Plainsmen Battle Their Way Past The Bison
Nate Burman threw for four touchdowns to lead the Laramie Plainsmen to their second straight road win 27-8 at Cheyenne South Friday night.
Laramie (3-4) also clinched a playoff berth with their victory.
Burman connected with Chad Browning three times and Will Yates once. His 56-yarder to Yates late in the third quarter broke open a six-point game. It put the Plainsmen ahead 20-8.
Laramie head coach Clint Reed said it was as ugly as the weather.
“We were as unpredictable as Mother Nature right now, and I’m just being honest. A win is a win, and I’m happy for the boys. When we make mistakes we comeback, and we try to execute the next play and come back and not fold, but we’ve got to figure out some things right now.”
The Plainsmen got off to a good start with a quick 14-0 lead after the first quarter, but five turnovers nearly spelled disaster.
Reed admitted that nine turnovers in the last two games is worry-some.
“I don’t want to make any second guesses right now, whether the wind, the weather, the cold, you know, holding on to the ball, their hands, whatever it was. Nathan threw a couple of short balls, the safety got us there, instead of the outside shoulder, but at the same time he’d scramble around and make a big play for us. It was hit and miss on that.”
After Laramie turned the ball over on downs, Baxter Tuggle recovered a fumble at the South 46-yard line. Jason Upton’s 30-yard run set up Burman’s first TD pass. This was a five-yarder to Browning. After a bad snap went over the South punter’s head, Laramie took over at the Bison nine. Three plays later Burman found Browning from eight yards out.
Cheyenne South (0-7) went on an 11-play drive that was stopped when the Plainsmen defense made a fourth down stand at their own three. The next play resulted in a safety for the Bison, as Upton was tackled in the end zone.
With a 14-2 lead, Laramie’s next three possessions began in South territory, but the Plainsmen didn’t capitalize. They were forced to punt and then committed two turnovers, a fumble and an interception both inside the Bison 15-yard line. It was 14-2 at half.
Reed also said, “First drive we struggled a little bit. Then grabbed our focus, and had a couple of good drives there, couple scores off some good defensive stuff. Then all of the sudden there was let down late in the first quarter and the second quarter.”
South scored on the first possession of the second half. They went on a 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive. It was capped off by a two-yard TD run from Dom Dominguez. Laramie’s Garrett Worden blocked the PAT, and LHS held a 14-8 lead.
Another interception followed for the Plainsmen, but Laramie’s defense force a punt. That’s when Burman found Yates behind the defense. Yates made an over-the-shoulder catch, broke a tackle and out-raced two South defenders to the end zone for the 56-yard score.
After a botched fake punt by the Bison, Laramie nearly scored again, but a mishandled center-quarterback exchange led to a Plainsmen fumble at the South two-yard line. The LHS defense forced a punt, and that led to Burman’s fourth touchdown pass. This was a 40-yard bomb to Browning in the end zone that provided the final margin, 27-to-8.
Laramie finished with 217 yards of offense. Burman was 8-15 for 133 yards, four TD’s and a pair of interceptions. Browning had three catches for 53 yards, all touchdowns. Defensively, Garrett Worden led the way with 38 points, while Ethan Sell added 31.
South gained 199 yards on offense. QB Erik Fowler threw for 81 yards and ran for 33. He did throw an interception and fumble once.
The Plainsmen come home for their final two regular season games, and both will 6 p.m. kick-offs. Next up for Laramie is top-ranked Sheridan next Friday night at Deti Stadium.