A top-five showdown between two old SEWAC rivals is a WyoPreps Game of the Week, as fifth-ranked Southeast visits No. 1 Pine Bluffs on Friday night.

The Hornets come into the game with a 7-0 record. The Cyclones have won six straight and are 6-1. Both teams are undefeated in conference games.

The winner will take the top seed from the East Conference into next week’s playoffs, while the loser settles for the No. 2 seed.

Pine Bluffs has the No. 1 offense in 9-man football at 429 yards and 50 points per game. Can the Cyclones slow them down? Southeast allows only 284 yards and just under 18 points per game.

On offense, the Cyclones are at 291 yards and 37.5 points per game. They’ll face the No. 1 defense by the Hornets, who allow 119.6 yards and only 10 points per game.

Two of the key players are Stu Lerwick of Pine Bluffs and Ayden Desmond of Southeast. The two signal-callers trigger each team’s attack. The ball is in their hands to make the right decisions. They are two of the top-three passers in the 9-man division.

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WyoPreps got to talk with both coaches prior to Friday’s game. Southeast head coach Mark Bullington and Pine Bluffs’ head coach Will Gray broke down the matchup. Both pointed toward fundamentals deciding this one. Bullington feels his team has been opportunistic and relies on its defense. He said their conference has grown over the last six games. Gray says his team remains focused on what’s in front of them, as they try not to look ahead. He downplayed any notion of last year’s semifinal loss playing a motivating factor. Both also discussed key personnel and some players who have stepped up during the season.

The series between the Cyclones and Hornets dates back to 1978. From the series history at wyoming-football.com, this game is the 47th. Southeast enjoys a 31-15 lead in the series.

The game will start at 7 p.m. on Friday at Carlstrum Field in Pine Bluffs.

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