Oct 17, 2013 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterBoth are 3-0 in the conference, with RHS the defending champ.
The schedule makers of the Wyoming High School football season don't set aside a date for conference title games. But in all reality, that is exactly what Friday's gridiron matchup at Wolverine Field is between the Riverton Wolverines and the Douglas Bearcats.
The winner will keep its undefeated Class 3-A East record intact. Both Riverton and Douglas are a perfect 3-0 coming into Friday's contest. The game's loser will worry about playing next week for second place.
If you look at the state stat sheet, Riverton will have to play four complete quarters to hang with Douglas, which by all accounts, is one of the state's elite Class 3-A teams.
Currently ranked a unanimous second in statewide media poling behind defending state champion Powell, Douglas enters the contest with a perfect 6-0 record and has outscored its opponents by a whopping 282-35 margin.
The Bearcats lead the state in defense, yielding just 134 yards per game; are first in scoring, averaging 47 points per game; and have the state's top turnover ratio, currently a plus-11. Douglas also has the state's top rusher in Logan Barker, who averages 150 yards per game.
"They have been extremely opportunistic. We can't afford (to make mistakes). We have to be smart," RHS head coach Pat Patterson said.
Last year, the Wolverines squeaked by Douglas 14-13 en route to a perfect 5-0 conference record.
If Douglas has a weakness, Patterson is not sure where it is.
"You have to beat them. Douglas is a team that will not beat themselves. They have a certain moxie to them," Patterson said.
Patterson believes that his team's biggest area of improvement for his players this season is that they have "grown together as a team."
Wolverine Logan Hartbank has emerged as the state's top receiver and will look to continue that performance Friday. The senior leads the state in receptions (21), receiving yards per game (62), and total receiving yards (369).
Douglas is coached by Jay Rhoades, in his eighth season. While leading the Bearcats, his teams have won three state titles, have played in the state title games five times, and have never had a losing record.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. There is no admission charge. Prior to kickoff, the seniors from the RHS football team, marching band and cheerleaders will be recognized.
Class 3-A football standings
Class 3-A East
Douglas 6-0, 3-0
Riverton 4-2, 3-0
Lander 2-4, 2-1
Torrington 2-4, 1-2
Rawlins 1-5, 0-3
Buffalo 0-6, 0-3
Class 3-A West
Powell 6-0, 3-0
Star Valley 3-3, 2-1
Cody 4-2, 2-1
Jackson 3-3, 1-2
Worland 3-3, 1-2
Green River 1-5, 0-3
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