The Wranglers were a long way from home. You could see Nebraska looking to the east from the announcer’s booth in Pine Bluffs. Shoshoni and the Hornets opened the season with a rematch of their final game last year’s in the Class 1-A 9-man state championship game in Laramie.
The result was the same, albeit much more lopsided than the title game last November. Shoshoni fell 36-12 to Pine Bluffs.
The Hornets lead the recent series seven games to three in contests played since 2009.
Both teams were decimated by graduation last year, with Pine Bluffs losing all 18 starters, and Shoshoni 17 of the 18 positions.
The Hornets were better than predicted, but with 54 boys out for football in a school of 125 students, the Pine Bluffs coaches have a lot of players to pick from.
The Hornets opened the game on a one-yard plunge by Ryan Mohren just two-and-a-half minutes into the game. Mohren added another scored again in the second quarter on a 31-yard run and the Hornets led 15-0 with 8:59 left to play in the half.
Shoshoni displayed a little moxie in the second period scoring for the first time this season on a one-yard sneak by quarterback Braxton Mills. The play came after a nice, sustained drive that featured good gains, including a 31-yard run by sophomore running back Carson Kisling. The going was tough for Kisling most of the night as he led the Wranglers with 78 yards on the ground on a brutal 25 carries.
Luck favored the Wranglers on the next series as well. The defense held the Hornets forcing a punt. The ball sailed over the punter’s head and Shoshoni recovered at the five, and Kisling rolled in from there to cut the lead to 15-12. That was as close as the Wranglers would get.
The defense, led by Landon Kasper, held Pine Bluffs again, but a late pass by Mills was intercepted ending a Hail Mary opportunity as the horn sounded.
The second half was all Hornets as signs of bus legs began to show in the Wrangler offensive line and across the defensive front.
Mohern broke up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown, and the ensuing kick put the Hornets into a double-digit lead that they never looked back from.
A 31-yard scramble by Mills kept his rushing tally in positive yardage, but repeated blind side sacks ended Shoshoni’s offense. Another interception and a fumbled pitch ended a pair of Wrangler drivers as well.
Shoshoni is at Greybull this Friday while Pine Bluffs hosts Guernsey Sunrise.
Pine Bluffs 7 8 7 14 – 36
Shoshoni 0 12 0 0 – 12
PB: Mohren 1-run (Serrano kick) 9:28
PB: Mohren 31-run (Shmidl pass from J. Lerwick) 8:59
SHO: Mills, 1-run (kick failed) 4:38
SHO: Carson Kisling 7-run (kick failed) 2:42
PB: Mohern 74-run (Serrano kick) 5:56
PB: Solis 2-run (Serrano kick) 8:05
PB: Scarborough 17-run (Serrano kick) 4:20
Rushing: Pine Bluffs 27/286, Shoshoni – 47/135
Passing: Pine Bluffs 8/78, Shoshoni 9/83
Total Offense: Pine Bluffs 364, Shoshoni 218
Individual Rushing: Pine Bluffs: Mohern 17-190, J. Lerwick 2-(-8), A. Serrano 1-5, Solis 5-58, Scarborough 2-35, Shoshoni: Carson Kisling 25-86, Caden, Kisling 8-24, Braxton Mills 11-19, Landon Kasper 3-6.
Individual Passing: Pine Bluffs Lerwick 8-24-0 78, Shoshoni: Braxton Mills 9-13-2 83.
Individual Receiving: Pine Bluffs Shmidl 1-11, Carter 1-5, Serrano 1-12, Paice 3-37, Lerwick 2-13, Shoshoni Quintan Clark 2-29, Caden Kisling 3-33, Carson. Kisling 2-7, Oakley Hicks 2-14.