After playing each other in the first game of the season, Thunder Basin and Cheyenne East match-up in the finale, and it’s for the Class 4A Football State Championship on Saturday.

Thunder Basin won the first meeting this season in week 0, 34-28. East had a chance to win it, but Thunderbirds QB Graedyn Buell was tripped up on the final play that allowed the Bolts to hold on for a victory. East has rattled off 10 consecutive wins since this game on Aug. 28.

WyoPreps talked with Thunder Basin head coach Trent Pikula and East head coach Chad Goff before this game. They both discussed what got them to this point, improvements they’ve seen from their team during the season, what their takeaway was from the first game over two months ago, and some of their keys to a victory in the rematch at the top of this story.

Match-up Breakdown:

Thunder Basin (9-2) – Trent Pikula: 4th year as head coach; 0 state championships in school history; the second straight year in the Class 4A title game

Cheyenne East (10-1) – Chad Goff: 15th year as head coach; 4 state championships in school history; the most recent was in 2013 (14-13 over Natrona County)

Thunder Basin leads the all-time series, 4-1. The first meeting was in 2017. This will be the first match-up for a championship. It is the second in the postseason. The Bolts beat the T-birds in the semis last year, 27-21, in Gillette.

Key Match-up:

The top two offenses in Class 4A will go up against two of the top three defenses. East has had the No. 1 passing offense in the state all season. In the first meeting, Buell accounted for 413 yards of total offense and was responsible for four TDs, two passing and two rushing. Can the Bolts control the clock to keep Buell on the sideline? Will the T-birds defense be able to slow down Pikula and get off the field to give the ball to their offense? Which team can accomplish their main priority could be the one that goes home with the trophy.

Kick-off is at 1 p.m. in Cheyenne on Saturday.

Series history information is Courtesy of

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