Panthers PAT The Difference Over Tigers In 1A [VIDEO]
Both teams scored twice, but, a converted PAT is the difference as Cokeville wins their 21st State Football Title.
Scroll down to see video highlights!
Coming into the 1A title game it was understood that points would be at a premium as the top two defensive teams in the state were set to butt heads.
The feeling of most coming into the game was that the battle could hinge on big plays or turnovers.
The Cokeville Panthers were the first ones to strike on a Lusk mistake, on fourth and 15 Matt VandeBossche took the snap and tried to side step and get off a rugby style kick, but he was unable to get the punt off as the Panther defense swarmed him under.
Cokeville would take over on the Tiger 9 yard line, three plays later Jace Petersen would get the Panthers on the board with 3 yard scamper.
The extra point attempt however was no good and the lead was 6-0 nothing with 6:51 left in the first.
The teams would exchange punts and turnover on downs until Lusk got their break as Brady Thurston recovered a Macen Petersen fumble at the Panther 39 yard line.
It would take only five plays before Hunter Dockery would hit a wide open Logan Lamar from 7 yards out tying the game at 6 as the two point conversion attempt would fail.
The Tiger touchdown came at the 8:07 mark in the 2nd quarter, the defensive struggle would continue until the first half gun would sound with the game knotted at six.
Coming out of the half Lusk would get the ball first and quickly go three and out, but on the punt the ball would bounce in and out of the hands of James Teichert at the Cokeville 29 yard line before Derick VandeBossche would fall on it for the Tigers.
Five plays later Hunter Dockery would sneak into the end zone from just a yard out and after a false start pushed the Tigers back to the 7 yard line they were unable to make the two point conversion leaving them with a 12-6 lead with 8:29 left in the 3rd quarter.
The ensuing Cokeville possession would see the first long sustained drive by either team in the ball game as the Panthers would take it 63 yards on fourteen plays chewing up 6:43 off the game clock, scoring on a Jace Petersen one yard sneak.
The extra point this time was good for the Panthers and with 1:46 left in the 3rd quarter Cokeville goes back in front 13-12.
The teams would once again exchange punts until Lusk would take over with 5:44 left in the ball game as time was starting to become of the essence, the Tigers would pick up one first down before turning it over on downs with 3:03 left.
Just when you thought it had slipped away from the Tigers, Derik VandeBossche forced a fumble from Petersen and Lusk would recover at their own 42 with 2:04 left.
This time it was the Cokeville defense that came up big as they would force an incomplete pass on 4th and 4 with 1:40 left in the contest.
With the ball back in their hands all the Panthers had to do was run a couple plays and kneel on it once to wrap up yet another state title 13-12.
I can only guess that they're new to the area, and didn't like the 'gentle breeze' that was blowing for most of the afternoon.
Cokeville vs. Lusk in the 1A State Championship Game...first quarter...Lusk wearing the white...and showing why they have the #1 defense in the state in all classes...James Teichert just ran into a brick wall named Derick VandeBossche...and that play was going nowhere. Cokeville had the 3rd best rushing attack in the state in all classes coming into this game.
It was one of those games, where we had to wait and see who was going to make the first mistake...Matthew VandeBossche hesitated on deciding whether to run or punt...and the Panthers made the choice for him...Macen Peterson brings him down inside the 10 yard line...and when you have that short of a field to work with...you better score.
It took about 4 plays and they eventually would...Jace Peterson will take the long way around...a lot of work for 3 yards, but it got the 6 points...PAT no good, so the score was 6-to-nothing.
The boys in black could play some D as well...Hunter Dockery will dodge the initial attack...but Colter Veihweg would trip him up from behind for the sack...the score would stay at 6-zip after the first 12 minutes.
Second Quarter...the Tiger defense needed to make a play...and they would sink their claws into this one...Logan Lamar ended up being the one to force the fumble...and Zane Hladky would fall on it for the recovery at the enemy 39 yard line...a good place to set up shop and now the offense needed to get to work.
It was only proper that the sophomore that set this drive up, would also be the one to finish...Dockery with a quick 7 yard strike to Lamar for the equalizer...2 point try no good, so this game is tied up at 6 points a piece.
Actually that last play was rare...because there were very few passes completed through-out this game...Dockery wants to go deep, but he threw into double coverage...Kennan Thompson gets the interception for the boys in black...to preserve this 6-6 draw, when both teams went into the locker room.
3rd quarter...again both sides were waiting for the other to botch up...and this time it was the special teams unit that made a play...Kayce Bruegger was bobbling the punt when he got hit...that's a fumble...Derick VandeBossche was quick to recover for Lusk, who was hoping to seize the momentum of this game.
About 5 plays later...Dockery will call his own number and sneak the ball across the goal line...2 point try no good...and that and the previous try would come back to haunt later...the Tigers are now ahead, 12-to-6.
Cokeville would then march...14 plays...63 yards...all on the ground...Peterson gets the finish...plus the PAT...which would make a difference. Panthers now lead 13-to-12.
The one thing that the boys in black did not do all game...was complete a pass...that's because everytime they thought about it...the opposing defense already had Peterson wrapped up...Hladky with the initial hit...Brady Thurston with the assist, and last year's state runner-ups were thankful that they were only down 13-12, going into the final 12 minutes.
4th quarter...about 3 minutes to go...the Tigers went for it on 4th and 14 at their own 46...Petersen went on the stunt route and no one blocked him...a turnover on downs...Lusk's undefeated season was in serious trouble at this point in the game.
All the boys in black needed to do was hang on to the ball...but that was easier said than done...Derick Vandebossche was quick to get to Petersen...and was even quicker to pounce on the fumble...he just gave his team new life, with 2 minutes left on the clock.
Later...Lusk facing 4th and 4 at their own 48...they need a first down...Dockery on the run...Lamar was the target...but the pass is incomplete...and that's ball game. The window of opportunity, has slammed shut.
Despite not completing a pass the entire game...Coach Todd Dayton and his Panthers make a triumphant return to Laramie, to win the programs' 21st state title...after getting knocked out in the semi-finals last year.
Final score...13-to-12. Cokeville would finish the season...with a record of 10-and-1.