Preview: Riverton at Rawlins High School Football

By Cody Beers, WyoToday.Com

Rawlins Outlaws

3A East Conference

(Colors: Red and Black)

Coach Clayton McSpadden – 3rd season,  6-18 overall.

2020 Schedule: at Lyman (lost 40-12), Cheyenne Central JV (lost 40-12), at Star Valley (lost 48-8), Buffalo (lost 14-8), Worland (lost 42-6), at Douglas (lost 63-0), Riverton (H)

Rawlins (0-7). Key players: Defender Josh Smith, defender Jase Smith, quarterback Ryan Flack, receivers Eli Kern, Jarron Mascarenas and Allen Ferrales, and kick returner Dian Henson.

Riverton Wolverines

3A East Conference

(Colors: Red and Black)

Coach Troy Anderson – 1st season, 3-4 overall.

2020 Schedule: at Powell (Zero Week, 37-7 loss), at Cody (44-23 loss), Evanston (42-14 win), Jackson (57-7 loss), Douglas (38-14 loss), at Buffalo (13-6 win), Lander (45-31 loss), Worland (21-9 win), Rawlins (A).

Riverton (3-5, includes Zero Week). Key players: Quarterback and free safety Damon DeVries, tailback and linebacker Trayton Hyatt, tight end/tackle Jared Lucas, linemen Kaden Gantenbein and Rylan Koehn, kicker Tanner Johnson, wide receiver/cornerback Blake Dale, sophomore defensive back Nathan Hutchison, sophomore linebacker Braden Vincent.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020; Outlaw Stadium in Rawlins, 6 p.m. kickoff. Listen live on 93.9FM (and watch live at wyotoday.com) for the pregame show beginning at 5 p.m.

The Riverton Wolverines have rolled to 17 wins in their last 20 games against the Rawlins Outlaws. Expecting an easy game for the Big Red on Friday? Well, not so fast.

Fact: Riverton is 3-4 in the 2020 season and has qualified for the Class 3A playoffs.

Fact: Rawlins is still looking for its first win of the 2020 season. Friday’s game represents a huge opportunity for the Outlaws.

Fact: Rawlins has won 2 of the last 3 games against Riverton; Friday represents Rawlins’ opportunity to experience a win.

Fact: It’ll be cold, and windy. The weather forecast in Rawlins calls for game-time temperatures of 37 to 45 degrees with winds up to 15 mph.

Fact: Anything can happen.

For Riverton, everything is within reach with a win — the 3rd seed out of the East Conference, and a 1st-round playoff road game. It’s good to have control, according to Riverton Coach Troy Anderson. The Wolverines are coming off a big 21-9 road win over Worland; Rawlins hung with Lander for a half and then suffered a 37-8 setback.

RAWLINS

Rawlins is 0-7 for a number of  reasons, and the lack of offense has been one of the main reasons. The Outlaws, under 3rd-year Coach Clayton McSpadden, are No. 12 out of 12 teams in offensive statistics. The Outlaws are averaging 30.7 yards per contest in their rushing game (last in 3A) and 108.6 yards a game through the air (8th in 3A).

In last week’s 37-8 loss to Lander, the Outlaws managed 25 yards of rushing on 25 attempts and completed 17 of 31 passes for 182 yards. Defensively, Lander ran the football 45 times for 202 yards and 5 touchdowns, and the Tigers completed 2 of 3 passes for 54 yards.

Touchdowns have been rare for the Outlaws. Rawlins has 2 rushing touchdowns and 6 passing touchdowns in 2020. Turnovers have plagued the Outlaws, having lost 9 fumbles and recorded a 3A-leading 13 interceptions.

Defensively, Rawlins has given up 213.3 rushing yards a game (5.8 yards per carry) and 21 rushing touchdowns, and 124.1 passing yards a game (12.2 yards a completion) and 16 passing touchdowns.

Individually, the Rawlins offense is led by junior quarterback Ryan Flack. Flack has completed 70 of 133 passes for 663 yards, 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Rawlins’ leading rusher is Dian Henson, who has 34 carries for 96 yards on the season, and other ball carriers include Canyon Greene (24 carries, 42 yards) and Flack (107 carries for a net-62 yards and 1 touchdown). Eli Kern (26 receptions, 233 yards, 1 touchdown), Allen Ferrales (11 catches, 158 yards, 3 touchdowns), and Jarron Mascarenas (18 catches, 152 yards) are Flack’s top passing targets.

