Star Valley Surprises Cody and Wins the 3A Championship, 14-7 [VIDEO]
A 17-yard TD pass from Taft McClure to Derek Astle helped the Star Valley Braves knock off the Cody Broncs, 14-7, in the 3A football state championship game on Friday in Laramie.
Star Valley captured a football title for the 13th time in school history and the first time since 2019.
The loss prevented a three-peat by Cody and snapped the state’s longest win streak at 26 straight games.
A fumble on a punt return and a short punt deep in their own end by the Broncs led to both Star Valley touchdowns.
A 48-yard punt pinned Cody at its two-yard line late in the third quarter. After a three-and-out, the Broncs’ punt traveled 12-yards, and the Braves took at Cody’s 14-yard line. Four plays later, and after a penalty, McClure found Astle in the left corner of the endzone for the go-ahead TD just 26 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Broncs drove to the Star Valley 44-yard line but it stalled, and Cody punted. Star Valley picked up four first downs and kept the ball for the final 6:53 for a victory.
The two rivals were separated by nine yards of total offense. The Braves finished with 258 yards, while the Broncs had 249 yards on offense.
McClure threw for 175 yards, two TDs, and one interception. Wyatt Crogg had seven catches for 87 yards. Brandon Beck led the Braves defense with 13 tackles, which included two sacks and four tackles for loss. Astle added 12 tackles.
Cody ran for 187 yards. Jackson Schroeder had 80 yards and one touchdown. He had ten tackles on defense with one sack and two tackles for loss. Grayson Beaudrie added nine tackles and a half-sack. Sophomore QB Maddax Ball was 9-21 for 62 yards. The Broncs played without senior Luke Talich, who was injured in the semifinal victory over Buffalo.
Both teams scored in the first quarter. A fumble on a punt led the Star Valley’s first TD. McClure connected with Chase Stewart from 19 yards out for a 7-0 lead. Cody answered two drives later with a 10-yard TD run by Schroeder.
Star Valley won for the fifth time since the championship games were played in Laramie.
This was the ninth consecutive 3A title won by either the Braves or the Broncs.
Star Valley finished with an overall record of 10-2. Cody was 10-1 in the 2022 season.