Nov 4, 2012 - By Randy Tucker, Sports WriterDUBOIS -- The big play paved the way for the Dubois Rams to return to the Class 1-A 6-man state championship game at noon this Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
The Rams have a familiar opponent in the defending state champion Snake River Rattlers.
In Friday's semifinal game at home, Dubois blew out Midwest 59-14 via six scoring plays of more than 40 yards.
It didn't take long for Dubois to find the end zone on a perfect autumn afternoon. The Oilers took the opening kick and promptly fumbled the ball on the second play from scrimmage. On their initial play of the game, the Rams scored on a 20-yard run by Jesse Hawk.
Hawk added another score on a 60-yard breakaway, and the Rams led 12-0 at the first intermission.
The thin mountain air carried the staccato symphony of hard hits in the opening period. Both teams tackled well in the open field. Most tackles were head-on solo or one-on-one angle hits, with the popping of pads echoing off the steep hillside on the north side of the field.
Midwest went to the air on the next series with success. Tucker Evans gained 48 yards on a pass from Cam Ray, moving the ball inside the 10, but Kyle Tea intercepted Ray near the goal line to end the threat.
Midwest returned the favor with Jaelin Miller intercepting Sterling Baker at the Dubois 28. The Oilers gained a first down but fumbled the ball away. Hawk recovered it to end the opening period.
Three plays into the second period, Baker broke two tackles before outrunning the Midwest defense on a 48-yard romp. Rowan Hawk split the uprights for the 2-point conversion kick (a rule in 6-man ball), and the Rams held a comfortable 20-0 lead.
Midwest continued their air attack, with Josh Lindsay catching a Ray pass at the 22. Ray gained 18 on the next play, then found Andrew Engleman for the four-yard touchdown pass. Lindsay connected on the kick, and the margin narrowed to 20-8.
Midwest's defense picked up the tempo, with Kiya Guserman tackling Rowan Hawk for a two-yard loss. Senior lineman Austin Tharp took a wild pitch from Baker and rumbled for a first down, but the pitch was ruled an illegal forward pass and the Rams were forced to punt.
Tea executed a perfect rugby-style run and punt that Midwest returned to the Dubois 30.
Midwest turned the ball over on first down, and Baker made them pay with a 50-yard run worthy of any season highlight reel. He carried the ball to the right and nearly stalled against a pair of Oiler tacklers before reversing the field, then turning up the south sideline for the breakaway score. Baker hit Cody Flynn for the 1-point conversion and Dubois took a 27-8 lead into the half.
Dubois took the opening third period kick and capped the short drive on a 10-yard Hawk run. Flynn took the pass from Tea and high-stepped into the end zone on the conversion run.
"People don't agree with pitching the ball as much as we do," Dubois head coach David Trembly said. "But it allows our defense to score, and we're always a threat from anywhere on the field."
Midwest's last hurrah came on off tackle sweeps and another short pass from Ray to Engleman. The kick failed, but the Oilers had cut the gap to 34-14.
The next two minutes of play were a definitive display of blazing speed by the Rams.
Midwest kicked off, with the ball nearly skipping out of bounds at the 12. Baker tiptoed down the sidelined, leaned out of bounds and batted the ball back into play with his right hand. He caught it with his left, then ran horizontally to the north side of the field before hitting another gear and sprinting 68 yards for the score.
After an ineffective three-and-out, the Oilers punted to Tea. He broke off a block for Flynn, then squirted through the Midwest defenders for a 48-yard score.
Just 41 seconds later Hawk intercepted a Ray pass then raced up the middle of the field for another touchdown.
The Rams had tallied three scores with the offense never taking the field in just over two minutes.
"Speed helps," Dubois head coach David Trembly quipped.
Midwest couldn't generate any consistent offense in spite of a couple of runs of more than 20 yards by Ray.
A final score came on a 70-yard run by
Hawk that resembled the state 100-meter final in its intensity. John Bartlett caught the conversion pass from Baker, and the Rams took a 45-point lead, setting the running clock in motion via the mercy rule.
Dubois has lost just two games since dropping to 6-man football two seasons ago. Both of those came against Snake River during the 2011 season with the second one coming in the title game in Laramie.
Snake River advanced with an 80-24 blowout of Meeteetse.
DUBOIS 12 15 25 7 -- 59
MIDWEST 0 8 6 0 -- 14
DUB - Sterling Baker 20-run (kick failed) 9:22
DUB - Jesse Hawk 60-run (kick failed) 6:28
DUB - Baker 48-run (Rowen Hawk kick) 9:04
MID - Andrew Engelman 4-pass from Cam Ray (Josh Lindsay kick) 5:31
DUB - Baker 50-run (Cody Flynn from Baker) 1:00
DUB - Hawk 10-run (Flynn from Kyle Tea) 7:55
MID - Engleman 5-pass from Ray (kick failed) 3:54
DUB - Baker 68-kickoff return (kick failed) 3:42
DUB - Tea 48-punt return (kick failed) 2:08
DUB - Hawk 28-interception return (pass failed) 1:17
DUB - Hawk 70-run (John Bartlett from Baker) 6:58
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