Garrett Dodd’s first varsity start went pretty well, and so did the first football game of the season for Laramie High.
Dodd, a junior quarterback, threw for 201 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 88 yards and another score as Laramie defeated Casper Kelly Walsh 24-17 at Deti Stadium Friday night. Dodd’s 18-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winning score.
“The line just made a really good hole and I just ran,” said Dodd on his touchdown run. “We were looking for slants and narrows, but I just went with my instincts.”
Dodd finished the game 12 of 24 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His first touchdown was a 7-yarder to senior wide receiver Janson Adair in the second quarter. Dodd also ran 12 times for 88 yards.
“He’s athletic, so whether he is running up the hole or boot-legging out to avoid defenders, he’s a gamer,” said Laramie coach Clint Reed about Dodd.
Laramie miscues led to Kelly Walsh’s two first-half touchdowns.
Dodd’s first interception of the game led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Kelly Walsh senior running back Phoenix Buske, who rushed for all but nine of the yards on the 57-yard scoring drive. That gave the Trojans a 7-0 lead it took into the second quarter.
Laramie scored two second-quarter touchdowns, and both were caught by senior wide receiver Janson Adair. The first was a 19-yard catch after junior Isaac Sell took a lateral from Dodd and threw it to Adair. The second was a 7-yarder from Dodd that gave the Plainsmen a 14-7 lead with 1:53 left before halftime.
The Plainsmen forced the Trojans to punt. The snap to sophomore Cameron Burkett was low, and it looked like Laramie would tackle him for a loss. Instead, Burkett broke a couple of tackles and ran 16 yards for a first down. On the next play, senior quarterback Michael Bradley threw a 32-yard touchdown to junior Caleb Cockrum with 2.7 seconds left in the half.
“I told the kids I took the responsibility for the first half,” Reed said. “With the miscue on the punt, I should have called a time out and re-gathered them and not let Kelly Walsh take the momentum.
“When we came out in the second half I told the kids that I will do my job, you do your job and we’ll come out with a victory.”
Adair finished with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Sell added three catches for 64 yards.
Laramie also had a key defensive stand in the fourth quarter. Kelly Walsh had the ball at the 2-yard line, but senior Britan Jenkins stripped Bradley of the ball. Bradley recovered, but was sacked for a loss of 20 yards to set up a 29-yard field goal that cut Laramie’s lead to 24-17.
The Trojans attempted an onside kick but junior Colter Nunn recovered to secure the victory.
“I really don’t have any words to describe how this feels,” Dodd said.
Laramie’s next game is this coming Friday at Rock Springs. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.