SHERIDAN — If there was any question about how explosive Big Horn High School’s offense was going to be this season, the first game against Thermopolis made it clear that it will be business as usual.
Big Horn was up 40-0 entering the third quarter against its 2A opponent and ended the game with 439 yards of total offense, 289 yards rushing and 150 yards passing.
Rams head coach Kirk McLaughlin said he expected the team to have an explosive offense from what he saw in the scrimmage against Cody in Week 0. His main concern was on the defensive side of the ball, wondering if the Rams could remain physical and play solid defense.
Thermopolis ended the game with 27 points, 223 rushing yards and 53 passing yards. All of the points and most of the rushing yards came against Big Horn’s back-up defense. In the three quarters the starters played, the Rams had three interceptions and allowed only 53 rushings yards and 106 yards total.
McLaughlin was impressed with the defense. The Rams played fast and physical, being able to come away with few turnovers. He was really impressed with the way senior lineman Nolan Rader played along with the linebackers on defense.
While the team was physical in the first matchup, McLaughlin said he wants to keep improving, knowing the rest of the season will not be as easy. The best teams in 1A football like to run the ball downhill, right at the defense. McLaughlin wants his defense to make sure the rest of the league knows they won’t be able to outmuscle the Rams.
Big Horn has another chance to earn a win against a 2A opponent, as Greybull visits the Rams Friday. The more he thinks about it, the more McLaughlin gets excited about being able to play at home for the first time this season. McLaughlin said it feels like the past few Fridays have been devoted to traveling and nothing else.
Greybull enters 0-1 on the season after losing to Rocky Mountain 27-18 in Week 1. Greybull is a young team, possibly going through a rebuilding year, McLaughlin said.
Offensively, Greybull will use multiple offensive formations, trying to create an advantage. The key for the defense will be lining up in the right position to match the offensive formation. McLaughlin said fundamentals will be key, and nothing fancy of defense will be required of his players, just basic football.
Greybull’s defense plays with two safeties over the top of a 4-3 defense. They will play a lot of cover 2 zone, McLaughlin said, making Big Horn adjust the passes they run. The offense should still make big plays in the game, McLaughlin said.
Greybull and Big Horn kick off 7 p.m. at Big Horn High School.