RHS jumps into Class 3-A East conference play with Rawlins

Sep 26, 2013 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Two teams trying to find their identity: That's how Riverton Wolverine head football coach Pat Patterson describes the upcoming game against the Rawlins Outlaws.

The schools will compete Friday night during the Class 3-A East conference opener in Rawlins.

Game time is set for 7 p.m., and the action can be heard live on KTAK FM, 93.9.

Two teams

Rawlins defeated Kemmerer 26-6 in the first week of the season but later lost to Jackson 56-21 and Worland 24-15.

Like Rawlins, Riverton is also 1-2 coming into Friday's game, which could be impacted by weather conditions.

Friday's forecast calls for early evening rain and then partly cloudy skies, with a low around 30 degrees.

Wind gusts at 10-15 miles per hour are projected at kickoff time. Patterson said his team was able to perform under similar conditions Wednesday, however.

"It was windy, cold and raining (Wednesday) but we got in our normal practice," he said. "We'll see how it is Friday."

Defender out

The Wolverines will be playing Friday without two-way starter Casey Savage, who is injured.

Savage is Riverton's best defender, averaging 14.5 defensive points per game. But Rawlins' defense is only ranked 11th out of 12 teams, having yielded nearly 400 yards per game. Only Lander has a softer defense so far this season in Class 3-A football.

Offensively, Rawlins tends to mount a rushing attack to set up their passing game, which ranks sixth in Class 3-A. Rawlins completes 55 percent of its passes, though the players are twice as more likely to run than throw the ball.

Patterson said Rawlins hasn't been very successful in its running attempts.

"They've struggled running the ball in their first three games," Patterson said. "They kind of line up in some of the stuff we do. They'll run the ball off-tackle and then try to spread you out and throw some."

When Riverton has the ball, Patterson said the Wolverines will try to be physical against an Outlaw team. Rawlins often puts eight players near the line of scrimmage, daring teams to pass them by.

"They play pretty soft in the secondary and keep things in front of them," Patterson said.

Conference play

Playing games within their own conference may also be good for the Wolverines. Douglas (3-0) is the only Class 3-A East team with more than one win, while Powell, Cody, Worland and Jackson all have two or more wins after non-conference play in Class 3-A West.

After Friday's game at Rawlins, the Wolverines will stay on the road one more week for a Friday, Oct. 4, conference clash at Buffalo.

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