News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
With shaved heads and wearing pink, Wolverines get first league win
Sep 23, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer
Points weren't shaved Friday night at Wolverine Field. But heads were, all for the good cause of raising nearly $6,000 to support local cancer efforts.
And, oh, by the way, the Riverton football Wolverines, looking sharp in pink jerseys, rolled to an easy 48-13 win over the struggling Rawlins Outlaws, who have now lost 35 consecutive games a state record.
The win gives Riverton (2-2, 1-0 3-A East) an important conference victory and sets the stage for a big Homecoming game this Friday against the Buffalo Bison, a team that a Jeremy McCormick-coached team has never beaten, nor been closer than 20 points.
But if the Wolverines' recent improvement is any indicator, and Buffalo's recent slide continues, that streak seems ripe for breaking.
Playing before a large crowd that included dozens Riverton Junior League Football players and junior cheerleaders, the Wolverines sputtered a bit out of the gate, but just a bit.
The Outlaws moved the ball briefly and managed two first downs on their first possession before Riverton took over on downs at midfield.
T.J. Galey's 20-yard run was largely negated because of a personal foul called against Riverton, but quarterback Xavier Webb, looking at a third and three at the Rawlins 44-yard line, faked to Galey, sprinted to his left, and found the end zone to give Riverton the early
lead. After Dietrik Becker kicked the point after touchdown, Riverton had 7-0 lead halfway through the quarter.
"The kids were so tense, and wanted to play so good so bad, that they just need to relax a bit. It was the kind of performance we were looking for," McCormick said.
Rawlins tried to keep pace and following another personal foul that caused the ejection of Wolverine Casey Savage --- he'll also miss the Buffalo game because of Wyoming High School Association rules -- moved to the Wolverine 27-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
The two teams traded possessions, and after Kade Salisbury recovered an Outlaw fumble, Galey, who rushed for 146 yards on 24 carries, scored on a 20-yard run as time expired in the first quarter to put the Wolverines up 14-0.
Rawlins tried to hang in the game. Jalem Krening, who entered the game as the Class 3-A's top passer and threw for nearly 200 yards again Friday, completed four consecutive passes during the next drive of 31, 21, 35 and seven yards to set up a third and goal from
Riverton's 1-yard line. Krening's QB sneak and a low point-after kick that clanked over the top of the crossbar pulled Rawlins to within one score at 14-7.
Special team scores
It took the Wolverine just 12 seconds to expand the lead again. Junior Logan Hartbank took the Outlaw kick at his own 20, moved through traffic to his right, and sprinted down the sideline in front of the
Wolverine bench for an 80-yard kickoff return and touchdown, pumping his fist once as he crossed the goal line.
The rout was on.
Galey scored once more before halftime, and Riverton took a 28-7 lead past the new flag pole in the south end zone and past the new concession stand and pavillion on their way to the locker room.
During halftime, longtime public address announcer Ron Porter gave tribute to those in attendance who were battling cancer or had been affected by cancer in their lives. Just in front of the center bleachers on the track that surrounds the field, Riverton school superintendent Terry Snyder allowed Jordan Giddings of Sunset Boulevard Day Spa to shave his head after local supporters had donated more than $1,000 of "bounty" money as part of the cancer fundraising theme. Many
Wolverine players and many coaches also had their heads shaved for the game and participated in the effort to raise money to support local families dealing with cancer.
"It was a great team builder for a great cause. It was fun to see the whole team come together on this," a newly bald McCormick said.
Dylan Lewis, Galey and Webb all added third-quarter rushing touchdowns, Becker hit all but one PAT kick, and Dawson Steeds recovered a fumble deep in Rawlins territory to wrap up Riverton's victory.
"The community has been great in their support. It is fun to play in front of a packed house. It is fantastic. We want to enjoy it, but we need to get ready for Buffalo. We have to keep getting better," McCormick said.
Rawlins 0 7 0 6 -- 13
Riverton 14 14 20 0 -- 48
Riv - 6:01, Xavier Webb, 44-yard run, Becker kick
Riv - 0:00, T.J. Galey, 20-yard run, Becker kick
Raw - 7:14, Jalen Krening, 1-yard run, Varela kick
Riv - 7:02, Logan Hartbank, 80-yard kick return, Becker kick
Riv - 1:31, TJ Galey, 1-yard run, Becker kick
Riv - 9:40, Dylan Lewis, 37-yard run, Becker kick
Riv - 4:01, TJ Galey, 1-yard run, kick failed
Riv - 3:41, Xavier Webb, 13-yard run, Becker kick
Raw -- 3:27, Jalen Krening, 10-yard pass to Isaac Jefferson, PAT failed
Riv - Webb 6-74, Galey 24-146, Lewis 5-84, Condie 1-11, White 5-31, Turner 2-13.
Raw - Krening 19- -29, Hopkins 12-47, Gamblin 3-5, Jefferson 3-15
Riv - Webb 2-9-0 31, Condie 1-2-0 16.
Raw - Krening 13-18-0 194.
Riv - Fullerton 1-12, Salisbury 1-19, L. Vincent 1-16.
Raw - Varela 4-02, Hopkins 3-43, Williams 1-7, Palmer 2-17, Isaiah Jefferson 2-15, Isaac Jefferson 1-10.
Riv - Steeds 18.5, Belville 17, J. Vincent 14.5, Salazar 11, Meyer 10, Galey 9, Fullerton 8, Herbst 7, Zancanalla 7, McMenamy 6, Salisbury 5, White 5, Lane Savage 5, Sack 5, Hartbank 4, Johnston 3.5, Condie 3, Richmond 3, Reichert 3, L. Vincent 2.
Raw - Varela 19.5, Hopkins 17.5, Palmer 6.5, Williams 6, Jefferson 6, Krening 5, Dry 5, Rolow 2, Sterman 2, Gamblin 2, Isaiah Jefferson 2, Smith 1.