Laramie Keeps Rolling With Win at Cheyenne East
For the first time in 16 years the Laramie Plainsmen have won four straight games. Laramie knocked off No. 4 East, 31-21, in Cheyenne Friday night.
Taylor Dodd had two touchdown runs and a TD pass, while Garrett Worden returned an interception 45-yards for a touchdown.
Plainsmen head coach Chuck Syverson said they got better this week and that’s what they talk about.
“That was definitely one of the toughest teams we’ve played this year, and I’m really proud of our guys and the effort that they gave… When they were 0-3, they could’ve folded up shop and said we could’ve been good this year, but we’re not gonna be, but they kept fighting. We’ve been very fortunate to get four wins here.”
Both teams scored on their opening drive. Cheyenne East with a TD pass, while Laramie countered with a Dodd 1-yard run.
Dodd connected on a 31-yard touchdown pass with Conor Beeston with 5:15 left in the first half. That gave LHS a 14-7 lead. The Thunderbirds answered with a TD drive and tied it at 14-14. East surprised the Plainsmen with an onside kick and recovered, but missed a 23-yard field goal right before half.
Laramie (4-3) took the lead for good on the first drive of the second half. On fourth and short from the East 24-yard line, Dodd was momentarily stacked up, but a crease opened, and he sprinted for the go-ahead score.
With LHS leading 21-14, and East near midfield, Worden intercepted a Matt Semler lateral and raced 45-yards untouched to the end zone for a 28-14 Plainsmen lead.
Syverson added he just came straight across and read it.
“He actually worked really hard on that play all week. Coach (Bob) Knapton’s been running that play a lot this week because they (East) ran it so much. He said he was going to get one this week, and he definitely got it.”
The Thunderbirds came back with another TD drive and trimmed the Laramie lead to 28-21.
This time Laramie responded with a 14 play drive that took over six-and-a-half minutes off the clock. The result was a Blake Moore 25-yard field goal for the final margin.
Syverson believed that was huge, “I think that was the most important drive we’ve had all season; no question about it. We had to burn clock; we had to get some points; we had to make it a two possession game; and we were fortunate to do all three of those things.”
The Plainsmen sealed it with two takeaways in the final quarter. Beeston had an interception, while sophomore Brady Epler recovered an East fumble.
Laramie finished with 246 total yards. Dodd ran for 109 yards and passed for another 101 yards. Beeston had five receptions for 71 yards. Senior Carless Looney had 23 defensive points to lead LHS. They were also plus six minutes in time of possession.
Syverson also said, “Offensively we may not of had a lot of yards, but I thought it was probably our most efficient offensive night we’ve had all year; burned a lot of clock; and we got a little conservative the second half, but we felt time was more important than yardage.”
Cheyenne East (3-4) had 317 yards of offense, but turned the ball over four times. Junior Ethan Ashworth ran for 158 yards with one fumble.
The victory gave Laramie a sweep of the Cheyenne schools for the first time since 2000, when there were only two high schools.
The Plainsmen return home next Friday and will take on the top-ranked Gillette Camels. It’s the final regular season home game for Laramie. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.