GILLETTE — The Sheridan Broncs suffered their first defeat of the season Saturday in Gillette, 39-10.
The Broncs (5-1) took a 7-0 lead on a 63-yard strike from Kameron Eckard to Dan Sessions. Sessions took the pass untouched into the end zone.
The Camels (6-0) would answer with a Dustin Erisman run from just outside the goal line. Austin Fort missed the extra point to make the score 7-6. On the next drive, the Broncs would stall at the 4-yard line and Nick Gill punched through a field goal to make the score 10-6.
From there, it was all Gillette. The Camels used 13 unanswered points to end the half with a 19-10 advantage.
Sheridan struggled with missed tackles around the elusive Wyoming recruit Fort at QB all day. The senior extended plays and picked up first downs with his legs.
In the second quarter, a trick play, halfback pass from Sheridan’s Dontae Crow would end in a Camels interception inside their own 10-yard line. Gillette scored twice within two minutes time from there — a 34 yard pass from Fort to Talon Nelson followed by Erisman’s second score on a third down sweep play from four yards out.
The teams exchanged punts in what was a scoreless third quarter, and Ethan Hall grabbed an interception from Gillette back-up QB Seth Moerkerke, as Fort sat out a play, but the Broncs were forced to punt on their ensuing possession. Two Jess Edens punts in the quarter pinned the Camels at their own 1-yard and then 9-yard lines. Still, Fort would then drive the Camels 91 yards after the second punt, finding Nelson again, this time on a slant from eight yards out to make the score 26-10 to begin the fourth quarter.
On the Broncs next possession, Nick Gill was hit immediately after catching a quick pass and fumbled. The Camels punched in another short run, 32-10.
Sheridan’s junior varsity defense recovered a fumble with 4:45 left. With Gillette pass rushers pinning their ears back on a pass-heavy comeback attempt, Eckard then threw a late interception with less than two minutes remaining after being hit from behind. Fort and Gillette would punch in a late score, the last against the Broncs junior varsity defense.
This year’s Energy Bowl, the 67th, was pushed back from Friday night after snowstorms hit the area, and the original start time Saturday was moved back an hour to 2 p.m., due to road closures.
The Camels improved to 6-0, while the Broncs sit at 5-1.
Elsewhere in rival 4A weekend action it was Cheyenne East over Cheyenne Central, 33-15, and Kelly Walsh in an upset over Natrona 21-20 in overtime.
Saturday marked the Camels third straight victory in the series. Sheridan leads all-time 39-28-1 in the rivalry that dates back to 1920.
Sitting in second place, the Broncs wind down the season with a game on the road at Cheyenne Central Friday, then return home for Natrona and then Cheyenne South.
Look for the full story in Monday’s Sheridan Press