CHEYENNE – Jadyn Cummings has a bad habit of overthinking kickoff returns. The result hasn’t always been good.
“I have bobbled or muffed every single kickoff I have had this season,” the Cheyenne South junior said. “I just pick it up and get as many yards as I can.”
Cummings picked up a lot of yards Friday.
He went 89 yards for a touchdown on his first return, and gained another 50 on his second. The latter return started the Bison’s drive at Laramie’s 35-yard line.
South used that solid field position to score a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 16 seconds remaining in a 36-35 victory.
Those efforts earned Cummings Prep Athlete of the Week honors from WyoSports’ Cheyenne staff.
Cummings took over as one of South’s kick returners during the second half after sophomore Devon Simmons suffered an injury. The first kick Cummings saw caromed off his chest and landed in front of him.
He looked up after grabbing the ball and saw a running lane down the sideline and senior Cari Wright leading the way as a blocker.
“He picked up one guy, and I just took off,” Cummings said. “Both of my returns were pretty similar. The kick team blocked really well, and helped me gain as many yards as I did.
“I wish I had been able to take the second one the rest of the way, but I put us pretty close and it worked out.”
Cummings’ bobbling the first kickoff return may have helped, South coach Dan Gallas said.
“It might have given our guys a little more time to set up the return,” he said. “His efforts, and the results of the plays were fantastic, and helped us for sure.”
The win is South’s first this season, and keeps hopes of making the Class 4A playoffs alive.
“It was a very emotional win for us,” said Cummings, who also rushed for 77 yards on six carries. “We’ve never won a homecoming game, so the seniors were all pretty emotional. I cried after the game because I felt like I really helped out team.”
Cummings sat out his sophomore season because of a concussion he suffered during his freshman campaign.
“It was a very, very bad concussion,” he said. “I wanted to play, but my family wouldn’t let me. I went to physical therapy all year, and I’m glad I came back out for football.
“I am glad I am playing with these guys. I love this team.”
Others recognized for their efforts include:
n Graedyn Buell and Jackson Hesford, football, Cheyenne East: Buell, a junior quarterback, completed 19 of 31 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the Thunderbirds’ 24-21 victory over visiting Cheyenne Central.
Hesford, a junior wide receiver and cornerback, caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also forced and recovered a fumble and snared an interception on defense.
n Tanner Bullock, Carter Lobatos and Dawson Macleary, football, Cheyenne Central: Bullock, a senior defensive end, posted 12 tackles during the Indians’ 24-21 loss at Cheyenne East.
Lobatos, a junior, had 15 tackles on defense, and had 38 rushing yards and 58 receiving yards on offense.
Macleary, a senior quarterback, completed 17 of 28 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
n Boe Clayson and Kaden Lakin, football, Burns: Clayson, a senior running back, rushed for 209 yards on 24 carries during the Broncs’ 48-3 victory at Pine Bluffs.
Lakin, a senior quarterback, rushed for 125 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries.
n Liberty Edwards, girls swimming, South: The sophomore won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke in a dual with Cheyenne Central. She also won the 100 backstroke in a quadrangular with Central, Cheyenne East and Laramie.