Photos and story by RYAN MINCH


It’s not often that a Laurel Volunteer Fire Department pyrotechnics display is overshadowed.

But that was the case Friday night as the Locomotives steamrolled past Livingston to score what is believed to be a school record. 

From Jonah Oberg’s 65-yard punt return less than two minutes into the first quarter to the Laurel High School student section counting down the game’s final minute, it was a homecoming celebration for the ages as the fifth-ranked Locomotives defeated Livingston 67-0 in their final non-conference game of the season to improve to 3-1.

A raucous crowd of 3,000 plus saw the Locomotives put up 25 points in the first quarter before adding another 21 in the second on their way to a 46-0 half-time advantage.

“I thought our kids did a great job of coming out and setting the tone and not overlooking the opponent,” said head coach Mike Ludwig. “They did a great job, but our crowd was incredible and I hope we can get that same crowd (this week) against Sidney.”

The Locomotives, who have now defeated Livingston 11 consecutive times, open up their Eastern A slate Friday at home against Sidney (3-1) at 7 p.m.

“They’re a darn good football team,” Ludwig said. “They’re going to do what they normally do and that’s run the football and play great football.”

Following a three-and-out by the Laurel defense, Oberg took the ensuing punt 65-yards down the sideline to put Laurel up 7-0, much to the pleasure of the home crowd.

The Locomotives weren’t done.

Michael Buster sandwiched scoring runs of 17 and 33 yards around Jared Craig’s 36 yard interception return as Laurel led 25-0 after one. 

Laurel quarterback Tyler Thompson completed just three passes that night, however two went for touchdowns as Oberg and Brandon Kubitz showcased their speed in getting to the endzone. Kubitz’s score came on a 48-yard catch-and-run where he sliced his way through the Ranger defense after Oberg got behind the defense and stumbled his way into the end zone to cap a 38-yard scoring strike.

Kyle Howe capped the first half scoring as he went untouched for 20 yards to put Laurel up with just under a minute to play in the half.

“I thought we did a nice job of executing and  getting everyone on the field,” Ludwig said.

Buster, Laurel’s leading rusher on the season, finished the night with 95 yards rushing on just three carries, while Howe and Marcus Miller picked up much of the work throughout the final three quarters. Miller finished with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns of one and 18 yards.

Craig, a sophomore, added another first half interception before opening the second half with a 95-yard kickoff return before suffering a collarbone injury in the second half.

“It’s unfortunate,” Ludwig said. “He was really starting to come along for us.”

As a team, the Locomotives ran just 27 plays offensively for 332 yards offensively while holding Livingston to 130 yards as a team.

“Overall we did more good things than bad,” Ludwig said. “But our kids know that our divisional tournament starts Friday night with our biggest game of the year against Sidney. Not that Dillon wasn’t a big game for us a few weeks ago, but that game doesn’t determine wether we go to the playoffs or not. Losses start to sting a little bit more when you get into the conference schedule, and we need to come out and be focused Friday night.”

Sidney is coming off of its first loss of the season, a 28-27 defeat at home against Lewistown (3-1).

The game will be broadcast on 790 AM KGHL as well as


Laurel 67, Livingston 0

Laurel 25 21 7 14 —  67

Livingston 0  0 0   0  —   0

Livingston — Did not score.

Laurel — Jonah Oberg 65 punt return (Connor Ludwig kick); Michael Buster 17 run (run failed); Jared Craig 36 interception return (run fail); Buster 33 run (pass failed); Oberg 36 pass from Tyler Thompson (Brandon Kubitz pass from Thompson); Kubitz 48 pass from Thompson (Ludwig kick); Kyle Howe 20 run (kick failed); Craig 95 kick return (Ludwig kick); Marcus Miller 1 run (Ludwig kick); Miller 18 run (Ludwig kick).

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503


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