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Oil Bowl: Natrona County takes down Kelly Walsh to retain trophy

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The Oil Bowl trophy is staying at Natrona County. The visiting Mustangs ground out a 26-6 victory over Kelly Walsh on Friday night to keep the hardware on the west side of Casper for the sixth consecutive year.

The Mustangs (3-1) were unable to take advantage of great field position on their first two drives.

After Breckin McClintock intercepted Kelly Walsh quarterback Gibson Sasser's first pass of the game and returned it to the KW 6-yard line, NC went backwards. Mason Weickum lost one yard and then KW's Derek Burt burst through the line to sack NC quarterback Wyatt Powell for a 10-yard loss. Powell's third-down pass was incomplete and, on fourth down, Aiden Emanuelson blocked Rogan Potter's 27-yard field-goal attempt.

Natrona County's next drive started at the KW 32 following a six-yard punt. The Mustangs got one first down but turned it over on downs when Powell's pass to the end zone was incomplete.

The Mustangs finally broke through on their next drive when Evan Lango fought off a KW defender on the sideline to catch Powell's pass at the Trojans' 25 and then racing to the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 2 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

After forcing another KW turnover on downs, Natrona County put its ground game to work. Powell and Weickum carried the ball six times for 42 yards, with Powell going the final 14 yards to push the lead to 13-0 with 9:47 to play in the first half.

Kelly Walsh (1-3) had its best scoring opportunity of the first half on the enduing possession, but the NC defense stopped Kadon Boyce for no gain on back-to-back carries and the Mustangs took over at their own 12.

The Trojans finally broke through midway through the third quarter when Sasser rolled out and connected with Emanuelson for a short gain, but the senior broke through the NC defensive backfield and took it in for a 39-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13-6.

The Trojans' celebration was short-lived. Two plays later, Weickum got free on the outside and raced 74 yards to the end zone to push the advantage to 20-6. The senior added a 38-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Weickum finished with 169 yards on 17 carries while Powell had 106 yards on 21 rushing attempts. For Kelly Walsh, Sasser completed 12 of 27 passes for 152 yards with the one touchdown pass and two interceptions.

Natrona County now leads the all-time series, which began in 1965, 45-13. The Mustangs host Cheyenne South next weekend while the Trojans head to Gillette to take on the Camels.

Follow sports editor Jack Nowlin on Twitter @wyovarsity


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Sports editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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