Plains-Healy on the scoreboard again with a 70-yard kickoff return of his own and the one-point conversion was good to make the score 46-14.

Shayne Engling answered that return with another kickoff return for a touchdown, this time from 61 yards out and Martinez ran in the conversion to give Natoma a 53-14 advantage.  The game ended when Shayne Engling returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown giving the Tigers the 45-point lead that led to the game being called with 7:09 left in the third quarter.

Frye ended the game completing five of seven passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns.  Martinez was the game's leading rusher with seven carries for 61 yards and a touchdown.  Shayne Engling led all receivers with two catches for 77 yards and a score.  All told he scored five touchdowns including the three on kickoff and punt returns.

Natoma (3-3, 1-2) remains in the hunt for a playoff spot and will close out the regular season next Friday in Bird City with a game against Cheylin.  Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.

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