Cheyenne Central at Natrona County
PASSING TIME: Central has the No. 2 passing offense in 4A (213.3 yards per game), so Natrona County’s defensive backs and linebackers have to stay with receivers and hope the defensive front can put pressure on Central QB Dawson Macleary.
HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE: The Mustangs are 22-3 in their last 25 games at Cheney Alumni Field. One of those losses was a head-scratching 5-0 shutout by Central in the 2016 season opener, although NC did recover to make the state championship game.
RUN THE BALL: With RB Dante Wallace (998 yards and 16 TDs) and QB Kade Stoner (480 yards and 7 TDs) running behind a bruising O-line, NC averages a 4A-best 318.8 rushing ypg. If the Mustangs can run the ball effectively, not only will it likely lead to points, but it will keep the Central offense on the sideline.
PLAYOFF POSITIONING: Natrona County still has a shot at one of the top two seeds, which would keep the Mustangs home through the semifinals. Central, meanwhile, could finish as high as the No. 6 seed or could miss the playoffs altogether.