GREEN RIVER, WYOMING (October 9, 2020) – It was homecoming and senior night for the Green River High School football squad on Friday. With extra motivation, the Wolves came out fired up.
But a second half collapse and staggering second-half defense from Powell High School deemed too much for Green River to handle. The Wolves lost to the Panthers, 44-20.
After the game, Green River head coach Kevin Cuthbertson told the seniors he was sorry.
“It was their night,” he said. “I wanted to make sure they had a great experience on their senior night and their homecoming. I wanted to give them a win. We came out. We gave it our best shot. We just came up on the wrong end tonight.”
The Wolves came out on a defensive tear. With just under 10 minutes in the opening quarter, senior Kolby Ivie saved a long drive by the Panthers by forcing a fumble on Green River’s 10-yard line. Unfortunately, a bad snap nearly a minute later caused the Powell to recover the ball in the end zone to put the Panthers on top, 7-0.
Green River responded. Senior quarterback found senior Trevor Brangham for a big 76-yard gain to put the Wolves near the 1-yard line. Moments later, sophomore running back Bracken Miller rushed into the end zone to tie the game.
Powell went into the second quarter with a 14-7 lead after rushing in a touchdown with 3:22 remaining. However, it was the Wolves who opened up the second quarter with a 8-yard touchdown pass from Fuss to junior wide receiver Dylan Taylor to tie the game at 14.
Green River’s defense continued to come up big. With about 10 minutes left in the second quarter, junior Alex Atkinson recovered a Powell fumble. Then about two minutes later, the Wolves put pressure on Powell senior quarterback Landon Lengfelder, who then threw an interception to the hands of Taylor.
Cuthbertson said forcing turnovers has been a point of emphasis for the Wolves during practices and team meetings.
“Something we’ve really been preaching and pushing with the kids is trying to get the ball, taking it away. Turnovers win games for you and we had those turnovers. They created opportunities for us in the first half and we capitalized on those,” he said.
With about 4:30 left in the first half, Powell took a 54-yard pass to the house to regain the lead.
With just under two minutes left and after another forced turnover by Green River, the Wolves found the end zone again. Fuss located senior wide receiver Seth White for a 4-yard touchdown. But the Wolves couldn’t capitalize on the extra point, which allowed Powell to go into halftime with a one-point advantage.
It was a different second half for the Wolves and the Panthers.
The Panthers increased their effort to stop the run, which forced the Wolves to throw the ball more often. Green River couldn’t capitalize and made mistakes. There was a bad snap, a fumble and an interception, which led to easy points for the Panthers.
“We come out in the second half and we really got our running game stymied tonight. Not making excuses or anything, but they really shut down our running game,” Cuthbertson said.
“When you become one dimensional like that and you can only do one thing and throw the ball like we did tonight, it really showed in that second half. We were one dimensional. They did a good job defending us in the second half.”
One thing Cuthbertson said he wants to see from his squad moving forward is not lose confidence and have a short memory.
“We got to make sure when we make mistakes, we don’t hang our hats,” he said. “We got keep battling, no matter what happens on the field. The most important play is the next play.”