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Defensively, Rawlins is led by Josh Smith (69 tackles, 2 interceptions) and Jase Smith (45 tackles), along with Flack (31 tackles, 1 interception).

RIVERTON

Riverton is beat up, knicked and dinged entering the regular-season finale. The Wolverines, according to Anderson, are beat up along the offensive line, with Isaiah Bement and Skyler Soule sidelined.

But good things happened against Worland. The grind-it-out win proved that the next-man-up philosophy works, especially when guys like tight end Jared Lucas are willing to sacrifice offensive statistics to block for running back Trayton Hyatt. “Jared (Lucas) had a heck of a ballgame at tackle; he graded out as one of our best linemen,” Anderson said.

Riverton rushed for a grind-it-out 240 yards on 55 carries in the 21-9 win over Worland, and Wolverine senior quarterback Damon Devries completed 15 of 32 passes for 141 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

Senior running back Trayton Hyatt enjoyed the best outing of his high school career against Rawlins, gaining 163 yards on 34 carries and 1 touchdown. Hyatt’s senior season has been impressive, with 594 yards rushing logged on 135 carries (4.4 yards per rush) and 7 rushing touchdowns.

Devries has enjoyed a solid senior season, completing 82 of 142 passes (57.7 percent) for 1,015 yards, 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He’s also been strong in the Wolverine rushing game, gaining 467 yards on 107 carries for 6 touchdowns. Devries’ receiving targets include junior Lucas Engle (27 catches, 362 yards), junior Blake Dale has 25 catches for 287 yards and 1 touchdown, and Lucas (now playing tackle) has 14 catches for 22 yards and 3 touchdowns. Other receivers showing promise include sophomore Nathan Hutchison (6 catches, 52 yards, 1 touchdown) and junior Tanner Johnson (4 catches, 44 yards, 1 touchdown).

Riverton’s top defender is Hutchson (41 tackles (5.9 tackles per game)), followed by senior linebacker Kaden Gantenbein (46 tackles), junior Kris Topaum (42 tackles), and sophomore linebacker Braden Vincent (33 tackles).

“It’ll be cold in Rawlins, but we’ll be ready. You’ve got the shrug off the cold and remember, it’s just football,” Anderson said. “We have a lot to play for. With the playoffs starting in a week, this represents a good opportunity to do our thing.”

PREDICTION: The Riverton Wolverines have developed certain habits, and those are tied to penalties and turnovers. Limiting both pieces of the discipline-related mishaps has translated to success on the gridiron. Friday’s matchup should be a tuneup for the Class 3A playoffs, with an Oct. 30 matchup against No. 2 Cody coming in Park County next Friday.  Riverton rolls this week, provided the Wolverines slow the Rawlins passing game. Wolverines 38, Rawlins 8.

Riverton vs. Rawlins (Riverton leads series 33-21-1)

The Last 20 meetings:

Oct. 18, 2019 — Riverton 17, Rawlins 6

Oct. 12, 2018 — Rawlins 28, Riverton 25

Oct. 6, 2017 — Rawlins 14, Riverton 9

Sept. 30, 2016 — Riverton 61, Rawlins 22

Oct. 2, 2015 — Riverton 48, Rawlins 14

Oct. 3, 2014 — Riverton 41, Rawlins 37

Sept. 27, 2013 — Riverton 49, Rawlins 6

Sept. 21, 2012 — Riverton 48, Rawlins 13

Sept. 23, 2011 — Riverton 28, Rawlins 14

Sept. 24, 2010 — Riverton 49, Rawlins 7

Sept. 25, 2009 — Riverton 28, Rawlins 6

Oct. 13, 2000 — Rawlins 55, Riverton 23

Oct. 15, 1999 — Riverton 48, Rawlins 14

Oct. 16, 1998 — Riverton 27, Rawlins 7

Oct. 16, 1997 — Riverton 34, Rawlins 0

Oct. 18, 1996 — Riverton 15, Rawlins 14

Oct. 13, 1995 — Riverton 44, Rawlins 6

Oct. 14, 1994 — Riverton 43, Rawlins 13

Oct. 14, 1993 — Riverton 19, Rawlins 7

Oct. 15, 1992 — Riverton 15, Rawlins 13

Oct. 18, 1991 — Riverton 35, Rawlins 20

*Courtesy wyoming-football.com

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