Nov 4, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Lander Tigers end their season with a 4-5 record, while Cody moves to the Class 3-A semifinals.
Cody exploded for 28 points in the fourth quarter to break Friday's opening round Class 3-A West football playoff game wide open in a 49-19 win over the Lander Tigers.
Cody's road win at Bill Bush Memorial Stadium ended the season for the Tigers.
Lander completed the year at 4-5 after starting with an 0-3 record.
"I told them after the game on how special a team this was," Lander coach Doug Hughes said. "Maybe in 24 years of coaching, I hadn't seen a team improve as much as this team from the first game until the last one. They played their hearts out in every single play. My hat's off to them."
The Tigers entered the single-elimination bracket as the No. 2 seed from the East conference.
"Cody is a very physical team," Hughes said. "They kind of took a couple of weapons away from us with injuries early in the game. We just had to adjust. The kids just worked really hard."
Cody blanked Lander 28-0 in the season opener in Park County.
"Cody realized how much we have improved," Hughes said. "They didn't think that it was easy as the first game."
Cody is the No. 3 seed from the powerful West conference.
Cody now advances to play Powell in one of the Class 3-A semifinals next Friday night for a spot in the title game.
Powell beat up Torrington 48-20 in one of the other opening round games.
Powell won the West regional season title.
Lander players in the first half of the playoff game with Cody.
Quarterback Pete Spriggs went out in the second quarter with an injury and didn't return.
Andrew Von Rein came in and played the rest of the contest at quarterback.
Defensive back Reb Lindwurm was injured early in the first half.
"Reb probably cracked a rib early in the first quarter," Hughes said. "That limited what we could do."
Lindwurm was coming off a two-interception performance in a 22-21 win for the Tigers over the Riverton Wolverines.
Lander running back Jack Mazurie was bothered by a hand injury all night long.
"He didn't feel that he could carry the ball until later in the game when it started feeling better," Hughes said.
Mazurie did play in his linebacker spot in the second half.
Lander took the early 3-0 lead on a 34-yard field goal from Jaxon Hedges midway through the first quarter.
Cody took the momentum with touchdown runs from Walker Williams (2-yard run) and Noah Rivera (24-yard run) for a 14-3 lead with seven minutes left in the second quarter.
Hedges added a 27-yard field goal late in the second quarter when the Tigers were stopped short of the end zone.
Cody went into the break up 21-6.
Cody never lost the lead in the final two periods of the playoff game.
After a scoreless third quarter by both the teams, Cody's depth came in handy in the final 12 minutes of the game.
Ryan Nieters scored on a 40-yard pass from Blake Hinze for a 28-6 cushion with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The scoring pace picked up for both teams in the final nine minutes of the period.
Myers put in a 7-yard touchdown run at 35-6 to secure the win for the visiting team.
Mazurie scored on a 12-yard run for Lander with four minutes left, and Von Rein punched in six points on the final play of the game on a 2-yard run.
Von Rein started off the game as the backup to Spriggs.
Cody 49, Lander 19
CODY 0 21 0 28 -- 49
LANDER 3 3 0 13 -- 19
Lander -- Jaxon Hedges, 34-yard field goal, 6:07, 3-0.
Cody -- Walker Williams, 2-yard run, (Cody PAT), 10:28, 3-7.
Cody -- Noah Rivera, 24-yard run, (Cody PAT), 7:13, 3-14.
Cody -- Carter Meyer, 36-yard run, (Cody PAT), 7:13, 3-21.
Lander -- Hedges, 27-yard field goal, 1:58, 6-21.
Cody -- Ryan Nieters 40-yard pass from Blake Hinze, (Cody PAT), 10:51, 6-28.
Cody -- Myers 7-yard run, (Cody PAT), 8:10, 6-35.
Lander -- Jack Mazurie, 12-yard run, (Hedges PAT), 4:05, 13-35.
Cody -- Rivera, 41-yard run, (Cody PAT), 13-42, 3:45.
Cody -- Myers recovered blocked punt in end zone, (Cody PAT), 13-49, 1:33.
Lander -- Andrew Von Rein, 2-yard run, as time went off, 19-49.
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