The Laramie Plainsmen return to Deti Stadium on Friday night to host the Natrona County Mustangs in the third game of their season.

Laramie (0-2) has gotten off to a rough start. The Plainsmen have been out-scored 105-to-3 in the first two games of the 2021 season.

In Friday night’s game, LHS will be without 16 players due to injury or quarantine.

Plainsmen head coach Paul Ronga admitted it’s not getting any better for us.

“With that being said, it is my responsibility to take the players that we have active, and to work with them on a daily basis, and to make us as best as we can, and to put our best foot forward, and to try to overcome all these obstacles that are being thrown at us.”

Ronga added he’s trying to remain as positive as possible and will continue to do that.

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Coach Ronga is trying to get his team to play closer to a full four quarters. He said they are so thin that some players won’t leave the field during the game.

“We hope to sustain longer, and we have been working on that. (We’re) getting them more time in trying to maintain the good starts that we have. Now that is going to be quite an obstacle that’s going to be hard to overcome.”

The Plainsmen had a 3-0 lead at Campbell County last week until the 9:19 mark of the second quarter. They were down just 14-0 to No. 2 Sheridan in Week 0 with four minutes left in the first half.

What’s happened? LHS has allowed three TDs in the last few minutes of the first half in each of those losses.

Looking at the matchup between Laramie and Natrona County, the Mustangs have an edge on both sides of the ball.

The Plainsmen haven’t enjoyed a lot of success on offense. They are tenth in rushing at 39 yards per game and ninth in passing at 60 yards per game. The 99 yards per game is last in Class 4A and 87 yards behind the team in ninth.

Defensively, the Plainsmen rank seventh in 4A and are allowing 372 yards and 52.5 points per game.

Natrona County (1-1) enters off a loss at home last week to No. 4 Cheyenne East, 14-13. The Mustangs average 346 yards and 17.5 points per game on offense. They are third on defense in 4A and allow only 217 yards and seven points per game.

Ronga sees NC and says they are a good, sound team.

“That’s physically fit, physically strong, and they’re very tough up the middle. They’ve got a core of good defensive tackles, and a core of good linebackers in their 4-4 defense. They get after it. They’ve had success so far this season, and they are, again, another challenge for us.”

He said the onus is on us, as coaches, to take the team and be as strong and competitive as they can for as long as they can.

Tonight will be the 91st meeting between the two long-time rivals on the football field.

The kick-off is at 6 p.m. at Deti Stadium.

KOWB will provide live coverage of the game. You can listen on the radio (AM 1290), anywhere through the KOWB app (free to download), online, and through smart speakers.

David Settle and Aaron Lozano will provide the call of the game. The broadcast will begin at 5 p.m.

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