SHERIDAN — It was like night and day for Sheridan Friday night, as the Broncs let Rock Springs takethe lead going into the half.
A different Sheridan team showed up after halftime and scored on the first drive, eventually propelling the Broncs to a 20-12 victory.
Although the offense put the points on the board, it was Sheridan’s defense that showed up in the second half to keep the Tigers from scoring again.
The Tigers put the first points together right away with a rushing game that allowed Sheridan only 18 snaps in the first half compared to 46 from Rock Springs.
“We got two full drives in and ran out of time on the third,” head coach Don Julian said.
The Broncs got ahead with a touchdown, earning a 7-6 lead in the first quarter due to Rock Springs missing an extra point.
But the Tigers answered back with a ground game that ate up the clock.
They put together the plays to snag another touchdown but couldn’t make the two-point conversion happen, putting the score at 12-7.
Sheridan then took possession, putting together a quick drive culminating in a short pass that should have turned into a touchdown. But a fumble in the end zone gave Rock Springs the ball instead.
Sheridan again had the ball right before the half, but a short clock forced the Broncs to kick for a field goal that dropped short of the posts.
Rock Springs had put the ball into the air only five times in the first half, with large gains on both of their completions. On the ground they posted 199 yards.
Sheridan relied mostly on their passing game in the first half, gaining 157 yards through the air and only 36 on the ground.
“We made some adjustments at halftime to stop that ground game a little better,” Julian said.
Coming out in the second half of the game, Sheridan seemed to follow the Tigers lead and put the ball back on the ground.
The Broncs put together a touchdown on their first drive, taking a lead they would keep until the end of the game.
Sheridan got into scoring position three more times in the second half, but turnover trouble kept them out of the end zone until the last minute of play when the Broncs ran one in to make the final score of 20-12.
“Bottom line is the kids stepped up and shut them out the second half, like we needed,” Julian said. “They still got yardage but they didn’t get points.”
Sheridan will take on Gillette next week in a game Julian said could determine who ends the season in first place and clinches the top seed going into the playoffs.
“It’ll be a huge game,” Julian said. “There’s a lot at stake, even though one loss wouldn’t kill anybody — but everyone’s searching for that elusive number one seed going into the playoffs.”