Thunderbirds Blow Past the Plainsmen
Isaac Sell ran for a career-high 257 yards but it wasn’t enough, as Cheyenne East beat Laramie for the fifth straight time, 56-13, on Friday.
Cheyenne East (3-1) scored four touchdowns in a span of 3:07 of the second quarter to take control of the game.
Laramie (1-3) allowed 40-plus points in the first half for the second consecutive game.
The Thunderbirds scored on the game’s opening possession with an 18-yard TD run by QB Graedyn Buell. It stayed that way until 8:46 left in the second when Buell ran 34-yards for a 14-0 lead.
That scored started the onslaught. East recovered two fumbles on the next two kick-offs with an onside kick and a pooch kick. The first led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Cade Pugh. That was followed by a 27-yard TD pass from Buell to Garet Schlabs for a 28-0 lead. After an interception by Cheyenne East, a flea-flicker saw Gavin Goff find Jake Rayl for a 54-yard touchdown pass.
After a punt by the Plainsmen, the Thunderbirds scored with 1:19 left in the half on a Buell to Hesford 47-yard pass. It was 42-0 at halftime.
Laramie coach Clint Reed said his team was right there about 13-ot-14 minutes into the game (early second quarter).
“We have an opportunity to drive. Maybe we have an opportunity to tie the game, and we made some mistakes. We jumped again (false start penalty), put ourselves in a hole, and couldn’t recover off that.”
When the game was 7-0, LHS had fourth down and three at the East 23-yard line. A false start penalty made it fourth and eight. The Plainsmen still went for it but the pass was incomplete. The Thunderbirds went down the field in five plays and scored on Buell’s second TD run for their 14-0.
Then came the issues on the back-to-back loose balls on two kick-offs, which East recovered.
Reed said, “We lost our composure. The guys that are up (in the return formation) aren’t used to returning the ball a little bit but whether they should just call a fair catch, whether they just need to get on the ground, don’t pick it up, make a play, let’s just preserve the possession, and we just struggled. We panicked, we just panicked.”
Laramie scored on the first possession of the second half when Sell ran 49-yards on fourth down for a TD.
East answered with a quick score, as Buell found Rayl from 63-yards out. Third-string QB Keegan Bartlett connected with Dom Lopez on a 58-yard TD pass when the Laramie defensive back missed the ball.
The Plainsmen capped the scoring with 6:28 left in the game on Sell’s 1-yard TD run.
Laramie was out-gained by East, 532-to-305 in total offense.
Reed added, “We knew that the best defense we had tonight (Friday night) was to keep our offense on the field. We had to churn out some yards. We may have gotten some yards on the ground and we started eating up some clock, but honestly, we couldn’t get out of our own way. Between some penalties, some missed assignments, I mean, it may have looked good at times running the ball, but we still had a lot of missed assignments and with that, we should have a whole lot more on the ground. With that, our defense shouldn’t have been on the field as much, and we could’ve eaten up even more clock.”
The Plainsmen will try to regroup, as they go home for their next game against Kelly Walsh on Friday at Deti Stadium in Laramie. It’s a “White Out,” as fans are encouraged to wear white shirts to the game. Some ‘White Out’ shirts will be available for sale.
Kick-off against KW is at 6 p.m.