WHEATLAND –From the first drive that the Burns Broncs tried to engineer, not only their players, but everyone in Bulldog stadium knew that the Dawgs were about to open a can of “OMG.”
When Hyannie Fauso and Keegan Meyer double-teamed a very large Bronc receiver downfield, the crowd held its collective breath as the ball hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity. The perfect spiral went just over the hands of the Burns’ receiver and into the waiting arms of Meyer.
He then sprinted down the sideline eluding and busting tacklers until he was out of endzone and the Bulldogs held a quick 6-0 lead. Very quick as a penalty erased the points, but the tone was set, the Burns passing game grew cautious and the Bulldogs scored early and often.
Not only was the passing game once again crisp and dangerous to opponents, but running back Adam Suko was seen dragging white-clad players all over the field including a touchdown where he crossed the goal line wearing four opponents as a winter coat. And a hat.
As impressive as the offense was, they say defense wins championships and if that’s the case, everyone witnessed a taste of that during the Friday night Homecoming game. Other than back to back penalties where Burns was awarded 30 yards of turf, there was no joy in Mudville for the Burns’ offense as the Bulldogs pitched another shutout. The win moved Wheatland to 5-1 on the year, and without the game that varsity coach Cody Bohlander refers to as a “Wake up call in Upton,” this would be a perfect season.
By halftime, the score had run to 32-0, already enough to win the game, but as most schools do, they are required to play a second half. The Bulldogs came out a bit flat in the third quarter and penalties bogged them down. A series of 3 pass interception penalties were the only blemishes on the report card for the defense. The fourth quarter conditioning was overwhelmingly evident as Wheatland wore down the opponents both emotionally and physically and scored 21 more fourth quarter points and savored the Homecoming lopsided win 53-0.
The echoes of “FIRST DOWN BULLDOGS” could be heard all night and surely the Bulldog voice carried all the way to Chugwater.
“We took care of business on both sides of the ball,” Bohlander said. “I was really pleased with how the team played tonight. We were focused and knew what we had to do and executed very well.”
The combination of quarterback Kade Preuit to wide receiver Jake Hicks was again flawless and it is becoming evident that Preuit has a lot of confidence in not only Hicks, but also Rodee Brow. Pinpoint passing is hitting the small windows that the receivers are opening up, and when those options are not there, Preuit resembles Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson as he is not afraid to tuck it and head home.
“We came out and we just hit harder and were a lot more physical and it showed on the board,” Preuit said. “My O-line definitely is a reason for success. They give me time to throw.”
Preuit has an uncanny ability to either pass or run on a moment’s notice and 9 out of 10 times he makes the right decision on which direction he’s going.
“It’s always like just counting in my head,” Preuit said. “If I see guys there I try to throw it or if they are covered, throw it away, and if I notice the opening when other options are not there I take it.”
Preuit passed for over 200 yards and threw four touchdown passes and was Maxpreps player of the game. Suko rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries and had one rushing touchdown and one reception for a touchdown. Hicks had 7 receptions for 111 yards and he also had two touchdowns.
Wheatland finished with 337 total yards on offense, 202 through the air and 135 on the ground. The defense came up big, holding Burns to just 85 yards total offense.