Big Piney’s big upset

Punchers take down perennial power

BIG PINEY – The Big Piney football team is starting to turn some heads. One week after moving into the class 2A state rankings in the No.5 spot, the Big Piney football team took down perennial powerhouse, No. 2 Greybull, 36-21.

While the victory might make a few more people take notice of Big Piney, the Punchers already believed in themselves.

“That’s what we expected,” Big Piney head coach Aaron Makelky said. “We expected to go there and beat them.”

Not only did Big Piney score the win, the Punchers were pretty dominant. The Punchers took a 28-6 lead into halftime and, after a slow third quarter, finished strong to secure the upset against the higher-ranked team.

“My opinion is, rankings don’t mean a lot,” Makelky said. “Greybull is definitely a good team. They’ve established themselves as one of the best teams in the state, and that says a lot about (Big Piney).”

On defense, the Punchers forced three turnovers and scored a safety in the first half. The Buffs had only turned the ball over once in its last three games.

“Our defense played very aggressively and did an awesome jobs getting turnovers,” Makelky said.

Greybull’s only first-half touchdown came after a bad snap on a punt gave it a short field to work with.

On offense, Jake Pape scored two rushing touchdowns, from four yards and five yards out. Quarterback Tristan Barney also connected with Zane Meisner on an 80-yard touchdown pass and a 20-yard touchdown pass in the first half.

“We started running the heck out of the ball, but the difference this week was the big plays in the passing game,” Makelky said.

After a fumble and a poor punt helped Greybull score twice to make it a seven-point game in the third quarter, Big Piney rebounded in the fourth. Barney threw his third touchdown pass, a 64-yard strike to Adam Willoughby, to help the Punchers finish comfortably on top.

“We had a chance to blow it open in the third quarter and didn’t, but in the fourth we got our stuff together again,” Makelky said.

Barney completed six of 12 passes to five different receivers for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

Chancy Hunt rushed 16 times for 107 yards. Pape ran 16 times for two scores, but only had a net-rushing total of 14 yards after getting tackled for some losses.

Defensively, Hunt led the team with seven solo tackles. Tate Hughes made nine tackles, Meisner had seven, Ascencion Pelham had six while Willoughby, Garrett Nielson and Calder Taylor each made five stops.

Big Piney is now 2-1 overall, while Greybull slipped to 1-2. The Buffs’ other loss was to top-ranked Glenrock, 12-7.

This week, Big Piney will take on the Kemmerer Rangers (1-2) Friday in Kemmerer. Kemmerer fell to Pinedale, 20-0, Friday.

“We have to keep that same high-level of intensity every week,” Makelky said. “(Kemmerer) is physical and big. We expect it to be a good game.”






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