LARAMIE — All season, Kimball Madsen and Braeden Walk split time at quarterback for Mountain View. So it was only fitting that the two sophomores both had a hand in the Buffalos’ game-winning touchdown Friday.
Madsen found Walk on a crossing pattern from 12 yards out with just 7 seconds remaining to lift Mountain View to a 35-28 victory over Glenrock in the Wyoming State High School Class 2A Football Championship at War Memorial Stadium.
“It was designed to have somebody out in the flat,” explained Madsen, who took over for Walk at quarterback late in the first half. “Earlier in the game we had run that play and we had people open on the backside.
“I rolled out and I wasn’t really seeing anything, and then I turned around and there was Braeden. I knew I could throw it to him and he would catch it.”
Madsen was asked if the play was designed to go to Walk.
“Not really,” Madsen said, “he was just there.”
Glenrock ran one final play after Mountain View kicked off, but the Herders’ first pass of the game was incomplete and the Buffalos and their fans stormed the field.
Mountain View’s game-winning drive began at its own 11-yard line with 4 minutes, 10 seconds to play after the Buffalos forced a punt.
The Mountain View sophomores then took over. Running back Briggin Bluemel had five carries for 16 yards; Madsen carried the ball four times for 43 yards, including a 25-yard run on third-and-11, and completed 3 of 4 passes for 24 yards; and Walk had one carry for 1 yard before catching the game-winner.
“We knew we were going to score on that last drive,” Walk said.
Mountain View head coach Brent Walk, Braeden’s father, admitted his son wasn’t the first option on the touchdown catch.
“We were bringing Braeden across (the middle), but it wasn’t necessarily a throw-back,” he said. “He found an open spot and then … ‘Oh, my god! What a great play!’
“Sophomore to sophomore to win a state championship. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
Glenrock (9-2) was seemingly in control after Payton Steinmetz returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown late in the first half to allow the Herders to take a 28-14 lead into the locker room. At that point, Glenrock had rushed for 278 yards. Junior Tucker Bopp had 217 of those, including touchdown runs of 80 and 44 yards.
Bopp finished with 310 yards on 28 rushes, but the Herders were never able to establish any offensive momentum in the second half.
Brent Walk said his team didn’t necessarily make any halftime changes to shut down the Herders’ rushing attack.
“We made a few defensive adjustments,” he said, “but we stayed in our defensive scheme. Our kids just came out and played.”
Mountain View (9-2) cut the lead to 28-21 on the opening drive of the second half, with Madsen scoring on a 6-yard run one play after a 42-yard completion to Braeden Walk. The Buffalos then put together a 12-play, 80-yard drive to tie the game with 6:14 to play when Madsen pushed into the end zone from 1 yard out.