Some teams who have hung around the playoff picture due to the large number that now qualify will have a tough time staying in the conversation if they can’t get it rolling this week.
For me, the biggest matchup of the week isn’t even a 4A Class game, it’s 3A #1 Kemmerer traveling up the canyon to face 4A #1 Jackson. I’ve had many people come up to me and mention that the Broncs are going to smash the Rangers. I’m not so sure.
Another big clash is Worland making their final road trip of the year to Cody where the Broncs definitely need a win to secure their post-season aspirations. Worland has lost back-to-back games to a pair of undefeated teams in Buffalo and Jackson, so how they respond will be a key part to the shakeout of the West.
Teams hanging by a thread? Rawlins positively needs a win in Douglas to keep hopes alive, while Powell, losers of four straight in the conference, need to extend Lander’s losing streak, or else it could be lights out for the defending champs. Torrington can secure a spot by knocking off Buffalo, but I’m not putting any money down on that outcome.
Week Seven Chicanery from the Dahl E. Llama
(4-2) Worland @ (2-4) Cody - Just how good is Worland? The voters haven’t given them a lot of credit and two losses aren’t helping their image, but there should be some urgency for Coach Wade Sanford’s club this week. With a win, the Warriors would force a down and dirty showdown with Star Valley in Washakie County next week for a home playoff game. With a loss? Cody starts to make things interesting in the West. If the Broncs could somehow win this week and hang a loss on Jackson next week, they would win the West via the tie-breaker. That’s a tall task, but it’s not like Cody hasn’t had some character building moments this season. I feel that Cody would be well served to try and run the football against Worland, but that’s not the makeup of this squad. Due to this inclination to pass first, I feel Worland’s secondary is going to cause a couple of turnovers on tipped balls to set up a game winning score. I’m really flipping a coin here, that’s what makes Wyoming high school football so great. Llama says – Warriors – 28-24.
(6-0) Kemmerer @ (6-0) Jackson - Just like the good ol’ days huh boys? No team has scored more than 11 points on Jackson, and no team has come closer than 21 points to Kemmerer. So, there’s no secret what the big matchup is Friday night in this battle. Kemmerer should be hard pressed, however, to piledrive the Broncs, who have one of the better run defenses in the state. On the other side, the Rangers defense is good, but may have trouble keeping up with the speed of Blane Woodfin and what has turned into a very gritty offensive line. I look for a game that’s closer than the doubters say, but in the end, I think the Broncs will be able to run the football better than their counterparts, and put an end to the Rangers’ win streak. Still, if Jackson allows Kemmerer to get a couple of big runs in the first half, this will turn into a free-for-all. Llama says – Broncs – 38-21.
(2-4) Powell @ (0-6) Lander - It bears mentioning that the Panthers have out-gained their last three opponents in each game, but came up short in the win column. Don’t think that there aren’t some playoff teams hoping that Lander can come up big in this game so the Panthers can likely stay home. Offensively, Powell will be a load for Lander to stop. Their passing game is the best in the Western Conference, and if their offensive line can open a few holes for Galen Mills and the other running backs, it could very easily be a big day for the Cats. Lander’s offense has struggled this year, even against mediocre defenses, and Powell’s should prove to be a big too much for them to handle. With a playoff spot on the line after two overtime losses, Coach Jim Stringer will have his team pumped for a win in Lander. Llama says – Panthers – 31-6.
(2-4) Torrington @ (6-0) Buffalo - I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the Blazer faithful, although I have had my differences with them during state wrestling competitions, but the Bison should be too tough for them defensively. The Blazers, while able to score points at times, are quite one-dimensional with their passing attack and I don’t see them running much on Buffalo. Look for things to go down to the wire for some of the East teams, including Torrington. Llama says – Bison – 35-13.
(1-5) Rawlins @ (3-3) Douglas - I have to admit, I don’t think Rawlins is going to win this game. That being said, I just have some sort of feeling not to just dismiss the Outlaws in Douglas. The Bearcats have been a bit schizophrenic this year, but at home against one of lowest scoring offenses in the state, I have to believe that Douglas will carry this game. Just to be sure, I’m going to keep the spread close. Llama says – Bearcats – 21-18.
(2-4) Newcastle @ (4-2) Wheatland (4-2) - This should serve as a percentage booster due to some pretty weak performances from the Dogies. Wheatland isn’t an offensive juggernaut, but they their defense will set them up with a short field as they win this one going away. Llama says- Bulldogs – 28-6.
Now for our Star Valley faithful who at (3-3) take on their most consistent rivals, the (4-2) Evanston Red Devils. Star Valley has played no team more than Evanston in their long history. If the Braves and the Rangers would have kept playing, then that pair would be right up there as well. As it stands, Star Valley has played Evanston 84 times in 78 years of football. This will be the 85th matchup with Star Valley leading the all-time series: 48-32-4. The ebb and flow if this game historically means that if your team has won the last couple? You might want to get ready for a loss. That’s the psyche of the Devils right now. With two straight losses on their own field to the Braves, Evanston will be looking for some payback. This game will be won or lost by Star Valley’s ability to control the running game of the visitors. While this should be tough, I look for a valiant effort from the Braves on senior night to pull off a low-scoring battle of power running teams. Like you didn’t know who I was picking? Llama says – Braves – 20-17.
Well, there you go. Keep in mind that I love the effort of high school athletes. Nothing here is meant to be a personal slam or a dig on their character. Have something to tell me? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org