Riverton v. Douglas Preview: High School Football tonight in Riverton

Riverton's Wolverine stadium illuminated at night. Wyotoday.com photo by Ernie Over

By Cody Beers, Wyotoday.Com

Douglas Bearcats (Ranked No. 5 in 3A)

3A East Conference

(Colors: Blue and Red)

Coach Jay Rhoades – 15th season,  108-36, 3 state championships (2008, 2009, 2010).

2020 Schedule: at Torrington (20-7 win), at Belle Fourche, S.D. (57-21 win), Powell (Canceled, COVID-19), at Riverton (A), Lander Valley (H), Rawlins (H), Buffalo (A), Worland (H).

Douglas Bearcats (2-0). Key players: Running Back Keltan Ewing, Quarterback Koby Case, Receiver Nate Dowling, Running back Rylan Wehr, Defender Karson Ewing, Defender Jayden Archuleta, Defender Gabe Borman

Riverton Wolverines (unranked in 3A)

3A East Conference

(Colors: Red and Black)

Coach Troy Anderson – 1st season, 1-3 overall.

2020 Schedule: at Powell (Zero Week, 37-7 loss), at Cody (44-23 loss), Evanston (42-14 win), Jackson (57-7 loss), Douglas (H), at Buffalo, LanderValley (H), at Worland, at Rawlins.

Riverton (1-2, includes Zero Week). Key players: Quarterback and free safety Damon DeVries, tailback and linebacker Trayton Hyatt, wide receiver Lucas Engle, tight end Jared Lucas, linemen Kaden Gantenbein, Isiah Bemmet, Rylan Koehn, defensive end Broden Mathes, wide receiver/cornerback Blake Dale, linebacker Braden Vincent

Friday, September 25, 2020; Wolverine Field in Riverton, 7 p.m. kickoff. Listen live on 93.9FM (and watch live at wyotoday.com) for the pregame show beginning at 6 p.m.

An uncharacteristic off week kept plenty of unknowns for the 2020 Douglas Bearcats football team.

The 2-0 Bearcats opened the season with a 20-7 win over Torrington, then followed that with a 47-7 win over Belle Fourche, S.D., on Sept. 11. Since then, Douglas has been inactive for two weeks. Last Friday’s game with No. 1 Powell was canceled after an undetermined number of students tested positive with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Riverton opened its season with back-to-back losses at the hands of Powell and Cody, respectively, in Zero Week and Week 1 of the 2020 season. The Wolverines seemed to right the ship with a 42-14 win over Evanston in Week 2, but then Week 3 showcased the high-flying Jackson offense in a 57-7 running-clock loss for the Wolverines.

And just like that, the 3A East season is upon the Wolverines, and the Douglas Bearcats and 15th year Coach Jay Rhoades invade Wolverine Field Friday night at 7 p.m. Rhoades-coached Bearcat squads own a 13-2 advantage over the Wolverines since Rhoades’ beginning in 2006. Riverton’s lone wins came in a 14-13 win in 2011, and a 19-6 win in 2006 (Rhoades’ first game coaching the Bearcats). Riverton holds a 21-17-1 advantage in the series which began on Oct. 2, 1926, with a 21-0 Douglas victory.

DOUGLAS

Unlike Riverton, who played a Zero Week contest against Powell, Douglas opened its 2020 season with a home scrimmage against the Cody Broncs.

“Even though we have some older kids we are a little bit inexperienced,” Rhoades said in early September after the Bearcats season-opening scrimmage with Cody. “We’ve got some of that game speed against a team like Cody. I think it was good for our kids, and I felt like we got better as the scrimmage went on. Each drive showed improvement.”

Douglas is averaging 255 rushing and 94 yards passing in its two 2020 victories. Individually, running back Keltan Ewing gained 106 yards on 16 carries against now 2A Torrington, and 160 yards on 12 carries against Belle Fourche, S.D. Quarterback Koby Case completed 8-21 passes with 2 interceptions in the win over Torrington, and completed 6-13 passes for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win over Belle Fourche, S.D.

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RIVERTON

Riverton’s 57-7 loss to high-powered Jackson at Wolverine Field was a head-scratcher in more ways than one.

