Laramie Football Falls Short in Casper; Pablo Zepeda Severely Hurt
Cam Burkett ran for 222 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Kelly Walsh Trojans past the Laramie Plainsmen, 34-24, last Friday night in Casper.
Burkett’s 69-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half gave Kelly Walsh the lead for good, as the Trojans turned a 10-7 halftime deficit into a 34-10 lead in the fourth quarter.
Three plays after Burkett’s TD, Kelly Walsh’s Ayden Adsit returned an errant Ben Malone pass 20 yards for a touchdown. That made it 21-10.
Burkett added his third TD run of 62 yards late in the third quarter. Kelly Walsh capped it with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Gibson Sasser to Jordan Jackson.
The Plainsmen tried to rally with two late TD passes, but it wasn’t enough. Malone found Jackson Devine on a 22-yard pass with 4:16 left. After LHS recovered an onside kick, Malone connected with Adrien Calderon on a 27-yard TD pass on fourth down. Laramie tried another onside kick, but it was recovered by the Trojans.
Laramie head coach Paul Ronga called it an amazing effort by his team.
“We played this game with 23 people. These guys didn’t quit. They’re there from the beginning, all the way to the end, and we just keep coming. We had no help, in terms of depth, or in terms of looking for someone to spell someone. Our players just played in a yeoman’s effort. They emulated the mission that I have set out for them, and this is where Laramie football needs to go, going forward.”
Laramie (0-5) held a 10-0 lead in the first half.
Pablo Zepeda scored his first career touchdown run from five yards out with 2:28 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. The Plainsmen added a 37-yard field goal from Talon Luckie midway through the second quarter. After a fumble recovery by Chris Alvarez, LHS missed a 45-yard field goal.
Kelly Walsh (3-2) scored their first TD on an eight-yard run by Burkett with just over one minute left in the first half. The Trojans scored 34 straight points before Laramie rallied late.
The Plainsmen had a season-high 312 yards of total offense. They ran for 165 yards led by Devine’s 90 yards. Devine also caught 10 passes for 67 yards. Malone finished 16-28 for 147 yards, two TDs, and one interception.
Kelly Walsh had 331 yards of offense.
After the game, attention turned to a severe injury suffered by Zepeda late in the contest. He was taken by medical personnel to the hospital in Casper. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with his medical expenses. KOWB sends its best wishes to Pablo and the entire Zepeda family for a full recovery.
On the Plainsmen Postgame Show on KOWB radio, coach Ronga started his post-game interview by saying, “I’d like to first recognize Pablo Zepeda, who did go down towards the end of the game, and hopefully, he’s getting the treatment that he needs to get right now, and we’re in great spirits for him, and we wish a speedy recovery for him, and we wish his family the best.”
The shorthanded Plainsmen return to action on Friday versus Rock Springs. The game starts at 6 p.m. at Deti Stadium in Laramie.
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