PINEDALE – The Pinedale Wranglers started out strong against the Jackson Broncs last Friday, managing to keep the score close after an 80-yard run and touchdown by Sammy White in the second quarter. Despite putting up a hard fight in the second half, the Wranglers were unable to get the ball into the end zone while Jackson’s offense scored one touchdown after another. By the time the game ended, Jackson soundly defeated Pinedale, 35-10.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Espeland remains optimistic.
“Our team’s kicking and returns looked good in the first half,” he said. “The Wranglers actually played better this week than they did against Lyman last week. They just couldn’t hold onto the ball in the second half. But our kids keep getting better.”
The first quarter was a stalemate ending, 0-0. The Wranglers brought their A-game to the second quarter. A few seconds into the quarter, the Wranglers opted to go for a field goal. Sennday Gutierrez’s kick cleared the posts and brought the score to 3-0 in Pinedale’s favor.
Eight minutes into the second quarter, Jackson running back Jayden Cox carried the ball over the end zone for the first touch down of the game. Bronc’s kicker Trevor Watson scored an extra point, leading to a score of 7-3 in Jackson’s favor.
Watson kicked off deep into the field. Wranglers’ White caught the ball on return. The nimble running back sped forward with the ball, breaking away from Jackson’s defense, for an incredible 80-yard run all the way to the end zone. Gutierrez scored the extra-point, and the Wranglers moved into the lead, 10-7.
Jackson’s defense moved into action to score their second touchdown following a 25-yard run by Jackson’s Cox. Watson scored an extra point, and the score at half time stood at 14-10 in favor of Jackson
The Wranglers started on the offense in the third quarter after Van Etten received the kickoff and moved the ball up to the 40-yard line. Van Etten, McColluch, White, Harnack and fullback Kade Zeigler battled to push the ball forward but were met by an imposing wall of Bronc defenders everywhere they turned.
Jackson gained possession halfway into the quarter. Jackson’s Cox relentlessly drove the ball forward despite powerful tackles from McCulloch and White. After a first down for Jackson, Cox handed the ball off to Goettler who pushed it into the end zone for another touch down, bringing the score to 21-10.
Jackson’s offense managed a second touchdown in the third quarter after a long pass from Evans to Kirby Castagno. Pinedale’s Colby White made his first advances of the night when Pinedale regained possession. But as the clock ticked down in the third quarter, the Wranglers were halted at the 30-yard line by Jackson defense.
In the fourth quarter, Wranglers’ offense attempted to reach the end zone twice, but was stopped short each time. Cox led his offense to a fifth touchdown for Jackson with less than two minutes remaining in the game. The final score stood, 35-10.
Pinedale plays the Kemmerer rangers today in the homecoming match-up. Kemmerer is coming off a big win against Lyman last weekend.
Coach Espeland knows that his players can pull out a win.
“We’re preaching something new this year called ‘dig’,” he said at Monday night’s bonfire, “This means to bring greater intensity. We’re going to make it hard for Kemmerer to come onto our field.”