Riverton moved the ball on offense early, striking for a quick touchdown. Riverton would move the football off and on all night, but it was the Riverton defense that was porous and unable to slow the Jackson rushing game and Brody Hasenack. Hasenack carried the football 35 times for 350 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jackson quarterback Sadler Smith would complete 13 of 24 passes for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It was gut-wrenching to watch — one of those nights when the statistics sheets showed the carnage, and fumbles and interceptions were plentiful. It was back to the drawing board, so to speak, for the Wolverines and their coaching staff Monday as the Douglas Bearcats invade Riverton Friday. Then, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Douglas last week, Monday’s junior varsity game with Douglas was canceled, too, so the mystery matchup has added drama.

Following the 700-yard onslaught by Jackson, Riverton’s defense is now ranked No. 12 in Class 3A. (12th rushing, 8th passing)  So, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Riverton’s offense, meanwhile, is ranked 2nd in Class 3A (No. 2 passing, No. 8 rushing). So, there’s hope. Quarterback Damon DeVries has rushed the ball 48 times for 372 yards and 3 touchdowns, and tailback Trayton Hyatt has 169 yards on 50 carries. Through the air, DeVries has completed 46 of 69 passes for 575 yards, 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The Big 3 receivers are Jared Lucas (11 catches for 191 yards, 2 touchdowns), Lucas Engle (15 catches for 180 yards) and Blake Dale (14 catches for 173 yards).

PREDICTION: Jay Rhoades’ coached Douglas Bearcats teams have owned the Riverton Wolverines 13-2 since 2006. There have been close games and blowouts along the way. Friday will come down to defense for the Wolverines. Can the Blackshirts slow the Douglas rushing game? Can the offense clean up the turnovers (7 last week)? If those two things happen, Riverton wins 31-20.

Riverton vs. Douglas (39 games – Riverton leads series tied 21-17-1)

Oct. 25, 2019 — Douglas 13, Riverton 7 (OT)

Oct. 19, 2018 — Douglas 42, Riverton 14

Sept. 22, 2017 — Douglas 34, Riverton 20

Oct. 14, 2016 — Douglas 47, Riverton 42

Oct. 15, 2015 — Douglas 48, Riverton 36

Oct. 17, 2014 — Douglas 15, Riverton 3

Oct. 18, 2013 — Douglas 40, Riverton 19

Oct. 12, 2012 — Riverton 14, Douglas 13

Oct. 14, 2011 — Douglas 44, Riverton 15

Oct. 15, 2010 — Douglas 27, Riverton 9

Nov. 5, 2010 — Douglas 23, Riverton 2 (state semfinals)

Oct. 16, 2009 — Douglas 42, Riverton 0

Sept. 12, 2008 — Douglas 27, Riverton 0

Aug. 31, 2007 — Douglas 28, Riverton 0

Sept. 1, 2006 — Riverton 19, Douglas 6

Oct. 20, 2000 — Riverton 47, Douglas 8

Oct. 22, 1999 — Riverton 17, Douglas 14

Nov. 6, 1999 — Riverton 14, Douglas 6 (state championship)

Oct. 23, 1998 — Riverton 49, Douglas 27

Oct. 24, 1997 — Riverton 20, Douglas 8

Oct. 25, 1996 — Riverton 7, Douglas 0

Oct. 29, 1996 — Riverton 19, Douglas 6 (1/2 playoff game)

Oct. 20, 1995 — Riverton 35, Douglas 12

Oct. 21, 1994 — Riverton 37, Douglas 14

Oct. 22, 1993 — Douglas 14, Riverton 13

Oct. 23, 1992 — Riverton 21, Douglas 0

Oct. 25, 1991 — Riverton 29, Douglas 7

Sept. 8, 1951 — Douglas 30, Riverton 6

Sept. 9, 1950 — Riverton 34, Douglas 0

Oct. 24, 1947 — Riverton 32, Douglas 0

Oct. 25, 1946 — Riverton 27, Douglas 0

Oct. 25, 1945 — Riverton 26, Douglas 20

Oct. 27, 1944 — Douglas 31, Riverton 6

Oct. 29, 1943 — Riverton 43, Douglas 20

Oct. 30, 1942 — Riverton 12, Douglas 0

Oct. 31, 1941 — Riverton 19, Douglas 14

Oct. 18, 1930 — Riverton 14, Douglas 0

Oct. 19, 1929 — Riverton 0, Douglas 0 (tie)

Oct. 2, 1926 — Douglas 21, Riverton 0

*Courtesy wyoming-football.com

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