Punchers trounce Shoshoni
SHOSHONI – The Big Piney High School Punchers won the first quarter against conference rival the Shoshoni Wranglers on Oct. 6 by a single touchdown.
Shoshoni opened the second quarter of the away game in possession. The Wranglers’ quarterback took the snap and looked for an opening to pass the ball.
The Puncher defense immediately responded. Seniors Zack Murphy and Dylon Woodward closed in on the Wrangler quarterback and Shoshoni’s pass landed short of its intended target.
Forced to punt, Shoshoni sent the ball deep into Puncher territory where Big Piney senior Karsyn Gurr waited.
Gurr returned the punt at Big Piney’s 30-yard line. Senior Jerrett Fear swept in to make a block, opening the way for Gurr to sprint up the right side of the field. Gurr angled toward the sideline, pivoting just in time before shifting into high gear.
Churning across 70 yards, Gurr left Shoshoni’s defenders in the dust as he roared into the end zone to score Big Piney’s second touchdown.
The Punchers offense went on to score two more touchdowns in the second half and combined with a solid Big Piney defense, posted a decisive 26-7 win against its rival.
“I would describe our win against Shoshoni as a tough, gritty, character type of win,” said Head Coach Jeromy Moffat.
Punchers quarterback, senior Champ Snively, experienced an injury in the first half. Junior Caden Clifford and senior Reuben Stoutenburg were still “not even close to 100 percent” following injuries earlier in the season, Moffat added.
“These injuries took the wind out of our sails for that first half and we only went in at halftime up, 14-7,” Moffat continued. “I knew if we could regroup and refocus with a few adjustments, we would have a better second half. It was a complete team effort with underclassmen stepping in and making plays and strong leadership, both physically and verbally, from our upperclassmen.”
Gurr “dominated the game” offensively and on special teams, said Moffat.
In addition to his 70-yard kick return touchdown in the second quarter, Gurr completed a 30-yard touchdown pass from Snively in the first quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Gurr caught another pass and raced the remaining 20 yards into the end zone.
Stoutenburg and Clifford relentlessly drove the ball forward throughout all four quarters.
“Reuben and Caden showed a tremendous amount of heart by carrying the load offensively even though they were hurting,” Moffat remarked.
Freshman Zach Ferguson stepped in as quarterback in the second quarter. Ferguson dove the remaining yards into the end zone to score a touchdown on Big Piney’s first drive of the third quarter.
“I’m very proud of Zach for managing the game and making some big-time throws as needed,” said Moffat. “This game was a very big step for him.”
Big Piney’s defensive line, including tackles in the backfield or near the line of scrimmage by Young, Woodward, Murphy, senior Preston Bennett and junior Ben Ferguson, stopped the Shoshoni offense in its tracks in the second half.
Pressure by Gurr, Young, Woodward, Fear and freshman Gerardo Galvan broke up several passes.
“We held Shoshoni to 36 yards in the second half,” said Moffat. “I was proud of our linebacking core, defensive backs and D-line for not letting Shoshoni get in a rhythm in the second half. Galvan had a solid game for his first start at outside linebacker.”
Big Piney hosts Wyoming Indian High School on Friday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. The game will feature Senior Recognition.
“Our seniors have been a very important group for our football program these last few years, and I would love to see a great turnout to support them at their last regular season home game,” said Moffat.