LARAMIE — The Big Horn High School football team put a bow on its perfect season with a 56-3 win over Cokeville in the 1A state championship Saturday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. The state title is the sixth in program history and third in the past six years.
The Rams finished 11-0 on the season and set multiple state scoring records. They used a dominant defensive effort and explosive offensive plays to easily defeat the Panthers.
Quinn McCafferty threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another, while Kade Eisele returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown and also had touchdown runs of 16 and 79 yards.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Eisele, who totaled 346 yards in the game.
On defense, the Rams only allowed 142 total yards and forced three turnovers. Cokeville got the ball into the red zone three times due to turnovers from Big Horn, but the Rams only allowed three points in those trips, which included a goal-line stand to end the first half.
Head coach Kirk McLaughlin said the defensive effort was outstanding.
“We gave them good field position and we still were able to make some stops,” McLaughlin said.
A second-quarter touchdown pass from McCaffery to Kade VanDyken broke the 11-man state record for most points in a season by a team. The 27-yard catch by VanDyken put the Rams up 28-0, a lead they took into halftime.
In the first half, McCafferty threw for three touchdowns along with 195 yards. Kyler Ostler caught a 13-yard score and Carson Bates was on the receiving end of a 21-yard score on fourth down, both in the first quarter.
In the second half, the Rams used their dominant offensive line to clear running lanes for Eisele and Bates, who tallied a 48-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter to make it 49-3.
Eisele also recovered a fumble in the second half for good measure.
“Kade Eisele can do anything,” McLaughlin said. “He’s a competitor … He’s an amazing kid.”
This year’s result is far different from Big Horn’s ending to last season, when the Rams fell to Pine Bluffs 20-16 in the state championship.
“(We) filled that hole from last year,” lineman Seth Mullinax said.
Cokeville… 0 0 3 0 — 3
Big Horn…21 7 14 14 — 56