Plainsmen Win Their First Game With a Road Break-Through
Taylor Dodd threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to help the Laramie Plainsmen get their first win of the season, 19-6, Friday night at Evanston.
Laramie head coach Chuck Syverson admitted it felt good to get that first win considering how banged up they are along the offensive line.
"Those guys did an outstanding job up front for us; gave Taylor a lot of time to throw the ball and find open receivers. We did an adequate job running. I wouldn't say it was, by far, our best rushing in the last couple of years, but it was enough to keep us balanced."
Dodd threw for 288 yards and ran for another 142. He helped the Plainsmen finish with 446 yards on offense, and they averaged 8.9 yards per play. The defense allowed only 245 total yards in the game.
Syverson felt the defense bent, but didn't break.
"Just made a little more emphasis of have a sense of urgency on first down. We've got to keep them to small yardage and put them in long yardage situations. Once they started doing that, they really slow their (Evanston's) offense down."
Both teams punted on their opening series. After they were pinned to their 10-yard line by the Red Devils, Dodd connected with Jason Upton down the near sideline, in stride, for an 88-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 Laramie lead.
After an interception by Conor Beeston thwarted Evanston’s answer, the Plainsmen came right back with another scoring drive. A 43-yard pass to Beeston put LHS deep in the Red Devils’ territory. A few plays later Dodd took it in from four yards out and a 13-0 lead after a failed point-after-touchdown.
Garrett Worden made consecutive stops on third and fourth down when Evanston was inside the Laramie 25-yard line. The Plainsmen put together a methodical drive and capped it with a Dodd to Beeston 23-yard TD pass with seven seconds left in the first half. It was 19-0 at halftime.
Laramie (1-3) nearly scored twice in the second half. Dodd had an 88-yard run and appeared to score, but it was ruled he fumbled at the Red Devils 1-yard line. Evanston recovered in the end zone for a touchback. Another Dodd TD pass to Nate Burman was called back due to penalty.
Evanston (0-4) got their only score with 1:56 left in the game. That was a Seth Lloyd to Malek Wagstaff TD pass of five yards. The kick after was blocked by Idris Elias.
The Plainsmen forced four Red Devil turnovers. Three of those were interceptions. They also registered one sack defensively.
Syverson added, "We definitely did some good things. There's a lot of things we can build upon. You've just got to get that first win under your belt to start your year. We're hoping we can do some good things these next few weeks."
Laramie is back at home for the next two weeks. They face longtime rival Cheyenne Central on Friday, Sept. 23. The game starts at 7 p.m.