1 vs. 2 Match-up in Class 4A is the WyoPreps ‘Game of the Week’
Our WyoPreps.com high school football ‘Game of the Week’ as voted by the fans is a big school, No. 1 vs. No. 2 Showdown in Class 4A.
Top-ranked Thunder Basin hosts second-ranked Sheridan. The winner of this game will be the lone unbeaten in Class 4A.
Both teams are coming off impressive victories over top-four ranked opponents last week. The Bolts came from behind in the last few minutes to win at No. 3 Cheyenne East, 31-30. The Broncs controlled their 31-7 victory over previous No. 1 Natrona County from start to finish.
This game features Sheridan’s No. 3 rush offense at nearly 200 yards per game going up against Thunder Basin’s top-ranked rush defense in Class 4A, which allows only 67 yards per game.
WyoPreps’ David Settle caught up with both head coaches for some more insight into this week’s big game. Sheridan head coach Jeff Mowry and Thunder Basin head coach Trent Pikula both spoke about their wins last week, improvements their teams are showing, but also concern areas, and about this big matchup in the video above.
This is only the fourth meeting between the new rivals, as Thunder Basin High School is only in its third year of existence. The Broncs have won two of the first three games in the series. Both Sheridan wins have come in Gillette. That included last year’s playoff semifinal victory, 14-7.
Who to Watch for Sheridan: Broncs’ senior Garrett Coon is off to a terrific start for his senior season. He is the No. 2 rusher in Class 4A at over 131 yards per game and already has seven touchdowns this season. Coon also ranks 11th in defensive points. Toby Jacobs is the top target at receiver. He has an 80-yard TD catch this season and is among 4A’s top 10 in receiving. Zach Koltiska is Sheridan’s leading defensive player ranked No. 10 in points. Koltiska has a sack, an interception, and has blocked a punt this season.
Who to Watch for Thunder Basin: Mason Hamilton leads a Bolts offense that averages nearly seven yards per play and 47.7 points per game. The senior QB is the No. 4 passer in Class 4A. Jaxon Pikula is part of a couple of running back Thunder Basin uses. He averages 9.9 yards per rush with four TDs. Caleb Driskill is a senior that anchors the Bolts’ defense at linebacker. He is No. 3 in defensive points and averages 13 tackles per game. Isaiah Halliburton averages nearly 25 yards per punt return. He has the three longest returns in Class 4A this year and took one back 89 yards for a touchdown earlier this season.
Key Segments of the Game:
Sheridan - The Broncs have used short fields against their opponents to control the game. Can they prevent big plays and long drives by the Bolts potent attack? With some younger players in key spots, how do they react in a second straight big game?
Thunder Basin – The Bolts can strike from anywhere, but if needed, can they sustain a long drive or simply flip the field if called upon? Halliburton’s ability in the return game could aid in the field position battle, but will Sheridan even kick to him? Is Thunder Basin’s offensive line up to the challenge against a Sheridan defense that will present different looks to try to confuse opposing offenses?
Kick-off at Bolts Stadium in Gillette is at 7 p.m. on Friday.