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Wyoming all-stars top Nebraska 40-26 in Battle for Border

Jun 30, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer

DUBOIS -- Locals claimed it was the hottest game ever played in Dubois, but then again, it was the first one ever played in the final days of June.

Wyoming came from behind to take an entertaining 40-26 tilt over the Nebraska all-stars in the "Battle for the Border -- 6-Man Shootout" Saturday afternoon in Dubois.

Nebraska led 24-14 at the half but could only muster a safety in the second half ,while the boys from Wyoming tallied 16 in the third and 10 in the fourth to take the win.

"What a great group of players and staff to work with," Wyoming head coach David Trembly of Dubois said. "What a great defensive game. It was a lot of fun.

The victory is the second in a row for Wyoming over Nebraska in the fledgling series.

The size advantage in the game went to Nebraska, with most of the squad holding a decided height advantage over the boys from the Cowboy State, but Wyoming's players where quicker and played stellar "bend but don't break" defense throughout the game.

With blazing speed in the backfield, Wyoming was predicted to run the ball well against the bigger Nebraska team, but that didn't play out. Instead, quarterback James Caro of Kaycee had a field day, completing four touchdown passes.

Caro's first two strikes went to 6-2 Frisco Erdahl of Ten Sleep. Erdahl beat the Nebraska secondary deep with 3:42 remaining in the first period and scored from 36 yards out for the game's first points. Little Snake River's Manual Quinteros missed his initial extra-point kick wide right but drilled the next four right through the uprights.

Six-man is a high scoring game with final totals that often resemble basketball scores, but Saturday's game featured hard tackling and solid defense for much of the game.

Nebraska didn't score in the opening quarter but put 24 points on the board in the second and had Wyoming head coach David Trembly of Dubois and his staff scratching their heads.

Johnny Dunn of Sioux County put the Cornhusker boys on the board with a 6-yard run, and Logan Bischoff gave Nebraska its first lead 8-6 on the ensuing kick. Garrett Gray, also of Sioux County, snagged a 21-yard pass from Kayton Conner of Wauneta Palisade, and Bischoff added the kick to lift the visitors to a surprising 16-6 lead.

Erdahl and Caro teamed up again, this time on a 15-yard pass and catch, with Quinteros adding the t2-point kick to close the game to 16-14 with 43 seconds left in the half.

Wyoming's defense softened for the only time in the contest in the final seconds of the opening half, and Kayton took advantage. He gained 52 yards on back-to-back scrambles before finding Gray again on a 10-yard strike with just two seconds left in the half. Taylor Hanson of Elkhorn Valley drilled the conversion kick, and Nebraska held a 26-14 lead at the intermission.

Temperatures at kickoff hovered around 90 degrees but an afternoon thunderstorm developed during the halftime break, and scattered rain cooled the field as the third period opened. Though the temperatures dropped only into the low 80s, the scant rainfall was just enough to make the ball slick. The third quartered featured a couple of wild exchanges but no turnovers as the ball squirted around on the field.

Dubois running back Jesse Hawk broke into the open on a couple of plays to open up the Wyoming passing lanes again, and Caro found Little Snake River's Connor Lee just 2:23 into the second half on a 38-yard bomb. Quinteros's kick closed the gap to 24-22, and Wyoming was poised for the comeback.

Dunn and Kayton picked up huge yardage on consecutive runs, but Kayton fumbled at the 1-yard line, and Dubois safety Kyle Tea recovered. The turnover saved a possible touchdown but Nebraska scored a safety on the next play when Austin Blistein tackled Quinteros in the end zone for the defensive score.

On the game, Tea was spectacular in the secondary, particularly in the second half. He tallied an interception and broke up four pass plays, two that looked like touchdowns, to pace the Wyoming secondary.

Cody Flynn of Dubois also had an outstanding game at defensive end, using his 225-pound frame to power through Nebraska blockers for sacks or tackles for loss throughout the final two periods of the game.

Caro found another receiver with 1:04 left in the third, this time a big target in 6-4 Garrett Kremers of Kaycee. Kremers went high to pull the ball down between the Nebraska defenders for a 22-yard scoring play that put Wyoming ahead for the first time since the opening period. Quinteros gave Wyoming a little more cushion on the ensuing conversion kick.

"The fight of the Wyoming players is awesome," Trembly said. "It doesn't matter where they're from in the state. They all play hard.

Nebraska moved the ball well on the ground for most of the first three periods but went to the air in the final period.

Little Snake River's Connor Lee made them pay, intercepting Kayton at the Nebraska 25.

Wyoming moved the ball inside the 10, but Jerrod Moody of Elba/ North Loop Scotia intercepted Caro at the 2-yard line to end the drive.

Hawk broke through the Nebraska blockers on first down to tally a safety for Wyoming when he tackled Kayton in the end zone with 6:46 remaining in the game.

Points can come quickly in 6-man football and Wyoming was nursing a scant 32-26 lead with less than five minutes to play.

Fumbles, controversial calls by officials, and wild plays featuring laterals, throwbacks and potential turnovers kept the 400 fans in attendance riveted as the clock ticked away.

Nebraska played inspired defense and used all three of its timeouts to force Wyoming to punt with 1:53 left in the game.

Tea punted a beauty that sailed 52 yards through the air and careened out of bounds at the 4-yard line. Kayton attempted to hit Bischoff in the middle of the field, but Quinteros read the play perfectly and stepped in front of the ball at the 17 and raced untouched into the end zone.

He added the conversion kick, and Wyoming celebrated the 40-26 win over their neighbors to the east. Kayton was named the offense player of the game, and Cole Gorlay of Little Snake River got the honor on the defensive side.

WYOMING 6 8 16 10 -- 40

NEBRASKA 0 24 2 0 -- 26

First Quarter

WYO -- Frisco Erdal 36-pass from James Caro (kick failed) 3:42

Second Quarter

NEB -- Johnny Dunn 6-run (Logan Bischoff kick) 9:50

NEB -- Garrett Gray 21-pass from Kayton Connor (Bischoff kick) 4:22

WYO -- Erdahl 15-pass from Caro (Manual Quinteros kick):43

NEB - Gray 10-pass from Connor (Taylor Hanson kick) :02

Third Quarter

WYO -- Connor Lee 38-pass from Caro (Quinteros kick) 9:37

NEB -- Safety - Austin Blistein tackles Quinteros in end zone -- 6:51

WYO -- Garrett Kremers 22-pass from Caro (Quinteros kick) 1:04

Fourth Quarter

WYO -- Safety -- Jesse Hawk tackles Kayton in end zone -- 6:46

WYO -- Quinteros 17-interception return (Quinteros kick) 1:33

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