SHERIDAN — Sheridan High School football beat Thunder Basin High School 35-26 in the state title game.
Sheridan lost to Thunder Basin 37-30 in the regular season but the seniors on the football team go out as state champions.
“It is great, we have been together for so long,” Johnson said. “We have been working on it as a unit and it is great to get the success you have wanted.”
Sheridan jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Sheridan’s Zach Koltiska and Carter Dubberly each intercepted a pass to set up the Broncs’ offense.
Sheridan entered halftime with a 21-7 lead. A Thunder Basin receiver fumbled the ball on the first play of the second half leading to the Broncs recovering the ball and eventually scoring a touchdown.
Thunder Basin scored 19 unanswered points to end the third quarter, cutting the Sheridan lead to 28-26.
Thunder Basin attempted a two-point conversion, handing the ball off to Caleb Driskill who committed to play football at the University of Wyoming.
Sheridan’s Ryan Sessions stopped Driskill just short of the goal line, keeping the lead for the Broncs.
Senior Jacob Boint said the Broncs were trying to press too hard in the third quarter, leading to the mistakes and allowing Thunder Basin to close in.
“That was something we talked about all week was when something goes wrong how are we going to respond? That was something that was going to be a huge factor in the outcome of the game,” Boint said. “I thought they punched us in the mouth for a little bit in the third quarter but we did a great job responding. Coming out in the fourth quarter and ultimately walking away with the W.”
Sheridan opened the fourth quarter with a 93-yard drive ending in the go-ahead touchdown.
Sheridan held Thunder Basin to a three and out to get the ball back with 6:44 left in the game. The Broncs faced a fourth and five on the drive. Instead of punting the ball away the coaches decided to call a fake punt.
Garrett Coon kept the ball instead of punting the ball away, gaining 19 yards and a first down. Sheridan ran the rest of the clock out to take the 35-26 victory.
It was the first state championship for as a head coach for Jeff Mowry and the 27th in SHS history. Sheridan ends the season with an 11-1 record and defeated every team in 4A at least once this season.