Sep 22, 2013 - By Randy Tucker, Staff WriterThe last football game played at St. Stephen's before Friday night saw the Eagles shut out the Jackson Hole Broncs 24-0 on the old field just west of the mission. That was October 1965 and St. Stephen's High School was destined to close for almost two decades the following spring.
Jump ahead 48 years, and the Eagles have a new school, a new field, and an entirely new style of football, playing 6-man.
During that nearly half-century hiatus, another school on the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming Indian, began playing football in the fall of 1972.
Wyoming Indian and St. Stephen's met for the first time on the gridiron on a perfect Friday afternoon in front of a crowd of approximately 500 fans, with the Chiefs walloping the Eagles 86-6 in West 1-A 6-man play.
The win was the first of the season for the Chiefs and their first ever in 6-man play.
Wyoming Indian's experience in playing the 11-man variety of the game was evident from the opening play as the Chiefs were much more physical and used their size, speed and power advantage to quickly build a 26-0 lead after one period and to take a commanding 66-6 advantage at the half.
Wyoming Indian senior Ramiro Gonzalez had a field day, scoring seven touchdowns. Five of those were on the ground, and the others were thrown by fellow senior Trevor Williamson.
The Chiefs' running game was dominant throughout the contest. Freshman Kane Big Lake showed great promise at running back as well, playing with power and speed to add three more scores on a pair of runs and a short punt return.
Big Lake ran straight at defenders initially on each play, bowling them over then racing down the field for all three scores.
St. Stephen's didn't run the ball much and threw nearly every down. The Chiefs took advantage, picking off five Eagle passes including a 52-yard scoring play by lineman Jose Gonzalez for the game's second score.
Che Stiffarm intercepted a pair of Ronald Bowstring passes on the afternoon.
Wyoming Indian poured it on in the second period scoring 40 points on six touchdowns. The first three came on Gonzalez and Big Lake runs, but the Chiefs passing game opened up in the final minutes of the half with Williamson connecting on back to back 40-yard passes to Stiffarm and Gonzalez. He added another 25-yard pass to Gonzalez with just 11 seconds left to end the half.
St. Stephen's scored on twisting, turning 70-kickoff return by sophomore Silas SunRhodes. Though he was the smallest player on the field, he played with reckless abandon throughout the game and his effort was rewarded with the Eagles only score.
A running clock ensued via the 45-point mercy rule in the second half ,and the game ended quickly. The Chiefs' final score came on an 18-yard pass from Williamson to Milton Trosper.
Wyoming Indian hosts Ten Sleep next Friday, while the Eagles make the long trek to the Colorado border to play Little Snake River.
WYOMING INDIAN 26 40 7 13 - 86
ST. STEPHEN'S 0 6 0 0 - 6
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 2-run (run failed) 7:18
WI - Jose Gonzalez 52-interception return (Ramiro Gonzalez run) 5:20
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 6-run (pass failed) 5:02
WI - Kane Big Lake 44-run (Big Lake run) 2:26
WI - Big Lake 11-run (Big Lake run) 8:39
SS - Silas SunRhodes 70-kickoff return (run failed) 8:23
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 6-run (Ramiro Gonzalez run) 7:11
WI - Big Lake 18-punt return (run failed) 5:08
WI - Che' Stiffarm 40-pass from Trevor Williamson (Ramiro Gonzalez run) 4:00
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 40-pass from Williamson (run failed) 3:11
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 25-pass from Williamson (Jovan Wesaw pass from Williamson) :011
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 9-run (Wesaw from Williamson) 9:31
WI - Ramiro Gonzalez 6-run (Ramiro Gonzalez run) 9:53
WI - Milton Trosper 18-pass from Williamson (pass failed) 2:51
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