It was just a short 550-mile roundtrip for the Shoshoni Wranglers on Thursday with an impromptu 54-21 win in Cheyenne over the East Junior Varsity.
The Wranglers scrambled for an opponent after St. Stephen’s forfeited the game earlier in the week. The Eagles were manhandled 70-0 and 76-6 by Lingle Ft. Laramie and Wind River in the opening two weeks of the season and elected to play the defending state champion Shoshoni Junior Varsity on Friday instead of their regularly scheduled conference matchup.
So, the Wranglers hit the road.
This was the first regular season meeting between Shoshoni and any team from the capital city, and only the second visit to Cheyenne since the Wranglers beat the Seton Catholic Gaels 18-7 in the 1985 Class B state championship game played in a snowstorm at Okie Blanchard Stadium.
The game was entertaining in the opening half with the Wranglers taking an early lead on a four-yard run by senior running back Pehton Truempler.
Cheyenne answered with a pair of first-period passes from quarterback Nolan Horton, the first for 43-yards to Ben Whitright that gave the Thunderbirds a brief 7-6 lead, and the second that tied the score at 14 from 40-yards out to Braden Pearson. In between the T-Bird aerials, Truempler added another score on a 28-yard run, then added two more on a dive play for the two-point conversion.
The Wranglers are adept at the passing game as well with quarterback Alex Mills connecting with Trey Fike on a 10-yard scoring pass. Dominic Jarvis added the point after kick for a 21-14 Wrangler lead, followed by Truempler’s third score of the opening half, this one a 28-yard run with 5:25 remaining in the second period.
East scored a final time on a short drive, capped by an 11-yard Anthony Pacheo scoring run. The Thunderbirds converted all three of their conversion kicks on the game.
As is usually the case with small school varsity units, especially those with a lot of seniors on the roster as Shoshoni has this season, the junior varsity unit of the larger school wears down in the second half. That was the case in the third and fourth periods with the Wranglers mixing it up offensively and holding the Thunderbirds on defense.
Shoshoni opened the second half scoring in the middle of the third period on a 33-yard catch and run by 6-6 295-pound tight end Jaxon Stanley from a Mills pass. Mills scored on a quarterback keeper from the four-yard line later in the period, with Jarvis converting both point-after kicks for a 42-21 Shoshoni lead.
Continuing to mix up the offense, the Wranglers tallied two more scores in the final period on a one-yard run by Cannon Campbell and then a final touchdown on a 28-yard breakaway run by Jarvis for the final 54-21 tally.
Mills kept the Thunderbirds guessing with long passes intended for Fike, and short connections underneath to Truempler and Fike that turned into big gains.
Truempler ran with abandon throughout the game over the young T-Birds, knocking down defenders with second effort, tackle-breaking drives. He fumbled once while trying to break through three East tacklers but that was the only blemish on an outstanding rushing game. Mills returned the favor, intercepting the East quarterback three plays later.
It’s a big game for the Wranglers next week when Rocky Mountain comes to Shoshoni for their first real challenge in Class 1-A West 9-man action.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday.
CHEYENNE EAST 14 7 0 0 – 21
SHOSHONI 14 14 14 12 – 54
SHO – Pehton Truempler 4-run (kick failed) 11:23
CE – Ben Whitright 43-pass from Nolan Horton (Caden Westdy kick) 8:27
SHO – Truempler 28-run (Truempler run) 5:25
CE – Braden Pearson 40-pass from Horton (Westdy kick):17
SHO – Trey Fike 10-pass from Alex Mills (Dominic Jarvis kick) 8:18
SHO – Truempler 32-run (Jarvis kick) 5:41
CE – Anthony Pacheco 11-run (Westdy kick) 4:33
SHO – Jaxon Stanley 33-pass from Mills (Jarvis kick) 6:34
SHO – Mills 4-run (Jarvis kick) 1:40
SHO – Cannon Campbell 1-run (kick failed) 8:32
SHO – Jarvis 26-run (kick failed) 5:45