SHERIDAN — For 11 years, the Sheridan High School football team found a way to bounce back from a defeat. That didn’t happen Friday night at Homer Scott Field.
Sheridan fell to unbeaten Thunder Basin 23-13 as the Broncs dropped their second consecutive game, falling to 2-2 on the season.
And even though it was a setback in regards to the final outcome, head coach Jeff Mowry believes his team improved from its loss to Natrona County.
“We didn’t turn out on top of the scoreboard, but I feel like we got better from last week to this week,” Mowry said. “The way we finished last week compared to the way we finished this week, I feel like we made strides in the right direction.”
Mowry walked away particularly pleased with how his defense played. Thunder Basin entered Friday averaging north of 47 points per game, and aside from the opening drive, Sheridan bottled up the Bolts for the most part.
“I was proud of our defense,” Mowry said. “Holding that team to 23 points, and really our offense put us in some tight spots. We are putting our defense in bad spots, and I take blame for that as the offensive coordinator. We got to get that stuff cleaned up. But I was pleased with our defense. … Holding that offense to 23 points gives us a good opportunity to win.”
Sheridan only put up 236 yards of total offense and committed three turnovers. Not having Parker Christensen likely contributed to some of the struggles.
The Broncs’ starting running back sat out with an undisclosed injury and Mowry confirmed after the game that it’s nothing serious.
As a result, Sheridan only ran for 56 yards on 23 rushes an average of just 2.4 yards per carry.
“Losing a kid like Parker always hurts, but we have cats that can step in and play,” Mowry said. “We saw some good runners in there tonight. We got the guys to do it whether Parker is with us or not. We’d love it if he was there, but we were good enough to get it done tonight.”
Quarterback Jacob Boint struggled, going 12-for-34 for 180 yards with three interceptions. Thunder Basin quarterback Mason Hamilton competed 33 of 42 passes for 364 yards with three touchdowns.
Thunder Basin had a dream start to the game. After forcing a three-and-out, the Bolts stretched Sheridan from hash mark to hash mark. The methodical drive full of bubble screens and short passes ended in a 13-yard strike from Hamilton to Tanner Richards that staked the Bolts to the early advantage.
Thunder Basin appeared as though it was going to take a two-score lead as on its ensuring drive it moved the ball inside the red zone before Jaron Brewer logged an interception, which kickstarted Sheridan’s offense.
A long drive for the Broncs ended in a 11-yard touchdown pass from Boint to Garrett Coon that made it a 7-6 game with 5:39 to play in the opening half.
The Bolts responded, taking advantage of an interception themselves, as Hamilton found Blaine Allen for a 2-yard score that made it a 13-6 game at halftime. Thunder Basin extended its lead with a 30-yard touchdown from Hamilton to Dayton Porter, but the Broncs came right back.
Ryan Sessions high-pointed a pass in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown that made it a one-score game at 20-13 with 9:08 to play in the game.
The Bolts gave themselves just enough breathing room on their very next drive as Garner Gautheir connected on a 37-yard field goal with 5:37 to play that gave the game its final tally.
Sheridan will look to get back over .500 when it travels to Kelly Walsh next week.
Thunder Basin 7 6 7 3 — 23
Sheridan 0 6 0 7 — 13