Gillette Pulls Away From Laramie
A big third quarter helped the top-ranked Gillette Camels beat the fourth-ranked Plainsmen in Laramie, 45-27, Friday night at Deti Stadium.
The Camels’ Keaton Wilkerson threw for 205 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to tight end Parker Long. Austin Clemetson added 134 yards rushing with a pair of touchdowns on the ground. He also caught one TD.
Laramie head coach Chuck Syverson said it was the same thing that’s happened before.
“I thought we played well the first half. It would’ve been nice to get a touchdown instead of a field goal on one of the possessions; keep it a tie game. We were in it, and we talked about it all week and, we talked about it at halftime, we can’t give up big plays in the second half because that’s been our Achilles’ heel against them in the past. Sure enough, that came up and bit us again.”
Gillette (7-1) broke open a four-point game at halftime with touchdowns on their first four possessions of the second half. Wilkerson connected with Long on a 69-yard catch and run that started the scoring spree. A Clemetson 25-yard TD run was followed by Wilkerson to Madden Pikula from 38 yards. Wilkerson added an 8-yard scoring pass to Long. That made it 38-6 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.
Laramie (4-4) scored on a Taylor Dodd 2-yard run after a Gillette fumble was recovered by Idris Elias at the Camels four-yard line. Gillette came right back with another Wilkerson touchdown pass on a screen to Clemetson that made it 45-13 with 7:38 left.
Syverson added, “It’s a pretty complete team (Gillette). Not a real great throwing team, but they throw adequately enough to take advantage of what you give ‘em. Didn’t do a very good job on those seams down the middle that they got a couple touchdowns on.”
The Plainsmen got TD runs of 55-yards from Jason Upton and 18-yards by Baxter Tuggle that provided the final margin.
Gillette out-gained Laramie 466-to-422 in total offense. The two teams combined for 48 first downs in the game. There were five turnovers; three by the Camels and two by the Plainsmen.
Dodd went 23-of-47 for 227 yards with an interception. He also ran for 42 yards. Upton added 86 on the ground. Tuggle finished with 61 yards rushing on five carries and 80 yards receiving on three catches.
It was only 10-6 at halftime. Gillette scored on its first possession when Clemetson pushed in from a yard out. A Dalton Young 25-yard field goal made it 10-0. The Plainsmen scored on a pair of Blake Moore field goals in the last 3:30 of the half. The first was from 29 yards, while the second came from 26 yards as time expired on the first half.
Syverson also said, “Overall I was happy we played for four quarters. I thought third quarter we had a bit of a let-down. I saw a little bit of head-hanging out there, but I think they bounced back and started fighting again that fourth quarter. I was pretty happy the way we finished, but obviously we’ve got to play four complete quarters and three quarters isn’t going to get it done.”
Laramie’s four-game win streak came to an end, as they lost to Gillette for the 16th consecutive game.
The Plainsmen will conclude the regular season next Friday night in Casper at Kelly Walsh. LHS can finish anywhere from fourth to seventh depending on their outcome against the Trojans and three other games.