PINEDALE – The Pinedale High School Wrangler football team hosted Mountain View for its final home game of the regular season on Friday, Oct. 14.
The evening opened with Senior Recognition, honoring Colby Bailey, Axle Brekhus, Cade Covill, Carson Deleeuw, Luke Gray, Ethan Jensen, Greyson Jervis, Ethan Kemp, Leo Labrador, Holden Saxton, Sawyer Siefkes and Tucker Watson.
Head Coach David Thrash expressed pride in the seniors for “laying the foundation for the program” and setting standards high on and off the football field during the season.
“These young men have taken on a tall task of helping to install a different style of offense, develop fundamentals at varsity speed and see that growth every day to remain positive in the midst of the voices and people that do not understand or trust the process. For that, I am indebted to these young men and know that they are significant and will continue to be so in life.”
The final score on Friday night tilted heavily in Mountain View’s favor, 52-0.
Faced with a tough opponent and challenging circumstances, the Wranglers once again chose to fight rather than throw in the towel and gritted out all four quarters of the game. Players with limited varsity experience continued to step up and fearlessly take on new roles.
“This was a tough loss for the Wranglers,” said Thrash. “This team has improved fundamentally and will continue to do so as we prepare for a road trip to play Rich County (Utah). The coaching staff has to lead the team through these practices to help put players in the best position for success and show the growth they have made as a team and young men.”
Ethan Jensen and junior Jake Hammer alternated as quarterback and ate up yards offensively. Watson and Labrador gained positive yards returning several kickoffs by the Buffalos. Ethan Jensen completed a pass play to junior Bodie Jensen in the third quarter.
Pinedale shut down Mountain View’s opening possession in the first quarter. Sophomore Brodie Richey brought down the Buffalos’ kick returner. Siefkes led a pack of Wranglers in a tackle. A wall of Wranglers swept in to halt the Buffalos’ advance on the next play.
Mountain View fumbled the ball, recovered by Pinedale junior Cordelle Lane.
Following a deep punt by Pinedale freshman Quincy Mika, Mountain View took possession and drove the ball into the end zone. Lane swept in and blocked the Buffalos’ attempt to kick in an extra point.
Mountain View scored again before the first quarter ended. Mountain View failed to convert, with Richey batting away the Buffalos’ pass.
The Mountain View offense ratcheted up the intensity in the second quarter with four additional touchdowns. Lane continued to harass the Buffalos’ special teams, blocking two more attempts by Mountain View to kick in an extra point.
A tighter Pinedale defense stopped Mountain View on the Buffalos’ first possession in the third quarter. Lane and Brekhus pulled off a tackle for loss. Bailey led a pack of Wranglers, holding Mountain View to several yards. Hammer took down the Buffalos’ runner in the backfield.
Mountain View broke through the Wrangler defense and scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter.
The Wrangler defense rallied and stopped Mountain View on its opening possession of the fourthquarter. Junior Dustin Larsen immediately caught the Buffalos’ kick returner. Covill and sophomore Joey Bain pulled off a series of tackles deep in the backfield. Siefkes took down a Buffalo.
The Wrangler defense maintained the pressure on the Buffalos’ final drive in the game, including tackles by Lane, Jervis, Larsen, Saxton and Hammer.
The season is not over for the Wranglers, and the team travels to Randolph, Utah, to play Rich County High School on Friday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is scheduled at 4 p.m.