Shoshoni hosts Lusk – Friday at 2

The West 9-man champion Shoshoni Wranglers host the fourth-seeded team from the East, the Lusk Tigers on Friday at 2 p.m.

It’s not a consistent rivalry, but in the five meetings between the Lusk Tigers and Shoshoni Wranglers dating back to 1997, the series is decidedly in favor of the Niobrara County team. Lusk, also known as Niobrara County High School in deference to the Manville Panthers that consolidated with the bigger town back in 1953, has beaten Shoshoni in all five games they’ve played by a lopsided margin.

Lusk ended the season for the Wranglers four times, in 1997 with a 48-0 win, again in 1999 in one of the worst losses in Shoshoni history 68-0, then again in 2000 and 2001 with both of these on Bailey Field 49-0, and 21-7.

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In their only regular season contest, the Tigers won 36-0 in 2013 in Shoshoni.

That’s not the case coming up this Friday at 2 p.m. when the West 9-man champs host the 4-4 Tigers.

Pehton Truempler is the leading rusher in Class 1-A 9-man – {h/t Randy Tucker}

Lusk and Shoshoni have a pair of common opponents this season in Big Piney and Pine Bluffs. Lusk fell to Big Piney 14-6 at home while the Wranglers rallied in the final minutes of the game at Big Piney to defeat the Punchers 28-24.

The other team, Pine Bluffs defeated both teams, but in a very different manner. Pine Bluffs rolled over their longtime rival Tigers 56-0 while they survived a battle in Shoshoni 34-26.

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Offensively the Wranglers are the second-best rushing team in the division after Wind River and they combine that with a potent passing attack to sit in the runner-up spot overall in total offense just behind Pine Bluffs.

Alex Mills runs the offense and leads the state in interceptions – {h/t Randy Tucker}

Shoshoni senior Pehton Truempler is the leading rusher in 9-man football with over 1200 total yards through the first seven games of the season. His battering ram running style wears down defenses with some of his best carries coming in the late third and final periods in close games.

Senior quarterback Alex Mills is fifth overall in 9-m averaging 120 yards per game with 10 touchdowns and only five interceptions.

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Leading receiver, senior Trey Fike has missed the last two games since suffering an ankle injury at Big Piney but is a clutch receiver with 26 catches and four touchdowns.

Trey Fike leads the Wranglers in receptions – {h/t Randy Tucker}

Added to the mix are running backs Cannon Campbell and Dominic Jarvis who both run with power and are excellent lead blockers for Truempler.

Tight end Jaxon Stanley, another senior, has three touchdowns on seven receptions.

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The Wranglers are as good or better defensively as they are when they have the ball. Jarvis and Truempler lead the team in tackles and Mills leads the state by a huge margin in interceptions with 7.

Cannon Campbell and Dominic Jarvis are two of Shoshoni’s top defenders – {h/t Randy Tucker}

Lusk is ranked last in passing offense. Historically the Tigers avoid the pass and with just 48 attempts on the entire season, they aren’t much of a threat through the air. They have just three scores in eight games via the pass.

On the ground, they are paced by three backs with David West the leading rusher with a 5.9 per carry average and 564 yards through week seven. Nathan Miller and Dayne Lamp have just over 300 yards total each.

A win by the Wranglers sends them to a semi-final game in Shoshoni the following week, the final home game of the year for 11 seniors.

Shoshoni has won seven in a row since their opening season loss to Pine Bluffs.

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