Sometimes the quarterfinals round can be a surprise and upset-minded challengers find themselves in the position to end someone’s season. On Friday night the Warriors came into Lincoln County from Worland with high hopes but those were dashed almost immediately as Star Valley dominated the game in a 62-0 final.
Cooper Lancaster intercepted Mason Decker on the second offensive play of the game, setting the Braves up on a very short field. Two plays later Jesse Leavitt was in the end zone for the first of his three rushing touchdowns on the evening. It was a theme over the course of the game as turnovers, short punts and a lack of third and fourth down conversions put Star Valley deep into Worland territory more often than not.
Defensively, the Braves pitched a shutout and allowed just 60 yards of offense even with reserves playing the majority of the second half. Smith McClure, Tristen Hilton, Cooper Lancaster and Phoenix Hovey combined to complete 20 of 26 pass for 219 yards and five touchdowns to Collin Bassett, Simon Gaskell, Porter Merritt, Lane Wiebelhaus and Will Linford. Wiebelhaus led the team with four receptions for 65 yards.
Leavitt finished with 125 yards on the ground on 16 carries to go with his three touchdowns. Brysen Baxter also scored on a one-yard carry. The ground game finished with 198 yards on 30 carries from 12 different carriers.
The win earned the Braves another home game in the 3A semifinals where they will face the Buffalo Bison. BHS jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead over visiting Powell and won 35-21 on an icy, snow-covered field. Star Valley and Buffalo have not played a football game against each other since 2012 when the Bison lost to the Braves in the post-season that year, 31-14. The two programs have met in Afton four previous times with each team winning twice. The two programs have also met in the state championship three times with the Braves winning twice in 1961 and 1980. The Bison won in Afton behind future UW standout and NFL player, Chris Prosinski in 2005.
The time and date of next week’s match-up has not yet been determined. It will be added here once the two schools communicate.
Quarterfinals Results provided by wyopreps.com
Worland 0 Star Valley 62
Powell 21 Buffalo 35
Douglas 14 Cody 42
Evanston 28 Riverton 7
Wheatland 6 Mountain View 41
Cokeville 14 Torrington 21
Tongue River 13 Lyman 14
Lovell 28 Big Horn 49
Kelly Walsh 0 Sheridan 59
Thunder Basin 26 Campbell County 12
Cheyenne Central 3 Natrona County 14
Rock Springs 14 Cheyenne East 42