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Shoshoni rides bus to Yoder for 1-A playoff first-rounder

Oct 25, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer

Friday's game is a rematch of last year's playoff opener won by Southeast Goshen.

Only a single common opponent sits between the Shoshoni Wranglers and the Southeast Goshen Cyclones in the opening round of the Class 1-A football playoffs. The Wranglers blew out the combined Upton-Sundance Bulldogs 40-6 on the road in week one of the season, and the Cyclones took care of the Patriots 29-6 at home just two weeks ago.

Shoshoni remains the top passing and pass-defense team in the division. The Wranglers have 22 touchdowns through the air this season and have not been scored on via the pass all year.

Game time is 6 p.m. Friday in Yoder.

Shoshoni quarterbacks Tyler Clemetson and Brace Pingetzer lead the state in passing, with Clemetson tallying 146 yards per game and Pingetzer another 45. Shoshoni boasts three of the top 10 receivers in the state with Josh Thoren snagging 10 touchdowns and 37 receptions, Lawry Johnson seven TDs and 30 catches, and Mason Steffen with 18 receptions and four scores.

Shoshoni's secondary of Johnson, Steffen and freshman Tristan Parrish allowed just under 40 yards per game through the air. Few teams pass against Johnson's tight coverage, and when they try Parrish's side of the field the freshman leads the team in interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

Shoshoni's ground game centers on junior running back Jayden Haslam who is tantalizingly close to a 1,000-yard season with 970 yards. Micah Mills adds speed and power to the backfield, and Clemetson has increased his rushing total in each successive game this season.

The Wranglers are a team dominated by juniors, with just a handful of seniors in their starting lineup.

Shoshoni's offensive line of Dillon Geis, J.J. Crichton, Nathaniel Lutz, Rusty Davis, Ethan Marple, and Alex Minge have allowed just six sacks the entire season on 193 passing plays.

Shoshoni's opponent has a vastly different offensive philosophy.

Southeast Goshen's modified veer offense is evolved from a potent wishbone attack utilized by coach Barry Miller beginning more than three decades ago.

Cyclone head coach Mark Bullington has built a dynasty in Yoder over the last decade. The Cyclones have four state-championship appearances and three titles over the last decade and have made the playoffs every year in that time span.

Southeast is a running team. The Cyclones have a balanced attack paced by Wyatt Samsen with 581 yards on 99 carries. Zach Eisenbarth add 381, and Garrett Bartel gained 308 from his quarterback position.

Bartel threw for 460 yards on just 18 completions this season. The Cyclones only pass in specific situations. Southeast has tallied eight touchdowns through the air.

The two schools have met just once, last season when the Southeast buried the Wranglers 60-0 in the opening round at Yoder. Southeast went on to the state finals in Laramie, falling 28-13 to Cokeville.

Shoshoni does not defend the rush well, and Southeast doesn't defend the pass well. It should be a battle of ground- versus air-oriented offenses, with turnovers playing the biggest factor Friday night.

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