Cokeville continues their path of regaining momentum after their defeat to Lyman 2 weeks ago with last weeks lopsided trouncing of the Pinedale Wranglers and following it up with this week’s 35-12 victory over the Kemmerer Rangers. Despite a fantastic rushing performance out of quarterback Landon Heaps, who carried the ball 10 times for 179 yards and a pair of scores, it simply wasn’t enough to carry the Rangers to the upset.
The main reason Heaps’ insane 17.9 yards per carry wasn’t enough to get the job done on this afternoon was the somehow even more impressive performance by Cokeville’s top back this season Jack Dayton who compiled 206 yards and for the 2nd consecutive week crossed the goalie 3 times. Dayton and QB Landon Walker were essentially unstoppable offensively for the Panthers, combining for 303 of the teams 359 rushing yards on the day.
Walker also added another passing TD to his total for the season bringing his TD:INT ratio back to an even 3:3 when he lofted a perfect pass over the stacked defensive front of the Rangers on a 1st and goal from the 10 for a wide open TD to Tanner Hatch.
The biggest key today though may have been the Cokeville defense which continues to be stout on the year, subtract 2 plays in which Landon Heaps scored his 2 TD’s on runs of 62 and 89 yards and for the remainder of the game Kemmerer managed just 93 rushing yards as a team and 139 total yards. The biggest victim of Cokeville’s stinginess was the Rangers leading rusher on the year Riggen Walker, who entered the week with 273 yards rushing, an average of 91 yards per game, but he left having added only 29 more on 10 carries.
The Panthers clearly knew who the Rangers wanted to give the ball to early and often and had a plan to contain him, where as their star offensive player Jack Dayton came into the game 3rd in 2A in rushing yardage and made a huge play to try and potentially jump a spot or 2 with his 206 yards in the game.
Though you must still give Kemmerer’s defense credit, the game began as a slog for both offenses as the Panthers forced 3 and outs on Kemmerer’s first 2 drives, and the Rangers defense responded by forcing back to back turnovers on Cokeville’s first 2 drives once on downs and once on a Kayson Walker fumble. However after several consecutive drives in which Cokeville’s field position was clearly better than any starting point Kemmerer could get themselves, Cokeville managed to punch it in and at that point the seal was broken on the Rangers defense.
The win gave Cokeville their first conference win of the season and bumped their record in 2A play up to 1-1 and their overall record up to 3-1 on the season, and with their defeat today Kemmerer will also leave with a 1-1 3A record on the season and an overall record of 1-3. Cokeville will take this 3-1 record into Mountain View next week to take on the Buffalos who are like-wise 3-1 after taking their first loss of the season today 28-10 to Lyman. Kemmerer will be available to be listened to on the Spur next week as they take on Lyman on the road.