SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School football capitalized on early miscues by Natrona County High School to defeated the top-ranked team in 4A 31-7.
“Any time you can get a win against Natrona county, a solid program, that is a great thing for us,” Sheridan head coach Jeff Mowry said. “The kids came out and executed. We just looked like a more polished team.”
With the win, Sheridan moved to 3-0 on the year.
“It was a big win for us,” senior Jacob Boint said. “It was one we definitely wanted. I am really proud of the guys, we put the work in all week. We knew it was going to be a battle and that they were coming for us. I think we came out with an intensity that they had to match, I feel like we sustained that and played really well. We have to build off of it heading into the next week and on to the next game.”
A fumble and two short punts by Natrona in the first half allowed the Broncs to capture a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter. On all three scoring drives, Sheridan started on Nartona’s side of the field. Sheridan’s Toby Jacobs kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half to give Sheridan a 24-7 halftime lead.
“I thought we came out strong, put some points on the board and never looked back,” Jacobs said. “We got confident and started playing really well. I was surprised that we came out and got it done like that tonight.”
Mowry said that defense and special teams were going to play a big role, just like they did in the previous title games against Natrona. Mowry said Sheridan won the special teams battle.
Sheridan converted on a fourth down in two of their scoring drives that resulted in a touchdown, executing when they needed to. Mowry said it was good being able to have drives that did not rely on big plays, but were consistent. Sheridan started the second half with a long drive, ending with a touchdown.
“Anytime you can put an 11-play drive together like we did to start the second half it is demoralizing to a defense when you just pound it down the field,” Mowry said.
Sheridan continues to develop some balance on offense, rushing for 165 yards and passing for 161 yards. Mowry does not think Sheridan is running on all cylinders yet but reaching that point gradually each week.
“We always want to try to run a balanced offense so that we can score on any play or in any situation,” Jacobs said.
Entering the week, Mowry knew the team had to improve on mental mistakes, with penalties stalling our drives in the first two games of the season.
The Broncs focused on making sure they match the physicality Natrona brings, focusing on technique to overcome the size difference. Jacobs said Natrona was not as large as they were last year and the linemen for Sheridan were able to put in work. Boint said it all starts up front and the line got it done tonight for the Broncs.
If Sheridan and Natrona meet in the playoffs later in the season, Boint will still be worried about making sure they match Natrona physically. Natrona was without the leading rusher from last year, Dante Wallace, who was out with an injury. Wallace will make a difference in the game when the two teams face each other again.
Sheridan was also without a key player. Ryan Sessions had a sprained ankle and rested this game, Mowry said, so his recovery time wouldn’t be pushed back. Mowry said he knows Sessions is tough enough to play through the pain. Sheridan still came away with a victory, allowing Sessions to heal and be at full strength later in the season.
Boint said the team will enjoy the win tonight and be ready to go back to work on Monday, knowing the coaches will have a game plan for Thunder Basin High School developed by Sunday after they watch film.
“Anytime you beat Natrona you have to enjoy it, but you cannot enjoy it too long,” Mowry said. “We have a better squad and a better opponent at their place next week. Thunder Basin had this date marked since last year when we beat them in the semifinals late in the fourth quarter. They want to pound us next week and they are going to do everything they can to put it in our face.”
Thunder Basin defeated Cheyenne East High School, 31-30, making next week’s match up a battle between the final unbeaten teams in 4A.
Natrona County 7, Sheridan 31
NC 00 07 00 00 7
SHS 07 17 07 00 31
SHS — Brock Steel 20 yard reception from Jacob Boint (Toby Jacobs kick), 4:14
SHS — Toby Jacobs 19 yard reception from Jacob Boint (Toby Jacobs kick), 11:05
SHS — Garrett Coon 5 yard rush (Toby Jacobs kick), 8:54
NC — Wilsk Jackson 5 yard rush (Ryan Sorensen kick), 5:00
SHS — Toby Jacobs 35 yard field goal, 0:00
SHS — Garrett Coon 6 yard rush (Toby Jacobs kick), 6:29
RUSHING: Natrona County — Taubert 11-89, Bundy 10-32, Miller 2-9, Jackson 2-6. Total: 25-136. Sheridan — Coon 13-74, Aksamit 8-46, Boint 12-39, Greer 2-(-5), McComb 2-15, Koltiska 1-1 Dubberly 1-(-2). Total: 21-165
PASSING: Natrona County — Taubery 12 of 26, 72 yards. Sheridan — Boint 12 of 23, 157 yards
RECEIVING: — Overstreet 2-32, Allison 3-11, True 1-11, Cox 3-7, Wishart 1-8, Kelly 1-5, Quig 1-(-2). Total: 12-72. Sheridan — Koltiska 2-58, Askins 3-58, T. Jacobs 2-40, McComb 1-4, Steel 1-3, Meinecke 1-1, Coon 1-0, Dubberly 1-(-1). Total: 12-157