Both Natrona County and Kelly Walsh fell to the middle of the pack in the Class 4A football race Friday night, with the Mustangs losing 27-0 at Sheridan and the Trojans suffering a 61-21 defeat at Thunder Basin.
The losses left both Natrona County and Kelly Walsh in a three-way tie with Gillette for fifth place in the standings. All three teams are two games back of Rock Springs, Cheyenne East, Sheridan and Thunder Basin with three games remaining in the regular season.
Sheridan took a 14-0 first-quarter lead on a short touchdown run by Carter McComb and an 11-yard scoring pass from Carl Askins to Dom Kaszas. The second touchdown came after the Broncs converted a fourth down on a fake punt near midfield.
The Mustangs moved deep into Sheridan territory twice in the second quarter, but turned it over on downs at the Broncs’ 16-yard line and lost a fumble at the 31 just before half.
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Dane Steel intercepted a Tyler Hill pass on NC’s first possession of the second half and turned it into a 34-yard field goal from Michael Greer. Greer added another field goal to extend the margin to 20-0. Texas Tanner capped the scoring with a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs, who came into the game averaging 184 rushing yards per game were held to 55 yards on the ground. Hill finished 21-of-36 for 101 yards and two interceptions.
Sheridan ran for 237 yards, with Colson Coon accounting for 128 of those.
Natrona County will look to end its two-game slide next week when it hosts Gillette.
Kelly Walsh had similar problems in Gillette against the Bolts.
The troubles began in the second quarter shortly after sophomore quarterback Eric Whitley scored on a 19-yard run to pull the Trojans within 13-7. McKale Holte caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Baker and Isaiah Haliburton added two TDs on a 3-yard run and a 13-yard scoring strike from Baker to give Thunder Basin a 34-7 lead at the half.
The Bolts scored the first 17 points of the second half to put the game out of reach.
KW senior Cam Burkett, who came into the game leading 4A with 540 rushing yards, was held to 68 yards on 14 carries. Whitley finished 0-for-5 passing with an interception before being replaced by Gibson Sasser, who completed 9 of 12 passes for 64 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to Landon Pepple.
Haliburton rushed for 124 yards and two TDs while Baker finished 14-of-19 for 242 yards and four touchdowns. Cade Ayers kicked four field goals for the Bolts.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Kelly Walsh, which plays at Sheridan next Friday.