Wranglers fight to the finish against Cokeville

Robert Galbreath photo Senior Dustin Larsen, No. 7, tenaciously drives the ball forward against Cokeville on Sept. 15. Also pictured is senior Bodie Jensen, right.

PINEDALE – The Pinedale High School Wrangler football team squared off against Cokeville for its first home game at Gene Andrews Stadium at Sunny Korfanta Field on Friday, Sept. 15.

Although both the Wrangler offense and defense battled through all four quarters, Pinedale ultimately came up short against a tight Cokeville offense, falling 28-8.

Regardless of the final tally, the Wrangler offense gained significant yards in several drives, culminating in a touchdown in the fourth quarter. A determined Wrangler defense shut down Cokeville in the first quarter and kept the pressure on throughout the subsequent three quarters.

“It was a tough loss for the team,” said Head Coach David Thrash. “Cokeville is a well-coached team and play disciplined ball. The Wranglers played hard for four quarters. The defense stood tall to force three turnover on downs. Offense is continuing to find its stride and adjusted to Cokeville’s defense. The coaches are extremely proud of the effort these young men showed and their no quit attitude.”

Pinedale opened the first quarter in possession. Senior quarterback Bodie Jensen handed the ball off to sophomore Cale Dauwen, who picked up 17 rushing yards for a first down. Jensen then chewed up enough yards for another first down.

A scrappy Pinedale defense halted Cokeville’s first drive. Sophomore Boeh Gamble swept in and tackled Cokeville’s runner at the line of scrimmage. Seniors Jake Hammer, Dustin Larsen and Doug Dexter held Cokeville to only a few yards. Sophomore Wylee Willson finished off Cokeville’s offense with a tackle in the backfield.

Cokeville struggled to make gains on its second drive in the first quarter. A deep punt into the end zone by senior Austin Green forced the Panthers to begin at their own 20-yard line. A sack in the backfield executed by Gamble and Dauwen shut down Cokeville’s drive.

The first quarter ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Cokeville scored twice in the second quarter, although Pinedale made a tenacious stand near their goal line during Cokeville’s second drive into the end zone, including tackles by Larsen, Gamble, sophomore Quincy Mika and sophomore Daxton Zook.

The Wrangler defense stopped Cokeville’s third drive of the second quarter. Dauwen caught Cokeville’s runner behind the line of scrimmage twice. Defensive pressure by senior Cordelle Lane resulted in an incomplete pass by Cokeville.

Willson wrapped up the Panthers’ quarterback with a sack. Dexter pushed back Cokeville’s runner behind the line of scrimmage.

The third quarter commenced with the Panthers scoring a touchdown.

Pinedale made gains on its first drive of the second half, with Jensen and Larsen relentlessly moving the ball forward. Jensen churned up the yards for a first down.

The Pinedale defense prevented Cokeville from reaching the end zone on the Panthers’ subsequent drive, including tackles led by Hammer and Jensen.

Cokeville managed to score another touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The Wranglers made headway on their first drive of the fourth quarter. Putting his head down, Jensen bulldozed up the field, carrying the ball over several plays for repeated first downs.

Cokeville took possession, then fumbled the ball. Mika recovered the fumble for the Wranglers.

The Pinedale offense found its footing in its final fourth-quarter drive. Sophomore quarterback Ian Rigo delivered a perfect pass from Cokeville’s 48-yard line to sophomore Landon Fornstrom. Catching the ball at about the 40-yard line, Fornstrom raced into the end zone for a Wrangler touchdown.

Larsen drove the ball into the end zone to convert 2 points after touchdown.

The Wranglers host Lovell for Homecoming Week on Friday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“We’re looking forward to a great week of practice as we prepare to host the Bulldogs for Homecoming,” said Coach Thrash.