LARAMIE — The Big Horn Rams are the 1A State Champions for the second year in a row after defeating the Cokeville Panthers 55-7 Saturday. The Rams finished two years of undefeated play with a rematch win over Cokeville.
“It feels so amazing to just be down here celebrating this win with these guys, it’s just been awesome,” head coach Kirk McLaughlin said. “The seniors, the juniors have been amazing. When we talk about the finishing on the south end, this what we mean,” he said, pointing at the scoreboard.
The first quarter was scoreless for both teams but ended with the Rams on first down at the 1-yard line.
The Rams owned the second quarter, with senior Carson Bates taking it in on the first play to take a 7-0 lead after the kick from Cooper Garber.
Pelissier took the Rams 30 yards downfield after a punt, and took it left behind a wall of Rams to the 10-yard line on the next play. Senior Carson Bates cut his way to the end zone from the middle, bringing the score to 14-0 after the kick.
The Rams kept Cokeville to just a handful of yards, forcing a punt. After a few stops, McCafferty connected to Pelissier on a 32-yard pass, and Pelissier took it in the last five yards, bringing the lead to 21 after the Garber kick.
The Rams then held the Panthers to another four-play possession. After the punt, the Rams were pushed back to their own 18 on penalties, but Bates dragged the Panthers players to the Cokeville 49 to end the half.
The Rams continued to extend the lead through the fourth, scoring off the first drive. McCafferty found senior Kyler Ostler, who took it to the 20-yard line. Pelissier ran for five, and Ostler caught another pass in the end zone.
Seconds later, Bates took a second down interception all the way in from 47 yards out, extending the lead to 48-7 after the kick.
“It’s awesome, playing a team like Cokeville, they’re so good, and just playing the way we did, it feels amazing,” McCafferty said.
Another quick Panthers possession ended on a punt to midfield. On the next drive, sophomore Jack Walker took it to the end zone, bringing the final score to 55-7.
“I can’t explain the feeling,” Pelissier said. “Pretty sick to finish my high school year with four appearances with this senior class. It’s just a testament to how hard we worked and how well our coaches prepared us.”