WyoPreps Game of the Week: Rock Springs at East [AUDIO]
The top seed and a pair of home playoffs are on the line, as the top-ranked Rock Springs Tigers takes on No. 3 East in Cheyenne at Okie Blanchard Stadium.
This is the WyoPreps Big School Game of the Week, as voted by the fans.
Both teams enter the game at 7-1 on the season. The Thunderbirds have won seven straight after a season-opening loss to Thunder Basin. The Tigers have won four in a row after a Week 4 setback at Sheridan.
A win by Cheyenne East would give them the top seed in the playoffs. A loss places them at the No. 3 seed.
For Rock Springs, they could be the No. 1, 2, or 3 seed depending on the outcome of this game and the Sheridan-Thunder Basin game.
WyoPreps spoke to Rock Springs head coach Mark Lenhardt and East head coach Chad Goff before the big game. Both coaches like where their teams are at this point of the season, citing steady improvement. Lenhardt feels they’ve been able to rest some banged-up players but also knows they need to play closer to a complete game with their starters to be prepared for the playoffs. Goff has faced the challenge of replacing injured QB Gavin Goff and seeing running back Cade Pugh thrive in the last few weeks. Both coaches believe it will be a tough matchup with the finer points deciding this game.
These are the top two teams in Class 4A in rushing and total offense on the season. The Tigers average 235 yards per game on the ground and 390 yards of total offense. The Thunderbirds are at 203 rushing and 392 yards of total offense per game. Their strengths are opposite on defense, as Rock Springs has the top rush defense allowing only 90 yards per game, while East allows only 113 pass yards per game. The Tigers score nearly eight more points and give up close eight fewer points per game than the T-Birds.
Both have playmakers on offense. East is led by Pugh and Garret Schlabs, while the Rock Springs has Isaac Schoenfeld and Brock Bider. Can Cam Hayes make enough plays and the right decisions to help the defending champs push past the Tigers?
This will be the 50th meeting on the football field between the two programs. The series dates back to the first game in 1960. Cheyenne East holds the lead in the series at 30-19. The Thunderbirds have won five straight over the Tigers and ten of the last 11. The last Rock Springs victory was in Week 0 of 2016, 21-20. The last road win for the Tigers was in 2009, 20-0. The series history is compliments of wyoming-football.com.
The kick-off is at 6 p.m.