Sep 5, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterFirst-year coach Pat Patterson's team plays the defending state champions at 7 p.m.
Gone are the hot two-a-day practices. Gone is the easy week-zero game. Gone are the days in the summer weight room. And gone are the introductions by first-year Riverton Wolverine head football coach Pat Patterson to his assistant coaches and players.
Now it's "go time."
"It's almost like it's here too quick. It's been really fast," Patterson said.
The Riverton Wolverines begin their quest to improve on last season's quarterfinal state playoff appearance after winning their Class 3-A East conference. RHS will hit their road for the first of three non-conference games this Friday night in Powell.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on KTAK radio, 93.9 FM.
Last week, Riverton cruised to an easy 37-6 win over Worland, and Patterson liked what he saw in film study of the game, even though the Wolverines kept their playbook mostly closed.
"We played better than I initially thought. Our lineman came off the ball. They were being aggressive. We were striking people. They were doing the things I was asking them to do, and I was pleased about that," Patterson said.
Patterson hopes his team can ride the success of the preseason into a game Friday that is expected to be much tougher than last week.
"The speed and the physicalness. They (Powell) have some good-sized kids and athletic kids. It won't be as easy as it was (against Worland). Even if we don't outmuscle them, we still have to work our feet to get into position to created the gaps for our kids to run through," Patterson said.
In other words, the first-year coach thinks that this game may be won or lost at the line of scrimmage.
"We are going to try and run at them. They are a smash-mouth team. That is what they pride themselves on, but that is what we want to do, too. But we do feel like we have some skill kids, if we can protect," Patterson said.
Riverton's running attack will consist of tailback Dylan Lewis and, depending on sets, senior Rhett Rogge and junior Tristan White behind a big offensive line of Bo Patterson, TJ Bascue, Casey Savage, J.P. Baxter and Riley Reichert. Caleb Richmond and Keeton Zancanella will see time at tight end.
Patterson believes Powell has few weaknesses, but he thinks that junior quarterback Brandon Fullerton may be able to exploit Powell's secondary with speedy receivers Austin Patterson, Logan Hartbank and Ian McMenamy.
Defensively, the Wolverines will line up in a 4-3 set with linemen Richmond, Reichert, Bo Patterson and Ty Cantrell. At linebacker will be Savage, Rogge and Lewis.
The Wolverines secondary will have corers McMenamy and Hartbank and safeties Fullerton and Zancanella.
After Friday's game in Powell, Riverton has its first home regular-season game next Friday, Sept. 13, against Green River.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.