Big Piney will not advance in playoffs
By Robert Galbreath, [email protected]
GLENROCK – Big Piney entered the playoffs on Friday with a game against the Glenrock Herders, the third-ranked team in the 2A conference. Despite valiant efforts by the Punchers, particularly in defense, the Herders walked away with their seventh win for the season.
Puncher defense prevented Glenrock from scoring until late in the first quarter. Herders’ running back Ian Arnold made the final 1-yard advance into the end zone with only a few seconds remaining. Glenrock succeeded at a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 8-0.
Puncher defense also stepped up in the second quarter, preventing Glenrock from making another touchdown. Senior Tate Hughes made a quick dash to take down Glenrock quarterback Zane Moore, passing possession back to the Punchers.
Big Piney drove from deep in their territory, but lost possession on an interception to Glenrock. With five seconds left in the second quarter, the Herders went for a field goal. Running back Tucker Bopp kicked the ball between the goal posts, bringing the score to 11-0 at halftime.
Glenrock dominated the second half of the game. The Herders dropped the ball in the end zone three times in the third quarter. Running back Payton Steinmetz executed an impressive 70-yard dash to the goal line.
Near the end of the third quarter, senior Lincoln Long intercepted a long pass from Zane Moore.
The Herders made two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, bringing the total score to 45-0.
Despite the loss to Glenrock, Big Piney ended their season with five victories overall, including four conference wins. Big Piney defeated Shoshoni at their first game in the season with a blowout score of 52-0. The Punchers overwhelmed Kemmerer on Sept. 21, 32-7, and won again the following week against Lovell, 34-6.
The Punchers sailed to victory against Lyman on Oct. 19 with a final score of 55-6. The Punchers’ 12-6 win against cross-country rival Pinedale at the Sublette Shootout on Oct. 5 was a season highlight.
Head Coach Aaron Makelky said he is proud of his players’ overall record for the season.
“The loss to Glenrock was certainly a frustrating and discouraging game for us to end the season,” he said, “However, we feel like our group of players and coaches did a great job overall. We far outperformed expectations. One source picked us sixth in the 2A West conference, when we in fact tied for second. We also beat Pinedale on their field for the first time since 2010, beat Lovell at Lovell for the first time since 2008, and beat Shoshoni on their field for the first time in history. We also made back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 2009-2010.”