The Laramie Plainsmen football team is back at home on Friday night for their Homecoming game versus the top-ranked Rock Springs Tigers.

The game starts at 6 p.m. from Deti Stadium.

Laramie (0-5) is still searching for their first win of the season. They are coming off their best game in 2021. The Plainsmen had season-highs in total offense and points scored in their loss last week at Kelly Walsh in Casper. LHS finished with 312 yards of total offense and put 24 points on the board, in a 34-24 setback.

Plainsmen head coach Paul Ronga is looking to capitalize off that performance.

“I think we did establish ourselves offensively, and we’re feeling more comfortable about what we’re doing offensively.”

Ronga said he’s looked at what worked well and he’ll try to expand on that.

“I’ve come up with different ways of putting our players in different positions and doing things we haven’t done this year, differently, to try and build off of that momentum from all the things that I saw. I think we have a decent plan in place, and it’s going to be interesting.”

Rock Springs (4-1) is ranked first in the latest WyoPreps Coaches and Media Football Poll. The Tigers are coming off a 17-14 home win over No. 5 Natrona County last week. They also have victories over Campbell County, No. 4 Thunder Basin, and Kelly Walsh. Rock Springs’ only loss was at No. 2 Sheridan, 27-24, in the last two minutes of the game.

Ronga believes the Tigers are a tough team to prepare for.

“Offensively, they are a quandary, in the sense that, every single play they lineup in something different. You just don’t know what they’re going to do, next.”

He added, “Defensively, it’s almost the same. They are a three-man front, but they’ll bring linebackers up and show a five, or they’ll bring one up and show four.”

Ronga pointed to one player they’ve paid close attention to in film study, that’s No. 26, Isaac Schoenfeld, the University of Wyoming football commit.

“We have been scheming versus him and against him, and that’s been a focal point this week for them when they are on defense.”

Another defensive player to keep your eye on is No. 24, linebacker, Cadon Shaklee, and No. 1, receiver and cornerback, Andrew Skorcz.

The Tigers will bring to town the No. 2 offense in Class 4A that averages 366 yards and 36.4 points per game. It’s a balanced attack that produces 177 yards rushing and 188 passing. Defensively, Rock Springs is tied for first and allows only 247 yards and 13.2 points per game.

Individually, Schoenfeld and Skorcz both have scored eight TDs each. Their QB Brock Bider is averaging 201 yards per game of total offense. He has thrown for 856 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only two interceptions while completing nearly 67 percent of his passes.

Laramie is led by sophomore QB Ben Malone, who has thrown for 433 yards and completed almost 61 percent of his passes. He has two TD passes and one rushing TD but has also thrown six interceptions. Senior Quail Perkins leads the defense at 11 defensive points per game, which ranks 12th in Class 4A. Senior Jackson Devine had a big game at KW last week with 249 all-purpose yards and one TD catch.

It will be the 88th meeting between Laramie and Rock Springs on the football field. The Tigers have won two straight and six of the last seven in the series.

KOWB radio will provide live coverage of tonight’s game in Laramie. You can listen on the radio (AM 1290), anywhere with the KOWB app, online, or through smart speakers. You can tune in at 5 p.m. and join David Settle and Aaron Lozano on the call.

The Laramie Plainsmen will also honor injured teammate Pablo Zepeda. He was seriously hurt in last week's game at Kelly Walsh. The Plainsmen will wear a No. 22 decal on their helmets, and Zepeda's jersey will be on the bench for the rest of this season.

Courtesy: Laramie head football coach Paul Ronga

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