Five touchdowns in the second half allowed the Gillette Camels to roll past the Laramie Plainsmen for a 48-3 win the first round of the 4A playoffs Friday.

Laramie head coach Chuck Syverson said,

“I was really happy defensively in that first half; that’s as well as we’ve played all year defensively; but, we had the same kind of Achilles heel we’ve had all year, big plays.”

Gillette (8-2) scored on five plays 45 yards or longer in route to their 13th straight win over Laramie. The Camels also improved to 6-1 against LHS in the playoffs and advanced to the semifinals of the 4A playoffs.

The Plainsmen struck first, as they scored on their opening drive. Laramie grabbed a 3-0 lead thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Colton Wostenberg with 5:40 left in the first quarter. LHS also forced the Camels to turn the ball over on downs on their first two possessions.

Then, Gillette seized the momentum and scored 48 unanswered points. The Camels went in front on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Cale Miessler to Talon Nelson at the 9:16 mark of the second quarter. They added to it when Miessler connected with Josh Hughes on a 45-yard catch and run for a score. It was 14-3 at half.

Miessler found Hughes from 10-yards out with 4:22 left in the third for a 21-3 advantage.

That’s when the flood gates opened. The Camels scored four times in the final period. First was a 91-yard Miessler to Madden Pikula t-d pass. Then, Dalton Suchor raced 59 yards for a score. It was capped by a pair of Roo Aten touchdown runs of 8 and 77 yards.

Syverson said, “As we went through the game, we just didn’t have the d-line depth we needed, so we got tired. It kind of hurt us offensively and defensively.”

Syverson added that to get more linemen out be a big focal point in the off-season.

“Where we get a little bit more depth and a little bit more effectiveness up front; if we can do that, that’s just going to keep our program advancing.”

Gillette piled up 655 yards in total offense. Miessler threw for 273 yards, while the Camels added 382 on the ground. Suchor ran for 215 yards, while Aten added 120.

Laramie was held to 173 total yards on offense, most of which came in the first half. Andy Pearson finished with 81 yards rushing.

For the Plainsmen, they failed to reach the semifinals, which is a point they haven’t reached since 2000.

Syverson, who just completed his second year as head coach, is confident they’re heading in the right direction.

“I think we’ve made a lot of big strides these first couple years… When people talk about turning programs around in a hurry, it’s a little bit easier at a smaller school because some small things can really flip a program. As opposed to the 4-A level, it takes time, and you’ve got some really great programs you’re trying even just to catch up with, let alone go past. Our biggest thing is we just have to build up our numbers, where we’re able to compete at this level.”

Laramie finished the season with a 3-7 overall record.

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