LARAMIE – Cheyenne East has been dominant in the passing game so far this season.
Friday night, however, the Thunderbirds shied from their identity and dominated on the ground en route to a 33-0 win over Laramie at Deti Stadium.
East (4-2) – whose 470 total yards per game leads Class 4A – gained 301 yards running the ball. It was the best rushing performance of the season for the No. 4-ranked T-Birds.
“(Laramie) brought a ton of pressure, and we took some sacks in the first half,” East coach Chad Goff said. “They continued to bring outside pressure, and we kept running inside and that’s how we broke some of those (long runs).”
Jackson Hesford gave the T-Birds the lead late in the first quarter when he caught a Graedyn Buell pass on a crossing route and ran the rest of the way for a 15-yard touchdown. Ox Schroeder put
the extra point through the uprights, and the T-Birds had a 7-0 lead.
Colton Haugen, who rushed for 151 yards, extended the lead for East when he ran the ball up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. Schroeder missed the PAT and the score remained 13-0 heading into halftime.
The Plainsmen (1-5) couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side in the first half and went into the break without a first down.
They were stout on the defensive side, though, and were able to limit the T-Birds’ top-ranked offense to just 13 points after the first two quarters.
“We came out with a little more fight than usual,” Laramie coach Clint Reed said. “We saw something we hadn’t seen in a few weeks and if we were able to see that each week, we’d see better growth out of our team.”
It was the third quarter where the T-Birds’ rushing execution really took off.
East had the ball at its own 2-yard line following a 55-yard punt from Laramie’s David Tangeman.
The T-Birds orchestrated a 13 play, 98-yard drive, capped by a Christian Anderton touchdown run from 5 yards out.
East milked five minutes off the
clock as it didn’t run one pass play on the drive and went up 19-0 after the 2-point conversion failed.
“I challenged the offensive line at the half and told them, ‘Hey, we’re the unit that needs to figure it out the most,’” Goff said. “(Friday) was a big step for our offensive line to come out, perform, throw the team on their back and make things happen.”
Anderton, who rushed for 155 yards, scored his second touchdown of the night when he broke a run, again, up the middle for 30 yards at the start of the fourth quarter. Schroeder converted the PAT and the T-Birds had control leading 26-0.
The final score of the night for East was when Jake Rayl intercepted a
Garrett Dodd pass and ran it back 50 yards for the score and the final 33-0 difference.
East will look to carry its momentum when it hosts cross-town rival Cheyenne Central (4-2) on Friday.
The Plainsmen will look to get on the winning track when they travel to Cheyenne next Friday to take the field against South.
“Hopefully we can take this intensity and find a way to grow from it,” Reed said. “We’ve got to find out how to take this fight with us to South next week.”
EAST 33, LARAMIE 0
Cheyenne East...... 7 6 6 14 – 33
Laramie...... 0 0 0 0 – 0
CE: Hesford pass from Buell (Schroeder kick) 2:24
CE: Haugen 1 yard run (PAT no good) 6:32
CE: Anderton 5-yard run (Two-point conversion no good) 4:12
CE: Anderton 30-yard run (Schroeder kick) 10:21
CE: Rayl interception return (Schroeder kick) 5:33
Cheyenne East: Anderton 19-155, Haugen 30-151, Pugh 1-1, Buell 6-(minus--16), Goff 3-10. Laramie: Dodd 5-6, Vigen 3-(minus-3), Sell 5-31, Nunn 6-26, Killpack 2-11.
Cheyenne East: Buell 15-22 167. Laramie: 7-19-1 52, Vigen 2-3-0 13.
Cheyenne East: Anderton 4-52, Hesford 2-23, Aumiller 4-30, Haugen 2-15, Schroeder 3-47. Laramie: Adair 2-24, Vigen 1-(minus-12), Sell 1-(minus-1), Tangeman 1-4, Killpack 4-24.