Oct 28, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer"We decided to pack it in there and get after people. That full house that (former Cody) Coach McDougall ran forever. These kids have never seen it, and for some reason, we run it for a week and a half and they believe in it," Cody Coach Cris Williams said.
The Cody Broncs, with a punishing and unstoppable running attack, stunned the Riverton Wolverines 24-17 on a cool and unforgiving Friday night at Wolverine Field in the first round of the Class 3-A state high school football playoffs.
The loss for the Wolverines (6-3, 5-0 Class 3-A East) ends their season. Cody (4-5, 2-3 Class 3-A West) will battle Star Valley next Friday in the state semifinals.
No team from Riverton's conference, the Class 3-A East, won a game Friday. Only Class 3-A West teams advanced, as Star Valley beat Buffalo 31-14, Green River stopped Douglas 32-25, and Lander was blown out at Powell 36-0.
The Wolverines were riding a six-game winning streak entering Friday's game, the first playoff game ever at Wolverine Field, and RHS seemed to be in control early after capitalizing on two Cody turnovers.
"We were able to move the ball and put 17 points on the board, but it's tough," Riverton head coach Jeremy McCormick said.
Senior defensive end Jordan Belville, who led Riverton in defensive points with 15.5, recovered a Cody fumble after the Broncs had taken their opening drive to the Riverton 12-yard line.
The Wolverines marched up the field, completing two key third down passes from Xavier Webb to Kade Salisbury of 14 and 24 yards that set up Dietrik Becker's 37-yard field goal -- the first points of the night -- and with 1:04 left in the first quarter, Riverton had a 3-0 lead.
After a facemask penalty against Riverton on the ensuing kickoff return, Cody's first play from scrimmage on its second drive resulted in a Logan Hartbank interception that gave the Wolverines great field position deep in Bronc territory.
It didn't take long for Riverton to find points again, this time a Webb-to-Brandon Fullerton pass completion. That set up a one-yard Webb plunge that put Riverton in front 10-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.
But the tide of the game started to turn, and Cody responded with a 13 play drive of its own, all on the ground except for a key third down 19-yard screen pass from John Beaudrie to Carter Myers. It was one of only
two pass completions by Cody on the night. The drive ended with nine-yard Myers run for a touchdown with 4:40 remaining.
The Wolverines tried to answer, and Webb's pass to Bellville who made a beautiful one-handed grab over the middle that gained 32 yards, sparked the Wolverines. Dylan Lewis then gained 19 yards on two plays, and
Riverton was threatening with a first down at the Cody 29-yard line.
But two incomplete passes to Fullerton and Salisbury stalled the drive, and Cody began its two minute drill.
They Broncs executed the drill to near perfection and managed 10 plays before halftime, knotting the score at 10-10 with a Myers 23-yard field goal as time expired.
At halftime, Riverton tried to adjust to Cody's unexpected wishbone attack, a formation that has a fullback in front of two split halfbacks, that the Broncs used to their advantage with their power run game that churned out a jaw-dropping 376 yards on the ground against Riverton.
"We had not seen wishbone in any of the four games (on film) that we had. We saw nothing that indicated that they would do wishbone. Nothing. We had a hard time making adjustments," McCormick said.
Webb, whose athletic ability and speed helped him keep plays alive most of the night -- he was Riverton's leading rusher from his quarterback position with 91 yards -- scored on a spectacular 37-yard, broken-field run to put Riverton back in front 17-10 with 10:12 left in the third quarter.
But Cody stormed back and marched to Riverton's 6-yard line before Casey Savage and Jeremy Vincent stuffed Myers.
That forced a 24-yard Bronc field goal attempt that Myers missed wide right to keep the Wolverines with a touchdown advantage.
But Riverton couldn't put the Broncs away, losing the ball on a fumble while driving toward a two-touchdown lead.
After exchanging punts, the Wolverines appeared to be driving again after surviving a holding penalty that had Riverton looking at a first and 28 deep in Cody territory. After Webb connected with Salisbury, scrambled for positive yardage, and Lewis ran tough inside, the Wolverines gained a first down.
But a bad snap that resulted in the fumble allowed Cody to score a 23 yard touchdown run by Tate Pehringer with eight minutes left in the game that tied the score at 17-17.
"Our kids got more physical as the year went on. We were able to get the job done up front tonight and overcome that adversity early. We told them to keep fighting, suck it up, and hang together," an elated
Cody head coach Cris Williams said after the game.
The Wolverines couldn't score again, and Cody's strength at the point of attack allowed the Broncs to churn yards, including a key 51-yard scamper by Pehringer that allowed Blake Hinze to push in what proved to be the game-winner with just under three minutes remaining.
The Wolverines tried valiantly to answer and drove deep in Bronc land late on two Webb-to-Belville and one Webb-to-Logan Hartbank completions. Fullerton and Belville couldn't pull in two Webb passes and, facing 3-10 at the Cody 17, Webb tried to find Salisbury in the end zone, but Beaudrie and came up with an interception on a ball intended for Salisbury. The Wolverine coaching staff forcefully pleaded to no avail for an interference call, and Cody's rushing attack gained two first downs to run out the clock.
"We decided to pack it in there and get after people. That full house that (former Cody) Coach McDougall ran forever. These kids have never seen it, and for some reason, we run it for a week and a half and they believe in it," Williams said.
The Wolverines, despite the loss, still will have a Class 3-A East championship banner that will be theirs forever after a perfect 5-0 conference season.
"You have to hand it to Cody. They came out and did a good job tonight. Our coaches did a great job and gave us a six-game winning streak with their adjustments defensively, offensively and on special teams. They brought all phases of the game together, but it is tough to end the season like this," McCormick said.
Cody 0 10 0 14 -- 24
Riverton 3 7 7 0 -- 17
Riverton -- 1:04, Dietrik Becker, 37-yard field goal
Riverton -- 11:24, Xavier Webb 1-yard run (Dietrik Becker kick)
Cody -- 4:40, Carter Myers, 9-yard run (Carter Myers kick)
Cody -- 0;00, Carter Myers, 23-yard field goal
Riverton -- 10:12, Xavier Webb, 37-yard run (Dietrik Becker kick)
Cody -- 8:06, Robert Pehringer, 23-yard run (Carter Myers kick)
Cody -- 2:57, Blake Hinze, 1-yard run (Carter Myers kick)
Riv -- Webb 9-91, Lewis 7-65, White 8-32, Hartbank 1-4, Galey 4- -4.
Cody -- Pehringer 21-165, Myers 18-104, Hinze 11-74, Beaudrie 4-26, Nieters 1-2.
Riv -- Webb 10-18-1 174. Cody - Beaudrie 2-5-1 36.
Riv -- Hartbank 4-67, Belville 2-50, Salisbury 2-38, Fullerton 2-19.
Cody -- Myers 2-36.
Riv -- Belville 15.5 points, Galey 14, Lewis 14, Steeds 13, Hartbank 12, Casey Savage 11.5, Liam Vincent 10, Savage 9, Webb 7, Jeremy Vincent 5,
Fullerton 4, White 4, Meyer 4, Sack 1, Salisbury 1.
Cod -- Hinze 12, Myers 12, Beaudrie 11, Goodwin 10, Lee 8.5, Wilde 7, McClure 5.5, Kluksdahl 5, Nieters 3, Yetter 2, Guerrero 1.
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