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Wranglers mistake prone in one-point loss
Sep 16, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports Writer
It was Shoshoni's first loss of the season.
BURLINGTON -- Burlington rallied to a 22-21 win Friday over visiting Shoshoni after trailing the Wranglers 14-0 in the second period.
The win lifts the Huskies to 2-1 on the season, while Shoshoni drops to an identical record after their first loss of the season.
Though it's only the third week of the regular season the one-point loss may send the Wranglers on the road in the playoffs, while the Huskies are in the driver's seat to host an opening round game in six weeks.
The game opened 10 minutes early when nervous officials asked the two teams to start prior to the scheduled kickoff since they had to officiate the Powell-Torrington game five hours later in Powell.
The Wranglers scored on a long drive culminated by a seven-yard pass from Brace Pingetzer to Lawry Johnson and led 7-0 with 2:27 left in the first after Josh Thoren's point-after kick.
Burlington's offense came behind number 21 Ben Mancuso for most of the afternoon. The state champion long jumper and high jumper gave the Wrangler defense fits throughout the game with the ever-present threat of going the distance on a breakaway play. Mancuso accounted for 175 of Burlington's total 205 yardage on the game.
Shoshoni's defense was outstanding through most of the entire contest, sacking Burlington's Preston Wardell six times on the afternoon and allowing just one pass completion in the entire game.
Shoshoni tallied a second score on another long drive, this time on a 4-yard run by senior Micah Mills. Thoren's kick put the Wranglers up early in the second quarter,14-0.
Thoren's kicking and punting were spectacular Friday. The 6-4 senior hit the end zone on three of his four kicks and sailed a 74-yard punt that rolled dead on the 1-yard line with 2:53 left in the opening half.
The Wranglers held Burlington on a three-and-out, but a clipping penalty on Johnson's punt return moved the ball back to the 50, and Shoshoni began to unravel.
Jayden Haslam fumbled the ball on the ensuing play, and Connor Jones recovered for the Huskies. A facemask penalty moved the ball to the Shoshoni 34, but Walker Reynolds briefly ended the threat by recovering a Wardell fumble at the 36 with less than a minute to play in the half.
Pingetzer was drilled on a pass attempt and fumbled the ball, but Dillon Gies recovered for an eight-yard loss. The Wranglers went back to the air, and Wardell made them pay, intercepting Pingetzer at the 19 with 21 seconds left in the half.
A Burlington timeout set up a 19-yard Mancuso scoring run, and the Huskies were on the board just 14 seconds before the half ended.
The momentum shift continued through the intermission, and the Huskies took the opening drive 80 yards, capped by a 39-yard scoring run from Mancuso. Landon George added the two-point conversion and the score was knotted at 14.
Burlington's kicking game was ineffective throughout the contest but Shoshoni muffed, fumbled or simply let the ball go on all but two punt or kickoff returns.
After the ball careened off a Shoshoni up back at the 33 the Wranglers regrouped and mounted a very balanced scoring drive on runs by Haslam and Mills along with a pair of receptions by Mason Steffen and another by Thoren.
Shoshoni scored on an 8-yard out route by Johnson from Pingetzer with 6:15 left in the third for a 21-14 advantage.
Dan Sullivan, Reynolds, J.J. Crichton and Clemetson all tallied solo tackles on the next two Burlington possessions, but Shoshoni couldn't move offensively as another fumble ended a thrust inside the Husky 30-yard line.
Mancuso began to pick up bigger gains on toss sweeps as the fourth quarter began. Geis sacked Wardell to end one drive, but the Wranglers could not generate any consistent offense.
Burlington's strategy was much simpler. Mancuso carried the ball on all but one play, an 11-yard quarterback sneak by Wardell, and the Huskies took the lead on Mancuso's 12-yard run and subsequent two-point conversion with 4:26 left in the game.
The Wranglers made one final drive on Haslam runs, and a 10-yard reception by Steffen that moved the ball to the 20-yard line. But a Pingetzer fumble, recovered again by Geis, and back-to-back incompletions set up fourth and 18 from the 28.
The Wranglers elected to try a 45-yard field goal. Thoren's kick had the distance, but the ball sailed just wide left of the upright. Mancuso ran out the clock on three carries for 24 yards to end the game.
"If you have your best athlete in a position to win the game, that's all you can ask for," Shoshoni head coach Rick Lindblad said of the field goal attempt.
It doesn't get any easier for the Wranglers, as they host top-ranked and unbeaten Cokeville this Friday at 6 p.m.
SHOSHONI 7 7 7 0 -- 21
BURLINGTON 0 6 8 8 -- 22
SHO - Lawry Johnson 7-pass from Brace Pingetzer (Josh Thoren kick) 2:27
SHO - Micah Mills 4-run (Thoren kick) 8:52
BUR - Ben Mancuso 19-run (kick failed):14
BUR - Mancuso 39-run (Landon George run) 9:37
SHO - Johnson 8-pass from Pingetzer (Thoren kick) 6:15
BUR - Mancuso 12-run (Mancuso run) 4:26
Total Offense: Burlington 205, Shoshoni 200
Rushing Offense: Burlington 41-197, Shoshoni 27-100
Passing Offense: Burlington 1-8, Shoshoni 10-100
Burlington - Daniel Davidson 5-5, Ben Mancuso 20-169, Landon George 4-38, Preston Wardell 10(-15), James Davidson 22. Shoshoni - Jayden Haslam 11-72, Josh Oaks 3-10, Tyler Clemetson 3-6, Micah Mills 8-27, Brace Pingetzer 2 (-15)
Burlington: Preston Wardell 1-5-1 8, Shoshoni - Brace Pingetzer 5-7-1 72, Tyler Clemetson 3-6-1 20
Burlington -- Ben Mancuso 1-8. Shoshoni -- Josh Thoren 4-61, Lawry Johnson 3-17, Mason Steffen 3-22
Fumbles Lost/Recovered: Burlington 1/0, Shoshoni 2/5
Interceptions: Burlington -- Preston Wardell 2, Shoshoni -- Tyler Clemetson 1