Cody Repeats as 3A Football Champs With Big Win Over Jackson
The Cody Broncs are back-to-back state champs after winning the Class 3A football title 41-24 over Jackson on Friday in Laramie.
In their 100th season of football, Cody completes its first undefeated season and first back-to-back state football championships. It was the seventh title in school history.
It was 14-10, Cody, at halftime. In the second half, Cody turned four interceptions into 27 points. Three of those were returned for touchdowns. That broke the game wide open, as Cody led 35-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Broncs’ head coach Matt McFadden said that was big.
“Those are good players back there (in our secondary), and we knew they were good players all year. Jackson, they’re tough. They’ve got some good players and a tough scheme to stop, but really proud of those kids. Especially on a couple of them, they got burned by them (those passes) in the first half, and for those kids to make an adjustment on their own, and picks that off, those were huge.”
McFadden admitted their defense got tired because Jackson had the ball nearly 11 minutes of the third quarter and more early in the fourth thanks to the pick-sixes.
Jackson took a 3-0 lead on Braden Hills’ 31-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Cody answered right back with a Luke Talich to Kellon George 16-yard TD pass for a 7-3 lead.
In the second quarter, the teams traded four punts. Jackson put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive and took the lead on Brody Hasenack’s 29-yard TD run. That made it 10-7.
Again, Cody responded with a quick TD in the final minute, as Talich hit George for the second time from 24-yards out.
After a punt on their opening drive of the second half, Jackson had their next three drives end with an interception return for a TD by Cody. The first was an 89-yard return by Remy Broussard. The next two were by Matt Nelson. He returned the first 59-yards for a 28-10 lead. His next one was a 100-yard return on the third play of the fourth quarter.
McFadden said, “Our defense got tired there for a bit. It didn’t seem like the offense touched the field for like 20 minutes. Just huge plays, you know, players making plays, and those guys (Broussard and Nelson) are both players.”
Talich connected with Drew Trotter on a 17-yard TD pass that stretched Cody’s lead to 41-10 with 3:43 left.
Jackson added two late TD runs by Hasenack from one and two yards out for the final margin, 41-24.
Cody had only 281 yards of offense thanks to the INT returns. They ran for 152 yards. Talich finished 7-13 for 129 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. On defense, Jackson Schroeder had 12 tackles, which included one sack and two tackles for loss.
McFadden also said that Talich broke his finger the first play of the game and stayed in there.
“If that tells you anything about him, he’s tough. He’s a player. We had him back on punt return, and he couldn’t catch a punt. Luckily, it wasn’t his throwing hand, but he’s an amazing athlete. He’s always been an athlete, but I’ve said this time and time again, he’s an amazing leader.”
Jackson finished with 581 yards of total offense. Sadler Smith went 28-50 for 349 yards and four interceptions. Hasenack added 141 yards rushing and the three scores. Clancy Meagher led the Broncs’ defense with seven tackles and one interception. Jackson had a time-of-possession advantage of 31:40 to 16:20 for Cody.
McFadden added, “This was their goal. We’ve never had a back-to-back (football championships in school history). This was the 100th year of Cody football and to have back-to-back, and an undefeated season, which we’ve never had, is pretty special for them.”
Cody completes 2021 with an 11-0 record, while Jackson finished 9-3.