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Buffalo at Douglas, 7 p.m.

EARLY MEASURING STICK: These two teams are both selected to finish among the top teams in their conferences and are among the most respected football programs in the state. Buffalo’s drop to 2A last season hasn’t diminished the rivalry, as the two played out to an intense, physical 7-0 Douglas win to open last year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Believe it or not, the Bison return a lot from last year’s championship team. Standout Rowen Ruby ran for over 1,000 yards last season, including 217 in the state championship. Receiver Dawson Hatch scored six receiving touchdowns, which was also the number of interceptions he had last season. The Bison also return Anthony Graves, a lineman who made two tackles for loss before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Douglas last season.

The Bearcats return eight starters from last year, starting with quarterback AJ Yeaman. Yeaman comes off a season with 20-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’ll rely on big blockers, including Edel Diaz-Jamie and Cody Pinkerton. Both of them are returning all-state linemen who have already started two years for the Bearcats. Pinkerton also averaged 10.3 defensive points per game last season.

SERIES HISTORY: Buffalo leads the all-time series 36-32-1. ... The Bison and Bearcats first played in 1928 (Buffalo 30-12) and then every year from 1952 to 2000. After a three-year break, the two have played at least once every year since 2004, with Douglas leading that series 12-7, including a 10-game winning streak from 2008-14.

— Series history courtesy of wyoming-football.com

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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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