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Lyman to face Lovell again for state title

Posted: Monday, Nov 5th, 2012

Lyman quarterback Bansen Bradshaw, no. 44, runs for a nice gain during state football action last Friday in Lyman. Bradshaw was very impressive on both offense and defense as he led the Eagles to a 32-6 victory over the Newcastle Dogies. HERALD PHOTO/Mike Jensen

LYMAN — There were what many would consider a few upsets or surprises in the semifinal games of Wyoming high school football this past weekend. The No. 1 Cokeville Panthers in Class 1A being upended by the Southeast Cyclones, 16-8, may be among the biggest. Southeast will face the Lusk Tigers for the 1A crown.

Class 4A was true to form, with higher-ranked and home teams winning. Top-ranked Natrona County remained unbeaten at 11-0, with a 30-0 blanking of No. 4 Cheyenne East in Casper, while No. 2 Campbell County handled No. 3 Sheridan quite easily, 35-16, in Gillette. The 10-1 Camels will have another shot at the Mustangs, this time around on a neutral field at the University of Wyoming.

The top two teams in the 3A division advanced, with No. 2 Star Valley ending Cody’s season, 19-6, in Afton, while the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Powell Panthers downed visiting Green River, 13-3. That is somewhat surprising, in that the Wolves kept the game very close. Powell defeated Green River 51-6 on Oct. 19. Powell and Star Valley will vie for all the marbles in 3A football.

Little Snake River and Dubois were the higher-ranked teams in six-man football. Both teams won convincingly, and will square off for the 1A six-man championship.

From the 2A division, not many would be surprised by Lyman’s 32-6 defeat of visiting Newcastle, but previously-undefeated Big Horn falling at home to Lovell could be considered a slight upset. A lot of fans, media and even coaches, including Mountain View’s Brent Walk, indicated in the preseason they would not be surprised by a Lyman-Lovell rematch, it’s got to be rather uncommon for the same two teams to meet for the crown in back-to-back years, in any classification.

Lyman lost the 2011 state title game, 13-21, in Laramie to a Lovell team with an unheard of, in class 2A, 18 seniors last year. The Bulldogs’ title capped a perfect season, while the Eagles finished with two losses, both to Lovell, with the first coming in the regular conference season.

Yes, the two schools are both members of the 2A West in football. The Eagles have already avenged their regular season loss from last year, 20-6, on Sept. 24 in Lyman, and will try to even the score in the state title game this Saturday, Nov. 10, beginning at 10 a.m.

In their semi-final win, Lyman continued their dominance against the run, holding the Newcastle Dogies to negative yardage on the ground.

Lyman’s first pair of scores came via the Eagles’ aerial assault, as quarterback Bransen Bradshaw hooked up with receiver Cisco Taylor inside the Dogie red zone in the first quarter, and again from 55 yards out, in the second quarter, to take a 14-0 lead into the halftime locker room.

The defense added a safety early in the third quarter, putting Lyman on top 16-0.

The Dogies did manage a score coming on two consecutive passes from quarterback Merritt Crabtree, covering 87 yards, to JT Harper, for the score, but on the next play, Eagle Bobby Wingeleth returned the kickoff 95 yards for paydirt.

Lovell picked off a Bison pass in the late stages of the other 2A semifinal game, in a come-from-behind, 29-28, victory over previously undefeated Big Horn, to earn the right to defend their 2A state title.

Kickoff is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Nov. 10, from Jonah Field inside War Memorial Stadium, on campus at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

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