Wolverines win shootout with HerdersSep 17, 2017 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer
If you like defense, Friday's Riverton Wolverines football game wasn't for you.
But if offense does it for you and you like points on the scoreboard, then Riverton's 50-48 homecoming win against the Class 2-A Glenrock Herders was right in your wheelhouse.
It's the most points the Wolverines have ever given up in a game and still prevailed.
The win also was Riverton's first of the season, a much-needed victory as the Wolverines begin Class 3-A East conference play next Friday at undefeated Douglas.
"That was a great win and a great battle," said Riverton head coach Pat Patterson. "We fought and we fought and we fought and in the end, we prevailed. I'm proud of this team."
It was a game of survival and perseverance for Riverton, which gave up 522 yards, all on the ground (Glenrock attempted only one pass), but crafted a balanced offensive attack of their own, gaining 499 yards.
Both teams scored seven touchdowns, but somewhat ironically, the Wolverines stopped Glenrock on four extra-point tries and converted all of their own point-after-touchdowns which was the difference in the game.
Also, the game was packed full of statistics.
Glenrock's two rushers, the powerful Ian Arnold and the tiny, quick Payton Steinmetz rushed for 232 yards and 212 yards, respectively.
Riverton's quarterback Treyton Paxton had by far his best game of the season, completing 22-of-34 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for two scores.
Jaren Draper caught 10 passes for 182 yards (three for touchdowns) and teammate Brodie Roden hauled in 7 passes for 102 yards and also scored a touchdown. The Wolverines didn't run much, but Nic Fenton rushed 13 times for 88 yards including a 48-yard run in the third quarter which started to turn the tide in Riverton's favor.
There were no punts in the contest.
Whew. Unplug the calculators. They need rest.
Back and forth
It seemed early like the last team having possession would have the best chance to win, but Glenrock started pulling away and led 42-29 after Steinmetz scored his fourth touchdown with 11:53 remaining in the game.
The Wolverines bounced back when Paxton found Draper for his third touchdown with a nice, nine-yard fade to the pack of the end zone.
Glenrock then started to chew clock and many thought Riverton had lost its best, last chance when Arnold crossed the end zone with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter.
But the Herders, which played most of the game with the same players on both sides of the ball, were visibly starting to tire and Riverton was also was fighting for its football life.
"We had an idea that we would platoon defense and keep throwing kids at them. They don't have a lot of backups and their kids have to play every down," said Patterson. "They were chasing our guys all over the field."
Then Glenrock made the first of two big mistakes.
After Riverton had two dropped passes, perhaps also feeling game fatigue and facing a fourth-and-15 at the Herder's 29-yard line, Glenrock, which had played loose with its defensive backs the entire game, pressed Riverton's receivers at the line of scrimmage. Roden, one of the fastest athletes in Wyoming, easily got behind his defender and Paxton threw a strike, which Roden gathered in at the 1-yard line.
"I was on the ground just holding the ball. I caught it and he tried to get it," said Roden. "They called that I caught it and then we declined (the pass interference) penalty."
Paxton powered it it from one yard out, but the Wolverines were still down 48-43 with 2:37 still on the clock.
Onside kick success
Early in preseason, Patterson remarked foreign exchange student Maurice Gartenschlaeger could not only boom kickoffs, but he also had an uncanny ability to target and drill opponents in onside kick situations with hard shots that were tough to handle and that's exactly what Gartenschlaeger executed.
After Riverton whiffed an earlier onside kick attempt, Patterson asked Gartenschlaeger, who has never played football before this year, to try the first onside kick of his life in a live game.
His rocket onside kick bounced of Glenrock's Patrick Bruno and was recovered by Riverton's Aleric Adams. The Wolverines, after many fans had left the drizzly Wolverine Field, were poised to take its first lead of the night.
It took just one play.
Paxton faked to Fenton and took the ball up the middle for 36 yards. After Gartenschlaeger drilled his sixth PAT, Riverton had the lead for good.
With nonconference now in the rearview mirror, the Wolverines will next battle Douglas in Converse County on Friday at 7 p.m.
A Patterson-coached Riverton team has never defeated the Bulldogs.
"This is when it really starts to count, this week," said Patterson. "(Douglas) is one that has kind have been a bugaboo on us."
Glenrock 16 14 6 12-- 48
Riverton 15 7 7 21-- 50
GLE - Steinmetz 50-yard run (Arnold 2-point PAT), 10:11.
RIV - Draper 60-yard pass from Paxton (Gartenschlaeger kick), 9:25.
GLE - Arnold 24-yard run (Arnold 2-point PAT), 4:40.
RIV - Roden 24-yard run (Draper pass to Sullivan 2-point PAT), 1:07.
GLE - Steinmetz 8 -yard run (Steinmetz 2-point PAT), 7:09.
GLE - Steinmetz 27-yard run (PAT failed), 3:23.
RIV - Fenton 1-yard run (Gartenschlaeger kick), 0:43.
RIV - Draper 15-yard pass from Paxton (Gartenschlaeger kick), 11:27.
GLE - Steinmetz 5-yard run (PAT failed), 4:22.
GLE - Steinmetz 24-yard run (PAT failed), 11:53.
RIV - Draper 9-yard pass from Paxton (Gartenschlaeger kick), 9:12.
GLE - Arnold 8-yard run (PAT failed), 4:16.
RIV - Paxton 1-yard run (Gartenschlaeger kick), 2:48.
RIV - Paxton 36-yard run (Gartenschlaeger kick), 2:37.
Rushing - RIV Paxton 9-58, Fenton 13-88, Roden 1-24. Totals 24-170. GLE Arnold 34-232, Steinmetz 31-215, Caolier 1- -6, Bopp 3-31, Moore 1-0. Totals 70-522.
Passing - RIV Paxton 22-34-0 329. GLE Moore 0-1-1 0.
Receiving - RIV Draper 10-182, Roden 7-102, Gartenschlaeger 3-28, Patterson 2-7.
Defensive Points - RIV Claysen 26, Campbell 21, Draper 19, Poll 14, Roden 12, Yellowbear 12, Werbelow 11, Rees 9, Nyberg 7, Werbelow 7, Healy 4, Riley 4, Garcia 3, Patterson 2, Lane 2. GLE Moore 20, Collier 16, Sexton 11, Moreno 8, Steinmetz 8, Arnold 7, Jones 6, Ellison 5, Bopp 2, Pittsley 2, Bruno 2, Williams 2, Aos 1