One hear after the pandemic forced the state title games to be played at host sites, the Wyoming State High School Football Championships returned to the University of Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium over the weekend.
Five teams made their debuts at The War, which first hosted all five state championship games in 2009. When the final seconds ticked off the clock Saturday, though, it was the familiar blue-and-gold Broncs of Sheridan who were celebrating with their fans on the Jonah Field turf.
Sheridan improved to 7-2 in state championship games at War Memorial. Natrona County (four) and Cheyenne East (one) are the only other Class 4A teams to win at the venerable stadium.
Senior Carter McComb returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown and the Broncs rode that momentum to a 45-27 victory over newcomer Rock Springs. McComb joined former Broncs Kody Williams (2009 vs. Cheyenne Central) and Aaron Session (2017 vs, Natrona County) as Sheridan players who returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
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In addition to the Tigers, Encampment, Rocky Mountain and Jackson all lost in their War Memorial debuts. Shoshoni, which defeated Rocky Mountain in the Class 1A/6-man game, was the only newcomer to finish its season celebrating in the South end zone.
Here’s a look at some of the numbers and notes from Championship Weekend.
3 — Pick-sixes for Cody in its 41-24 victory over Jackson in the 3A game.
217 — All-purpose yards for Cody junior Matt Nelson, who returned three punts for 58 yards and three interceptions for 159 yards, including a 100-yard pick-six.
340 — Passing yards for Jackson’s Sadler Smith in the Broncs’ loss to Cody. The senior was 28-of-50 with four interceptions. He also ran for 91 yards.
581 — Total offensive yards for Jackson.
281 — Total offensive yards for Cody.
230 — Rushing yards for Sheridan junior Colson Coon, who also scored four touchdowns.
543 — Combined all-purpose yards for Sheridan brothers Evan (102 in 2015), Garrett (201 in 2018-19) and Colson (240 in 2021) Coon in state championship games. The Broncs won all four games.
8 — Combined touchdowns for Evan (2), Garrett (2) and Colson (4) at The War.
699 — Combined all-purpose yards for Snake River brothers Riggen (480 in 2019) and Hadley (219 in 2021) Myers in state championship games.
9 — Combined touchdowns for Riggen (6) and Hadley (3).
8 — Scoring plays of at least 30 yards in the Snake River-Encampment 6-man game.
1985 — The last time Shoshoni won a state title.
14 — Combined points for Lyman (8) and Lovell (6) in the 2A title game. The previous lowest point total in a 2A title game at War Memorial was 22 in 2010 when Thermopolis defeated Big Horn 13-9.
3 — Completed passes in the Lyman-Lovell game.
15 — Tackles for Lovell junior Preston Nichols. He had 12 solo stops and 2.0 tackles for loss.
6 — Tackles for loss for Snake River senior Zander Risner. He also had 2.0 sacks and forced two fumbles.
18.5 — Average margin of victory for Sheridan in its seven championship victories at War Memorial (40.6-22.1).
64.3 — Scoring average for Snake River in its four state championship victories.
- The “home” team won all five games. The only previous years that had happened were 2010 and ‘18.
- All five games featured rematches of regular-season matchups, with the same team winning both games.
- Lyman and Lovell met for the third time (2011-12, 2021) at The War. The only teams with more head-to-head matchups at War Memorial are Sheridan and Natrona County, who faced off in 2010 and from 2016-18. Star Valley-Powell (2012, ‘16 and ‘19) and Cokeville-Lusk (2010, 2013-14) have played three games against each other at The War.
- Cody, which fielded its first team in 1921, had never gone undefeated or won back-to-back state titles in a season. The Broncs accomplished both of those things with their victory against Jackson.
Follow sports editor Jack Nowlin on Twitter @CASJackN