Homecoming week in the valley is one of my favorite times of the year. The community and school spirit is always extraordinarily high and the team generally is extra tough to beat at home. Things are rolling well for Star Valley who is trying to move to 4-0 on the season before a week five smackdown with Powell in week five. The Llama went a perfect 5-0 last week, moving the prediction record to 13-4 on the season thus far.
Buffalo (1-2) @ Douglas (2-1) – With the first foray into the conference schedule, there is none bigger than this match up with the Bison and the Bearcats. With Riverton looking like a potential contender to crash the top of the 3A East as well, it is not out of the realm of possibility that one of these two teams is going to have to travel in the opening week of the playoffs, making this week even bigger. The Bison will have their hands full with Austyn Matthews at QB and Ty Etchemendy back in the lineup. On the other side, the Bearcats gave up 257 yards rushing to Star Valley last week and Buffalo could be tough to stop. With the connection of Matthews to Etchemendy at home, I have to go with Douglas. Llama says – Bearcats 28-21. REALITY CHECK: BEARCATS 31-9
Cody (1-2) @ Green River (2-1) – The Broncs have had a tough schedule the past couple of weeks, facing dual threat QB’s and that trend continues. Green River is leading the class in total offense and Cody will be hard pressed to slow them down on their home grass. On the flip side, the Wolves have also allowed some points this year but I think they have the explosiveness to outscore the Broncs in the event of a shootout. Llama says – Wolves 31-17 – REALITY CHECK: WOLVES 34-21
Lander (0-3) @ Torrington (0-2) – In the battle of winless teams, I have to go with the more salty offense at home which is the Blazers. Llama says – Blazers 24-10 – REALITY CHECK: TIGERS 10-7
Powell (3-0) @ Jackson (2-1) – The Panthers have been stifling on defense and although the Broncs have been tough running the football the past two weeks, I think they will struggle against Powell. I think Powell’s running game is going to be the dominating factor in this match up. Llama says – Panthers 45-14. REALITY CHECK: PANTHERS 63-6
Rawlins (0-3) @ Riverton (1-2) – While the Outlaws went crazy on offense last week they were unable to stop the Warriors which does not bode well as they get set to face a potent Wolverine offense this week. Rawlins is drawing dangerously close to the state record for consecutive losses and I believe it continues this week. Llama says – Woverines 35-10. REALITY CHECK: WOLVERINES 48-13
Worland (2-1) @ Star Valley (3-0) – As an incurable homer, I won’t pick my Braves, but instead will make the case for both sides.
Why the Braves win – Star Valley has outscored their opponents 116-10 in the first three games of the season. The only touchdown they’ve allowed was against Snake River off a bad punt. They lead the class in passing defense and total defense and seem to have found a beast of a running back in Ryan Brough and a tough offensive line. After missing two games, it is likely the Braves will also have their fastest player back in the lineup with Anthony Galloway. Overall the team is +11 in the turnover column through three games. Having won seven of the last ten against Worland, this game looks like a Braves win on paper.
Why the Braves lose – But, games aren’t played on paper. The Warriors have scored over 40 points twice so far this season, including 52 last week. Colby Wartman had a game that most players only dream about. Five total touchdowns in front of his home crowd with two bombs of 52 yards and two rushing touchdowns. After more than a decade of a primarily rushing attack, the new philosophy in Worland involves the spread and pistol formations. Despite looking good through three weeks, the Braves secondary will face some impressive tools in the Warrior arsenal. On top of everything else, homecoming can be a distraction for the high-riding Braves. REALITY CHECK: BRAVES WIN 47-7