Plainsmen Rally Falls Short Against Central, 48-32
In a wildly entertaining game, the Laramie Plainsmen dropped their regular-season finale to No. 4 Cheyenne Central, 48-32, last Friday night.
Laramie (2-7) tried to rally from a 29-3 halftime deficit. They got within 29-17 early in the fourth quarter. Then pulled within 10 points, at 42-32, with just under five minutes left, but fell short.
Plainsmen assistant coach Chris Sherwood was proud of the team’s effort and their comeback attempt in the second half.
“Even in that first half, we obviously had some missed opportunities to capitalize on some scores, and that’s just kind of what we talked about at halftime. I don’t think we were getting beat in that first half, but we were just beating ourselves and just not finishing. We just kind of focused on that in the second half, and it paid off for us.”
Cheyenne Central (7-2) got a pair of TD runs from Jaxon Lobatos, and two touchdown passes by Andrew Cummins to Andrew Johnson in the first half.
LHS scored on David Tangeman’s 27-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
Then, junior quarterback Jake Vigen scored on TD runs of seven and two yards that cut the Indians lead to 29-17 with 11:55 left.
Two more Cummins TD passes, one to Johnson and another to Nathanial Talich, pushed the Central lead to 42-17.
Laramie came back with a pair of touchdown passes from Vigen to Garrett Dodd. The first was a 58-yarder to a wide-open Dodd. After a fumble recovery by Julian Cortez, Vigen hit Dodd in double-coverage for a 33-yard TD strike. After a two-point pass, the Plainsmen were within 42-32 with 4:55 remaining.
The Indians answered right back with a hook-and-ladder TD pass to Talich for 80 yards. That capped the scoring.
Central had 510 yards of total offense. Cummins threw for 303 yards, five TDs, and one interception. Lobatos added 166 yards rushing and the two scores.
Vigen accounted for 304 yards of total offense. He threw for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Vigen ran for 54 yards and the two scores, plus he caught a pass for 30 yards. Dodd had career-highs of 10 catches for 151 yards and two TDs. Laramie finished with 426 yards on offense, their most against a top-ranked team this season.
Laramie suffered a blow in the first half when Isaac Sell left with an injury late in the first quarter. He returned but endured a more significant injury on the third-to-last play of the first half. Sell has been lost for the season because of the injury.
Sherwood said, “Isaac is our leader out there. He’s our physical leader, our emotional leader, and anytime you have a Super 25 back like that, it’s hard to replace. Luckily, he’s able to be out there on the sideline still leading our guys, and we had a couple of other guys step up. Jake Vigen had a big night. He knew he had to kind of carry the load a little bit, and we still have a very quality back in Colter Nunn, who can come in and do some work for us, too.”
Sherwood felt that Vigen and Dodd took huge steps forward with their performances, and they hope to see that continue in their next game.
Laramie had already qualified for the playoffs and knew they were locked in as the No. 8 seed. After last Friday’s action, they now know they will play at top seed Cheyenne East this upcoming Friday night. The game will start at 6 p.m. at Okie Blanchard Stadium.