SHERIDAN — A rare cheer in reaction to a Gillette Camels win erupted from the post game huddle of Sheridan Broncs Friday night.
Since the Camels took care of Cheyenne East, 41-6, it secured Sheridan as the No. 2 seed for the 4A playoffs next week, giving them homefield advantage for the first two weeks.
This all came after the Broncs dismantled Cheyenne South 62-16 behind a fast start, and putting to bed the upstart squad that had earned its first-ever win last week.
For Sheridan, they quickly bounced back from a loss to Natrona last week.
“It was a focus of ours because we figured coming off a win like they were they’d be fairly positive and excited so we wanted to make sure that we made a statement early and the kids did that tonight,” coach Don Julian said.
The Broncs two regular season losses were brutal ones, coming with injuries and turnovers and perhaps making them seem more devastating than they were. Sheridan carries the goal every year to secure the No. 1 or 2 seed for the playoffs, and accomplishing that goal seemed a breath of fresh air as the team huddled at the 50-yard line after Friday’s win.
“I think this is a great way to roll into the playoffs on a good victory,” Julian said. “Knowing that if you take care of next week, you’ve got another one at home is just a great motivating factor. This time of year, a huge percentage, if you’re at home you have a better opportunity. Our record in the playoffs here in Sheridan is very very good.”
To begin the rout, Daniel Sessions took an option pitch around the end on the first play from scrimmage for six, and after Joe Shassetz recovered a South fumble on their first offensive play, Sessions would score again to make the tally 14-0 with 10:12 still on the first-quarter clock.
The Broncs poured it on from there, with Sessions scoring two more times, Shassetz adding an end around after a Bruney interception in the first quarter, and Nick Gill keeping the crowd in the game with a 63-yard punt return for six to start the third quarter.
Sheridan rushed fro 292 yards and completed 7 of 11 passes for 100 more with no interceptions and no fumbles. Riley Sessions came in at quarterback late in the game and ran in two scores — one from 50 yards out on an impressive, speedy option keeper. The sophomore Riley and the senior Daniel Sessions both surpassed the 100-yard mark on the ground for Sheridan.
South scored twice, with long runs from Adam Haberkorn in the second quarter and a third-quarter scamper from Zack Wilkerson.
With the score a non-factor, things got chippy in the third quarter, but the Broncs handled themselves through the blowout.
“We really stressed at halftime that we had to take care of each other,” Julian said. “If someone started losing their temper, we didn’t want anyone getting suspended…It was very important that we keep control of our emotions and I felt like we did that for the most part.”
Sheridan will host Laramie next Friday with game time still to be determined. They defeated the Plainsmen in week 1, on Aug. 30 in Laramie, and 10 weeks later the two teams will meet again.
“Which is a little bit unexpected,” Julian said. “We didn’t think that we would see them. It sounded like they really had a good comeback against Kelly Walsh, and Kelly Walsh is a very good team. For them to get them says that they’re playing well, and we’ll have to be well prepared again.”
Sessions run 7-0 11:05
Sessions run 14-0 10:12 after Shassetz fumble recovery
Shassetz run 20-0 after Bruney Int.
Sessions keeper 28-0 Bruney 2 pt conversion catch
Shassetz swing pass 34-0
South Adam Haberkorn run 34-7
Sessions run after fumble recovery 41-7
South FG 41-10
Nick Gill 63-yard punt return 41-10
South Zack Wilkinson run 48-16
Riley Sessions run 55-16
Riley Sessions run 62-16
Team totals South-SHS
First downs 12-13
Yards per carry 7.5-5.7
Passing yards 100-78
Total plays 50-64
Total offense 392-322
Passing Kameron Eckard 7-11-2TD
Rushing: Eckard 3–7, Dominic Miller 1-9, Nick Gill 3-5, Dan Sessions 8-123-4TDs, Colbey Bruney 3–1, John Henderson 2-4, Evan Coon 3-36, Joe Shassetz 3-19, Riley Sessions 10-104-2TDs
Receiving: Gill 2-29, Shassetz 2-49-1TD, Tyler Kaufmann 1-11, Trae Kaufmann 1-8