PINEDALE – The Wranglers fought to the bitter end in an uphill battle against conference rival Mountain View on Saturday, Oct. 2.
The Buffalos stubbornly defended their home turf. Offensively, Mountain View capitalized on advantageous positions to begin its drives, running in a sequence of touchdowns in the first three quarters.
Mountain View’s powerful kicker sent the ball into the Wranglers’ end zone on multiple kickoffs, leaving Pinedale to close 80 yards on most drives.
Mountain View steadily widened the gap to take the win, 57-0.
True to form, the Wranglers refused to throw in the towel as the situation grew difficult and finished out a game with the odds increasingly stacked against them.
Head coach Clay Cundall said he hopes the team continues to learn and move forward.
“We just need to play hard and continue to look to put our best product on the field,” he added.
Mountain View scored on its first drive, though seniors Bryton Nelson and Tim Hosler made a dent, defensively, with tackles.
Senior Ethan Jensen returned Mountain View’s kickoff to the Wranglers’ 28-yard line. Jensen charged down the middle to the 38-yard line for a first down. Senior quarterback Konner Ziegler completed a pass to sophomore Dustin Larsen for another first down.
The Buffalos scored again on the following drive. A good kick brought the score to 14-0 in Mountain View’s favor.
Ziegler completed a pass to Larsen as the Wranglers took possession, resulting in a first down.
Mountain View eventually took over on downs and launched a drive and into the second quarter. Nelson pulled off a tackle for no gain before the Buffalos broke through to the end zone.
The Buffalos scored a pair of touchdowns early in the second quarter despite tackles for no or little gain by Ethan Jensen and sophomore Austin Green.
The Wranglers moved the chains on their next drive in the second quarter. Ethan Jensen returned the ball to the 28-yard line. Ziegler kept the ball on the next play, rushing over the 30-yard line. Jensen plowed up the middle, crossing the 40-yard line for a first down.
The Buffalos eventually took possession and drove the ball into the end zone.
Pinedale struggled to advance in its ensuing drive. Mountain View took over on downs with less than a minute left in the second quarter. The Buffalos opted for a field goal, adding three more points to the scoreboard.
Ethan Jensen caught the kickoff and raced down the field to the 48-yard line with 6 seconds remaining. He gained another 7 yards before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The halftime score stood at 43-0 in Mountain View’s favor.
Mountain View opened the third quarter with possession. The Wrangler defense applied pressure, including three tackles by Green resulting in little gain for the Buffalos.
Mountain View found an opening and raced into the end zone.
A pair of tackles executed by Hosler initially slowed Mountain View’s next drive into the end zone.
The Wranglers chewed up yards at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth. Ziegler returned a kickoff to the Wrangler 27-yard line. The quarterback kept the ball, ramming through the Buffalos’ defense for a first down.
Ethan Jensen ran the ball to midfield for another first down. Ziegler rushed the ball deep into Buffalo territory to Mountain View’s 22-yard line.
Mountain View gained possession as the final quarter wound down. The Wrangler defense put up a stiff resistance, preventing the Buffalos from advancing far into Pinedale territory, including tackles by Larsen, Ethan Jensen, Green and sophomore Bodie Jensen.
The Wranglers host Lovell on Friday, Oct. 8. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Gene Andrews Stadium at Sunny Korfanta Field.