by Keith Kelley–1 Oct ’16
The East Thunderbirds rushed for over three hundred yards, and rolled to a 36-10 win over crosstown rival Central Friday night at Riske Field. The Indians came out ready to play, as they took the opening drive right down the field, putting the ball in the endzone on an eight yard pass from quarterback Daniel Shumway to Niko Bostic, as Central led 7-0 early.
East fired right back, needing just 30 seconds to get the ball in the endzone, as running back Mitchell Bell rumbled for 61 yards and a score. The extra point was missed, and Central led 7-6.
The two teams exchanged possessions, but the T-birds would eventually pin the Indians deep in their own territory. A hold on Central in the endzone gave East a safety, as East would lead 8-7 and never look back. Quarterback Matt Semler would add a score to make it 15-7, and after a Central field goal made it 15-10, East would convert on fourth and ten, as Semler hit wide receiver Jamis Lopez for a 27 yard TD, and it was 22-10 T-birds. Central would drive down the field, but East safety Braden Morris picked off Shumway right before the half, to end the threat.
The Thunderbird tacked on two more scores in the fourth quarter, an Ethan Ashworth six-yard run, and Bell added another TD, running from 24 yards out. Bell led the ground attack with 122 yards on just six carries, while Ashworth had 26 carries for 121 yards. East rolled up 342 yards on the ground.
East head coach Chad Goff said Central was playing man defense, and they hadn’t worked a lot on man defense this year, “If the run’s going to work, we’re going to stick with the run. There was an opportunity in the third quarter where I kind of got away from that, and we starting throwing the ball a little bit, and we had to punt. I told the guys on the headphones, we aren’t going to do that any more.”
Central’s Shumway finished 8-13 for 88 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Kurt Simmons came in after Shumway left with an injury, and went 6-10 for 70 yards.
East’s Semler was 6-8 for 73 yards and a touchdown.
The Thunderbirds improve to 3-3 on the year, while Central has lost five in a row, and drops to 1-5.
#2 Gillette 24 #1 Sheridan 21
#3 Rock Springs 44 Evanston 7
Casper Kelly Walsh 19 #4 Natrona County 14
Laramie 20 #5 Cheyenne South 6