WyoPreps Game of the Week: #5 Cokeville at #4 Tongue River [VIDEO]
The fifth-ranked Cokeville Panthers face the No. 4 Tongue River Eagles in Dayton on Friday in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs at 4 p.m.
The Eagles are 8-1 on the season with their lone blemish against country rival Big Horn.
The Panthers are 6-2 this year. Their only setbacks were against Lovell and Lyman.
In the video interviews, WyoPreps’ David Settle spoke to both head coaches, Marty Linford of Cokeville and Steve Hanson of Tongue River. The discussion centered on how each coach felt about how his team was playing entering the playoffs, what they thought of their opponent and some keys to having success in the game on Friday afternoon.
A crucial part of this match-up is the ground game. Cokeville is No. 2 in Class 2A and averages 227 yards rushing per game. By contrast, Tongue River has the No. 1 rush defense and allows only 67 yards per game. The Eagles also have the No. 1 overall defense in Class 2A and give up just 130 yards and 8.6 points per game.
The Panthers are led by Jack Dayton, the No. 1 rusher in the division at 110.9 yards per game. He averages nearly seven yards per attempt and has 11 touchdowns on the season. Defensively, Cokeville is anchored by Landon Walker and Cael Thompson. They are fifth and seventh in Class 2A in defensive points. The Panthers only allow 218 yards and just under 12 points per game.
Tongue River is led by QB Connor Cummins, who is third in 2A in passing at 162 yards per game. He has thrown 1,458 yards, 17 touchdowns, and ten interceptions. Alex Barker is a compliment on the ground at nearly 96 yards rushing per game. The Eagles have three receivers in the top 10 of 2A. Tavis Aksamit and Colter Hanft are the leaders on defense and rank eighth and 13th, respectively.
This will be the sixth meeting on the football field between the two programs, according to wyoming-football.com. Tongue River leads the all-time series, 3-2. Four of those games have been part of the playoffs. The Eagles are 3-1 against the Panthers in the postseason and have won the last two playoff games, in 2015 and 2016. They met for a 6-man championship in 1956. TR won that game, 32-26.
Cokeville’s all-time playoff record is 74-22. Tongue River is 10-16 in the postseason.