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RHS hosts Cody on Friday to open football playoffs
Riverton's Logan Hartbank has been a force for the Wolverines this season on offense and defense. He has scored on both a kick return and an interception return. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

RHS hosts Cody on Friday to open football playoffs

Oct 25, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Earlier this season, the Riverton Wolverines football team was looking for a spark after dropping its first two games of the year. One was a gut-wrenching, last-second 34-28 defeat at Green River in which an official's decision affected the outcome.

On the docket the following week was a road game against the Cody Broncs. The Wolverines needed to play well if they were going to right their season and avoid an 0-3 start.

The Wolverines, apparently, never want a third loss at all.

Riverton beat Cody 27-7 in week three, got the necessary spark, and has never looked back, winning six straight.

Now the Wolverines will face that same Cody team, this time at Wolverine Field, as the Wyoming state Class 3-A playoffs begin Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Fans will be charged $5 admission, $3 for students, as set by the Wyoming High School Activities Association for the postseason.

The Wolverines (6-2, 5-0 Class 3-A East), are the top seed from the East for the first-round playoff gridiron battle against Cody (3-5, 2-3 Class 3-A West), the fourth seed from the West.

The matchup is one of four Class 3-A playoff games set for Friday.

Douglas (No. 2 East) hosts Green River (No. 3 West), Star Valley (No. 2 West) hosts Buffalo (No. 3 East) and Lander (No. 4 East) travels to Powell (No. 1 West).

"Cody has some lineman back from injury. They are starting to come together and played better (last week) at Worland. We have to made sure we don't overlook them and get after them on Friday," Wolverine head coach Jeremy McCormick said.

The Wolverines expect to see more of a power ground attack in the I-formation from Cody than they saw earlier this year when the Broncs tried to get the ball outside with their jet sweep, according to McCormick.

The Broncs finished their season with a 41-0 rout at Worland, feel that they are playing their best football of the season, and believe they will bring a different football team to Riverton from the unit RHS saw in week three.

"We were missing guys earlier. We do have a couple of different guys back on the line on both sides of the ball. We played a lot of young kids, and they have matured through the year," Cody Bronc head football coach Cris Williams said.

For Cody, the loss earlier to Riverton was a tough one.

"It was Homecoming night. We felt like some breaks didn't go our way with that crazy deflected pass that resulted in a Riverton touchdown.

"That was a key play. We know Riverton is an outstanding football team, but we didn't play our best during Homecoming, and that was deflating," Williams said.

Both Riverton's and Cody's defenses yield about 260 yards per game, but Riverton's offense, which includes the state's top passing attack, outgains Cody by about 130 yards per game.

"We are playing with more intensity, drive and desire every week. We've added some wrinkles offensively. We've improved defensively, on special teams, and we are running the ball and throwing the ball better and putting more points on the board," McCormick said.

Should the Wolverines win Friday, they will host the winner of the Star Valley/Buffalo game the following Friday.

"You are still dealing with high school kids. I don't want to give them bulletin board material, but the key is getting them to execute and getting them to believe. They are excited about this opportunity. Anything can happen. Our kids have a great opportunity, and we are excited to come down to play," Williams said. McCormick agrees.

"That's what makes it fun and exciting. That's why we play the games on the field," McCormick said.

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