Cougars shut out by Grizzlies, 22-0Oct 1, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
Wind River and Rocky Mountain battled for the chance to host a playoff game as a thunderstorm highlighted the northern sky with bolts of lightning on Friday night at Pavillion.
While the lightning in the sky provided a spectacular backdrop, it was lightning on the field that did in the Cougars' quest for a second straight conference win.
Rocky Mountain built a 15-point first period lead on an 85-yard halfback pass from Treyson Frost to Scott Banks and another 25-yard scoring play from Ethan Price to Banks, then added another 30-yard pass from Price to Lathan May in the fourth quarter to take a 22-0 win.
Wind River dominated the game at the line of scrimmage and gained four times as many yards on the ground as the Grizzlies, but eight turnovers in a tight game rarely leads to victory.
The Cougars fumbled the ball away three times and Rocky Mountain free safety Tristan Jewell intercepted four passes on his own and tipped one for a teammate to pick off on the other.
Wind River took the opening kickoff and marched impressively towards the south end zone on power runs by Kage Vogel and Ben Hoopengarner, quick hitters from Jaren Guina and off-tackle scampers from Morgan Miller, but the drive ended at the 19-yard line on a fumble.
Rocky lost yardage on two running attempts, but a halfback pass from Frost to Banks covered nearly the entire field on its opening score.
Wind River continued to run the ball well and aside from three big plays, they defended the pass equally well on most possessions.
Wind River defensive end McCaden Anderson tallied three sacks and pummeled Rocky mountain quarterback Ethan Price on two of those.
Owen McAdams also had three sacks from his defensive tackle position, but the Cougars couldn't generate any offensive consistency once they moved into the red zone.
An example of the solid defensive effort by the Cougars came when Dalton Finely raced 70 yards from his position like a bullet on a Hoopengarner punt clear across the field to the opposite sideline to tackle the Grizzly punt returner from behind.
In a wild display of turnover-plagued football, Miller intercepted Price to give the Cougars the ball at the 40-yard line, but 34 seconds later, Carson May intercepted Wind River's Dillan Cachelin on a fourth-down play, but fumbled the ball and Finley recovered it. May intercepted the ball on the very next play to end the series.
Wind River went for it again two series later on a fourth-and-5 at their own 35-yard line and Jewell intercepted Cachelin at the 50, but fumbled the ball and Vogel recovered it.
The Cougars made another strong drive in the final period, highlighted by Miller breaking into the secondary on a fourth- and-1 at the Rocky Mountain 20 but the Cougars fumbled two plays later at the 2-yard line and Rocky averted the score.
Wind River is still in the driver's seat for a playoff berth and a win next Friday at Ethete against Wyoming Indian ensures a spot in the postseason.
Rocky Mountain hosts Shoshoni and can still host a second- seed playoff game if they win their final three games.
Wind River 0 0 0 0 - 0
Rocky Mountain 15 0 0 7 - 22
RM - Scott Banks 85-pass from Treyson Frost (Ethan Price run) 5:48
RM - Banks 25-pass from Price (Price kick) 1:34
RM - Lathan May 30-pass from Price (Price kick) 11:53
Total Offense: Wind River 297, Rocky Mountain 258.
Rushing Offense: Wind River 34-174, Rocky Mountain - 23-49.
Individual Rushing: Wind River - Dillan Cachelin 2 (-8), Kage Vogel 3-11, Ben Hoopengarner 6-25, Morgan Miller 11-73, Jaren Guina 6-27, Kyle Laird 8-46. Rocky Mountain - Ethan Price 8-19, Treyson Frost 3-6, Wyatt Horrocks 7-10, Tristan Jewell 2-12, Lathan May 1-8, Dawson May 2-(-6).
Individual Passing: Wind River - Dillan Cachelin 3-10-4 49, Ben Hoopengarner 0-3-1. Rocky Mountain - Ethan Price 8-13-2 199.
Individual Receiving: Wind River - Dalton Finley 1-27, Morgan Miller 1-23, Jaren Guina 1-(-1). Rocky Mountain - Lathan May 2-56, Scott Banks 2-110,Wyatt Horrock 3-67, Treyson Frost 1-6.
Penalties: Wind River 7-60, Rocky Mountain 6-45.