PINEDALE – Hitting the home field for a second week in a row, the Pinedale Wrangler football team took on conference rival Lyman on Friday, Sept. 9.
The Lyman Eagles scored on their first possession in the opening quarter and maintained the lead to defeat Pinedale, 40-0.
Regardless of the final tally on the scoreboard, the Wranglers showed improvement as a team against the defending 2A State Champions. Enduring one brutal hit after another, the Pinedale offense got back up to make significant gains on the next play. A scrappy Wrangler defense made Lyman fight for every yard.
An atmosphere of energy and teamwork pervaded the Wranglers despite the tough opponent.
“The Wranglers continue to play with heart and a desire to grow that any coach would be proud of,” said Head Coach David Thrash. “The offensive line opened the first drive with sound blocks and created space for Ethan Jensen to run for positive yards as well as creating passing opportunities to multiple receivers and a big third-down conversion catch by Owen McMillen. Defensively, the team is growing and having fun fighting to create turnovers.”
The Pinedale defense put up a fight on Lyman’s opening drive. Tackles led by McMillen, sophomore Edwin Vega, senior Luke Gray, juniors Cordelle Lane, Jake Hammer and Bodie Jensen and freshman Cale Dauwen stalled the Eagles before Lyman eventually found an opening and scored.
Pinedale senior Leo Labrador returned Lyman’s kick to the 18-yard line. Ethan Jensen, also a senior, advanced down the field for a first down. Quarterback Gray completed a pass to Jensen, moving Pinedale’s line of scrimmage into the Eagle’s territory. Jensen chewed up another five yards on the next play.
Lyman intercepted a pass and scored its second touchdown.
Labrador returned the Eagles’ kick to the 35-yard line. Jensen forced his way through Lyman’s defense for a first down. Dauwen picked up several yards and Gray completed a pass to senior Sawyer Siefkes.
The Eagles began the second quarter in possession. Hammer, senior Axle Brekhus, Gray and Bodie Jensen chiseled away at the Lyman offense. Hammer and Bodie Jensen broke up a pass, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Wrangler defense remained tenacious on Lyman’s subsequent drive with junior Dustin Larsen, junior Doug Dexter, Ethan Jensen, Bodie Jensen, Dauwen, Hammer and seniors Colby Bailey and Holden Saxton each taking down an Eagle runner.
Lyman ultimately broke through and scored. McMillen returned Lyman’s kick to the 34-yard line.
The halftime score stood at 30-0 in the Eagles’ favor.
The Eagles scored a safety early in the third quarter. The Pinedale defense answered back, shutting down Lyman’s first offensive drive in the second half.
Tackles by Ethan Jensen, Hammer and McMillen stopped Lyman in its tracks on the Eagles’ second drive in the third quarter.
Lyman scored again before the third quarter ended, bringing the score to 40-0 in the Eagles’ favor.
Pinedale opened the fourth quarter in possession. Gray scrambled over midfield for a first down and completed a pass to Bodie Jensen for another first down.
Lyman took possession, but its offense was met by a determined Wrangler defense. Larsen moved in for a sack, causing a loss of yards. A wall of Wranglers, including Dexter, Brekhus and Bodie Jensen, forced Lyman to punt.
Tackles led by Brekhus, Larsen, Dauwen and Gray shut down Lyman’s final attempt to score.
Conference play continues this week with an away game against Cokeville on Friday, Sept. 16 with kickoff scheduled at 2 p.m.
“This will be a focused week of practice to improve technique and assignments as we prepare to take the road against Cokeville,” said Coach Thrash.