Oct. 29—The Laramie High football team's season came to an end on Friday with a 52-27 loss at Sheridan.
The Plainsmen went into the matchup as the No. 8 seed in the Class 4A playoffs. Sheridan was the No. 1 seed and claimed home-field advantage after going undefeated in the regular season.
Laramie's long night started on the very first play from scrimmage. Sheridan quarterback Cael Gilbertson hit wide receiver Mathew Ketner on a 54-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead just 22 seconds in the game.
After the Plainsmen turned the ball over on downs on their first offensive drive, the Laramie defense came up with a big play to swing the momentum. Defensive lineman Abraham Bangoura recovered a Sheridan fumble to give the Plainsmen another opportunity to keep the game close but the offense was forced to punt after three plays.
Sheridan took over at its own 45-yard line and quickly extended its lead with a 2-yard touchdown run by Colson Coon to go up 14-0 with 3:35 left in the first quarter. Laramie's offense stalled for a third consecutive drive and the Broncs took advantage of the Plainsmen's slow start with a 78-yard touchdown run by Ketner on a jet-sweep to take a 21-0 lead with 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
Scoring slowed down a bit in the second quarter. Laramie punted to open the quarter but Bangoura stripped Coon and recovered his second fumble of the game to keep the Sheridan offense off the field. The Plainsmen couldn't capitalize and punted for a fifth time in the half.
The Broncs took a four-touchdown lead with an 11-yard run by Coon with 4:16 left in the second quarter to go up 28-0. Both teams had opportunities to score before the halftime break but failed to come away with any points.
Sheridan picked up right where it left off in the second half, picking off a pass from Laramie quarterback Ben Malone on the Plainsmen's opening drive. The Broncs turned around and scored on a 69-yard touchdown run by Coon to go up 35-0 with 9:53 left in the third quarter.
Laramie was finally able to get on the board with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Malone to wide receiver Mason Branch to cut the Broncs' lead to 35-7 with 6:58 left in the third quarter. The score was set up by a big 73-yard pass from Malone to Branch to get the Plainsmen into scoring position.
Laramie's momentum didn't last long. The Broncs responded to the Plainsmen's score with a touchdown of their own less than 2 minutes later.
Gilbertson connected with wide receiver Dane Steel for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 5:33 left in the third quarter to put the Broncs up 42-7. After another Laramie punt, Sheridan extended the lead to 49-7 with a 57-yard touchdown run by Terran Grooms with 3:38 left in the third quarter.
The Plainsmen started the fourth quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Malone to Branch to cut the Broncs' lead to 49-14 with 11:53 left in the game.
After a Sheridan punt, Malone connected with wide receiver Adrien Calderon for a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 49-21 with 8:16 left in the fourth quarter. The score was set up by a pair of long passes on the drive, including a 35-yard pass from Malone to Calderon and a 27-yard pass from Malone to Branch.
The Broncs knocked through a 22-yard field goal by Coon with 1:10 left in the game and Malone found Calderon on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left to bring the game to its final score of 52-27 after the extra-point attempt was blocked.
Malone finished the game with four passing touchdowns and one interception. Branch and Calderon both had two receiving touchdowns.
For the Broncs, Coon led the team with three rushing touchdowns followed by Ketner and Grooms with one rushing touchdown apiece. Gilbertson threw two passing touchdowns, with one going to Ketner and the other to Steel.
Sheridan will move on to host No. 4 seed Cheyenne Central in the Class 4A semifinals next weekend. The Broncs beat the Indians 24-21 in the first week of regular season. On the other side of the bracket, Cheyenne East will host Natrona County.
Laramie's season ends with a 2-8 record.
Alex Taylor covers the University of Wyoming for WyoSports. He can be reached at email@example.com or 269-364-3560. Follow him on Twitter at @alex_m_taylor22