SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School football will face Cheyenne Central High School 5 p.m. Friday to determine which team will make it to the championship game in Laramie next weekend.
Senior Ryan Sessions said the Broncs are taking this week one practice at a time and are trying to make each practice the best one possible.
The Broncs played Central Week 1 of the regular season and won 28-14. In the game, Central took a 7-0 lead over the Broncs in the second quarter until Sheridan scored back-to-back touchdowns to take a 14-7 halftime lead and eventually win the game.
Senior Toby Jacobs said the Broncs underestimated Central in the first game and quickly learned Central has a good football team.
Central started the year 0-2, losing to Thunder Basin in Week 0 and Sheridan the following week. Since then, Central is 7-1, with the only loss against Cheyenne East in a close game. Central defeated Natrona toward the end of the regular season and had a come-from-behind victory against Rock Springs to start the playoffs.
Head coach Jeff Mowry said Central is an improved team and has the most efficient passer in 4A. Central developed an explosive offense during the season.
Sessions said Central has a good passing attack with good route combinations.
The top weapon in the passing game for quarterback Dawson Macleary is wide receiver Andrew Johnson, who ended the regular season with 58 receptions for 812 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Mowry said Johnson is an explosive receiver and will challenge the Broncs defensive secondary.
Central also has two tight ends that are used well in the passing game and are big-bodied targets for Macleary, Jacobs said. Twin brothers Brady and Brock Storebo stand 6 feet 6 inches tall and both finished in the top 10 for receiving yards in 4A at the end of the regular season.
Mowry said both brothers have a good set of hands and force defenses to cover the middle of the field and not just worry about Johnson.
Jacobs said the Broncs also need to be ready for running back Carter Lobatos and the rushing attack from Central.
Central is not the only team that improved since the previous meeting, as the Broncs have improved throughout the season.
Sessions said the Broncs have focused on areas that do not require talent, such as technique and fundamentals. One area the Broncs have improved in since the first meeting with Central is penalties. Early in the year, Sheridan shot themselves in the foot with penalties, negating big plays and since has reduced the number of penalty yards against the Broncs.
The interior of the Broncs offense and defense has improved during the season, Mowry said.
The defensive line improved in controlling the line of scrimmage and using their hands to shed blocks. The offensive line has found its grove and has opened running lanes for the backfield. The Broncs have rushed for more than 200 yards in the last three games.
For Sheridan’s seniors, win or lose this will be their final game at Homer Scott Field and last chance to make memories on the field.
“They are all good memories,” Sessions said. “Being hurt you really get to cherish what you have. It is really awesome to be here in front of the crowd and all of the family that comes to support us. It is the best atmosphere in the state.”
Sessions was sidelined for a few games this year with an ankle injury.
Jacobs said he is going to take in the moment and enjoy the game as much as he can, knowing he is going to miss football once he is finished.