SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School football opened the 2019 season with a 23-7 victory over the Rock Springs Tigers Friday night.
The Broncs scored on their first drive of the season with Toby Jacobs kicking a 25-yard field goal.
“Getting the ball on the 20, changing field position and getting a fieldgoal; I think it is a win for us,” SHS head coach Jeff Mowry said. “We will take 3-0 on the first drive. I thought we came out and finished well in the first quarter but came out flat in the second and third quarter.”
The Broncs entered the season looking for a more balanced offense. Sheridan rushed and passed for a touchdown in the first half. Jacobs caught four passes for 32 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown reception thrown by Jacob Boint.
The coaches noticed Rock Springs was playing the safeties out wide, leaving the middle of the field open, Boint said. He threw the ball before Jacobs made his break, trusting he would make the play.
Garrett Coon ended the game with 159 yards on the ground, including two touchdown rushes, 39 yards in the first quarter and 33 yards in the fourth quarter to help seal the game.
The Broncs biggest enemy at times was their own mental mistakes. Penalties stalled drives and had one of the Bronc’s touchdowns called back in the first quarter. Sheridan had eight penalties, costing the team 69 yards.
“Too many mental mistakes for week 1,” Mowry said. “We set a goal to limit those things, we had a touchdown called back because of a mental penalty, we were offsides on kickoffs, just too many things that should not happen.”
Defensively Sheridan knew Rock Springs was going to come out in a lot of different formations. Sheridan shut out the Tigers and held them to 124 yards in the first half. Rock Springs ended the game with 302 yards of offense.
Coon said the coaches had the defense well prepared and the team stepped up to make plays when they needed to. The Bronc defense was lead by Coon who had four solo tackles and seven assisted tackles. Xander Coon had 10 total tackles and Zach Koltiska ended with nine tackles for the Bronc defense.
Sheridan stumbled entering the second half, coming out with low energy. Boint said the team’s energy dipped during halftime leading to a slow start in the second half. Rock Springs scored on their opening drive off of a 15-yard pass from Seth Hymas to Favor Okere.
“We were able to weather the storm and come out with a victory,” Boint said.
Sheridan forced two turnovers in the game, Reese Osborne intercepted a pass in the first half and Kyle Meinecke recovered a fumble in the second half. Rock Springs also mishandled a field goal late in the first half. Mowry said any time you can win the turnover battle, good things can happen.
Sheridan relied heavily on the run game in the second half. Sheridan rushed for 105 yards and passed for 82 yards in the first half. Boint had the only reception for the Broncs in the second half, losing three yards after catching a ball that was batted back at him. Boint ended the game with 79 passing yards. Sheridan ended the game with 196 rushing yards.
Mowry said Coon showed his senior leadership, gaining big yards when the team needed to in the second half. Coon said the credit for his performance also goes to his blockers.
“They were just out there working hard and doing their job,” Coon said. “They were working their craft that they worked on all week and I have got to give it to Ryan Sessions, he really led up the hole and made some nice blocks. Credit to him and Credit to the O-line the whole way.”
The offensive and defensive line stepped up in key moments to give the Broncs the victory, Coon said.
Moving Forward Mowry wants to make sure the Broncs are improving each week. Sheridan improves to 1-0 on the season and will be on the road at Cheyenne Central 6 p.m. next Friday.