Wranglers win middle school football crown

Oct 2, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer

For the third consecutive year, head coach Marty Weber's Shoshoni Wranglers are Wind River Conference Athletic Association football champions.

The Wranglers roared to a 30-0 lead at the half over rivals Wind River and never looked back in a 46-14 runaway that capped an unbeaten season.

The young Wranglers were paced by seventh-grade quarterback Alex Mills, who passed for four touchdowns and an additional four two-point conversions.

Both teams played stellar defense in the opening quarter on a cold, windy Wolverine field in Riverton, but the Wranglers broke the ice with two minutes remaining in the first period, when Mills connected with Jace LeClair on a 49-yard catch-and-run for the opening score. Nathon Cousineau caught a Mills pass in the corner of the end zone for a successful conversion.

Shoshoni has a good mix of size, speed and athleticism and displayed all three in a 22-point outburst in the second period.

Dom Jarvis, Cannon Campbell and Trey Fike all ran the ball well in different roles. Jarvis powered over Cougars defenders, then raced for daylight, Campbell displayed great balance and surprising power for a smaller back and Fike cut through, around and over Wind River defenders with good agility.

Jarvis broke into the Cougars secondary on a 40-yard scamper with 6:12 remaining in the half and the Cougars were unable to answer, but picked up their defense late in the second period.

Shoshoni picked up a first down at the two-yard line on a Fike run that only missed scoring on a solid open-field tackle by Wind River's Derek Grant. Shoshoni lost yardage the next three plays and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete in the end zone.

The Wranglers scored on defense the next play when Fike, Campbell and Braden Cash gang-tackled Wind River quarterback Tisso Guina in the end zone for a safety.

Mills connected with LeClair on a 31-yard pass for another touchdown, then Mills intercepted Guina on the next series with just 1:15 remaining in the half.

In perhaps the best play of the game, Mills hit Cousineau in stride on a perfect, arching fly pattern and Cousineau raced 55 yards for the final score of the half.

A third scoring pass to LeClair built a 38-0 Wrangler lead with 6:02 remaining in the third and Weber began to substitute players off the bench.

Grant broke open off tackle and took the ball inside the 5-yard line, where Guina scored on a four-yard run. Guina added the conversion run and the Cougars were on the board.

A 63-yard breakaway from by seventh-grade running back Stavin Pierson was Shoshoni's final touchdown of the game, with Mills finding Conor Christensen on the conversion play.

Wind River tallied a spectacular 85-yard catch-and-run with Avery Burnett reaching out, hauling in the ball from Guina, regaining his balance and outrunning the Wranglers secondary.

Wind River lost just one regular season game to the Wranglers back in September.

Shoshoni 8 22 8 8 - 46

Wind River 0 0 0 14 - 14

1st quarter

SHO - Jace LeClair 49-pass from Alex Mills (Nathon Cousineau pass from Mills) 2:03

2nd quarter

SHO - Dom Jarvis 40-run (pass failed) 6:12

SHO - Safety - Trey Fike, Cannon Campbell and Braeden Cash tackled Tisso Guina in end zone 1:39

SHO - LeClair 31-pass from Mills (run failed)

SHO Cousineau 55-pass from Mills (Conor Christensen pass from Mills) 1:07

3rd quarter

SHO - LeClair 26-pass from Mills (Cousineau pass from Mills) 6:02

4th quarter

WR - Guina 4-run (Guina run) 6:41

SHO - Stavin Pierson 63-run (Christensen pass from Mills) 5:46

WR - Avery Burnett 85-pass from Guina (Derek Grant run) 2:37

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