Wind River moved one step closer to hosting throughout the playoffs with a 66-8 win over Wyoming Indian at Ethete Thursday Night. The win moves the Cougars to 3-0 in the West 9-Man league with three games remaining in the regular season.
The Cougars have a powerful running game, but head coach Rod Frederick elected to go to the air early against the Chiefs.
“We wanted to work on our passing offense, running routes, and seeing who we could put in,” Frederick said.
Cooper Frederick played the first half at quarterback and had an impressive outing, connecting on 12 of 13 pass attempts to six different receivers and throwing for five touchdowns.
On their opening drive of the game, Frederick connected on his first three throws to Aidan Ruby, Chris Burk, and Joaquin Stevens. Stevens capped the short drive with a 21-yard touchdown reception just 1:33 into the contest.
Stevens had another scoring catch later and joined Ruby, Burk, and Brayden Tatro with scoring passes in the opening half.
The Cougars quickly moved to a 28-0 lead then added 22 more in the second period to take a 50-0 advantage.
The running clock in the Mercy Rule doesn’t usually invoke until the second half but both Frederick and Wyoming Indian head coach Nate Reinhardt allowed it to begin with two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
“We wanted to get up early so we could get our twos to play,” Frederick said.
Wind River reserves played the entire second half.
The final varsity score of the half came on a 28-yard “scoop and score” fumble return by Blake Snyder with 42 seconds remaining in the third.
The Chiefs played much better against Wind Rivers’s younger unit. The Cougars scored as the gun sounded to end the third period on a 14-yard run by Jacob Hardcastle that bumped the score to 58-0.
Wyoming Indian showed some defensive intensity and great awareness by corner Evan Oldman who read a Hardcastle slant pass perfectly, snagging the interception in the air and racing 74 yards for the score. Darian Augustine caught the conversion pass from LaDanian Brown.
The Cougars scored a final on a breakaway run by Ryker Roberts from the 17. Roberts broke a pair of tackles and then sprinted 83 yards down the east sideline for the game’s final score.
The Cougars host Greybull on Thursday at 6 p.m. while the Chiefs play the Cody JV in a replacement game for the St. Stephen’s forfeit.
WIND RIVER 28 22 8 8 – 66
WYOMING INDIAN 0 0 0 8 – 8
WR – Juaquin Stevens -21 pass from Cooper Frederick (kick failed) 10:27
WR – Frederick 6-run (kick failed) 8:22
WR – Aidan Ruby 30-pass from Frederick (Brayden Tatro run) 5:38
WR – Stevens 21-pass from Frederick (Frederick run) 1:41
WR – Chris Burk 33-pass from Frederick (Tatro pass from Frederick) 8:35
WR – Tatro 15-pass from Frederick (pass failed) 7:33
WR – Blake Snyder 28-fumble return (Stevens pass from Frederick) :42
WR – Jacob Hardcastle 14-run (Tatro run) :00
WI – Evan Oldman 74-interception return (Darian Augustine from LaDanian Brown) 5:40
WR – Ryker Roberts 83-run (Hardcastle run) 4:52
Wind River Statistics
Total Offense: 444 yards
Passing Offense: 220 yards
Rushing Offense: 224 yards
Individual Passing: Cooper Frederick 12-13 220 yards, Jacob Hardcastle 0-3-1, Chris Burk 0-1
Individual: Receiving: Aidan Ruby 2-52, Chris Burk 3-66, Joaquin Stevens 3-44, Blake Snyder 1-16, Rowdy Shearer 1-30, Brayden Tatro 3-42
Individual Rushing: Coope Frederick 3-40, Brayden Tatro 3-11, Chris Burk 1-19, Ryker Roberts 8-114, Ben Snyder 1-(-2) Jacob Hardcastle 3-28, Wambli Romero