CHEYENNE – Boe Clayson and Kaden Lakin have been a lethal duo for Burns all season, while the pair also has created plenty of headaches for opposing teams.
They were at it again Friday night.
Clayson and Kaden Lakin needed nothing but a sliver of room to rip off big run after big run to turn Burns’ first playoff appearance since 2013 into a 57-6 blowout on a frigid Friday night at Bronc Stadium.
It was Burns’ first playoff win since 2008, the same season it captured the Class 2A state championship.
“They’re pretty special,” second-year Burns coach Brad Morrison said of his quarterback and running back.
After stalling on their first drive, the Broncs (7-2) gained traction. They started and ended with Clayson, who busted a 55-yard touchdown run to open the scoring with 7 minutes, 58 seconds left in the first quarter.
Clayson added a 20-yard touchdown scamper on the Broncs’ next drive, and Cooper Lakin ran it in for the two-point conversion to make it a 15-0 lead for the home team. Clayson added his third touchdown run of the first half late in the second quarter when he broke free from 40 yards out. By halftime, Clayson had 193 yards on 13 carries, including five rushes of 20 or more yards.
After watching his classmate have success, Kaden Lakin joined in on the fun. After flashing his arm last week, including a game-winning touchdown toss in the final seconds during a win over Thermopolis, the Burns gunslinger went back to the ground game. He had scoring runs of 26 and 35 yards, respectively, to help the Broncs take a 36-0 lead into the locker room.
“When it’s like that, when everybody that touches the ball is getting 15 yards per carry or whatever, that’s your O-line and your tight ends and your receivers playing great,” Morrison added. “That means we’re doing a really good job up front whenever anything hits. It’s real easy to be a play-caller when you know you can win all the blocks up front.”
Clayson and Kaden Lakin combined for 330 rushing yards at the break.
But they were only half the story of the opening 24 minutes.
Burns entered Friday’s game with just six quarterback sacks on the season. They sacked Punchers quarterback Kaden Raza seven times during the first half. Clayson and senior Ben Banville had 2½ sacks apiece to help keep the Punchers’ offense off the field.
The Broncs finished with nine sacks. Both Clayson and Banville had three sacks each.
“I’m always looking for it if I can get there,” Banville said. “We were trying to target him a little bit, just try to get to him, try to (get) the most sacks we can.
“That’s every game, though. That’s not just this one in particular. We try to get in there every time.”
The Punchers packed little to no punch. The visitors finally got on the scoreboard with just over 11 minutes left in regulation when Raza hit Bryan Pluid for a 53-yard touchdown to make it a 50-6 game.
Raza finished with minus-47 yards rushing and was 8 of 16 through the air for 182 yards.
“As we were studying their film, we realized that they ran a spread and they liked hitting those bubbles and those quick passes,” Clayson said. “So, if we could put pressure on them, obviously that’s the perfect storm for us.”
Both Clayson and Kaden Lakin finished with 249 rushing yards apiece for the Broncs.
Burns travels to Mountain View (9-0) for a 1 p.m. kickoff Friday with a state championship berth on the line.
“We get a chance to prove that we belong in the top tier teams in the state next week against what’s probably the best team,” said Morrison, “and we’re going to give them hell.”
BURNS 57, BIG PINEY 6
Big Piney….................................................0 0 0 6 – 6
Burns……..........................................….. 15 21 14 7 – 57
B: Clayson 55 run (Manlove kick), 7:58.
B: Clayson 20 run (C. Lakin 2 run), 4:58.
B: K. Lakin 26 run (Manlove kick), 10:48.
B: K. Lakin 35 run (Manlove kick), 6:40.
B: Clayson 40 run (Manlove kick), 1:01.
B: K. Lakin 64 run (Manlove kick), 6:34.
B: Lerwick 40 pass from K. Lakin (Manlove kick), 1:27.
BP: Pluid 53 pass from Raza (Fila kick no good), 11:14.
B: K. Lakin 42 run (Manlove kick), 8:38.
Big Piney: Pluid 5-(minus-8), Elliott 1-(minus-1), Raza 11-(minus-47), Lucas 6-13, Petty 1-(minus-1). Burns: Clayson 21-249, K. Lakin 13-249, Morales 5-30, David 2-6, team 1-(minus-12).
Big Piney: Raza 8-16-1 182. Burns: K. Lakin 1-3-0 40.
Big Piney: Elliott 2-62, Pluid 5-88, Lucas 1-32. Burns: Lerwick 1-40.