Powell’s Miracle Run Is The Best Wyoming Sports Story Of 2019
Powell might need a miracle to upset undefeated Star Valley in the Wyoming Class 3A State Championship today, but the Panthers already believe in divine intervention.
On the second day of school, their starting quarterback Ethan Asher was nearly killed in a car accident. While Asher was fighting for his life in a medically induced coma, his teammates vowed to remain #EthanStrong and dedicated the season to their fallen leader.
"There’s been so much these guys have gone through this season, and what they’ve really rallied around is the brotherhood,” coach Aaron Papich told WyoSports.net.
Asher and his brothers faced long odds all year. As #3 recovered from emergency heart surgery, swelling of the brain, and other injuries, his courage inspired the Panthers to persevere and keep fighting.
After opening with wins over Worland and Lander, Powell stumbled at Douglas, then dropped three of their next five games, limping into the playoffs with a 5-4 record and the 4th seed in the west. With their season on the line, the Panthers dug deeper.
In the quarterfinals, Powell upset the top seed from the east Lander, then avenged a week six loss to Cody in the semifinals with a hard-fought 20-13 win, punching their ticket to Laramie and earning a rematch against the defending state champions.
Star Valley is back in the 3A title game for the fourth time in five years. The Braves are riding a 20-game winning streak, including a 36-0 shutout over Powell in week five. They haven't lost to a Wyoming school since 2017.
On paper, the 3A Championship looks like a mismatch, but Powell will have a secret weapon. Their leader will be back on the sidelines at War Memorial Stadium cheering on his teammates. Asher and the Panthers have already overcome incredible adversity to get here. If Powell can somehow find a way to knock off Star Valley, it will be an upset for the ages.