MOUNTAIN VIEW - The Wheatland Bulldog football team headed to Mountain View on Friday to take on the west 2A #1 seeded Buffaloes with a trip to the state championship on the line.
Wheatland was hoping to make it back to Laramie for the second time in three years. Mountain View was 2 weeks out from falling by 20 points at Greybull and felt that Wheatland would be a challenge after the Bulldogs easily dispatched the Greybull Buffs. The defensive scouting report for Wheatland was simple. First, limit the big play, especially the long pass and second, stop Colton Caves and the running game by hitting him near the line of scrimmage before he can build up his head of steam. Mother Nature cooperated for the Buffs, with sustained winds at 40 mph and gusts over 60 mph, neither team could throw the ball.
With the sustained winds, Wheatland was one-dimensional and was forced to run the ball. As the threat of the deep pass was now gone, Mountain View was able to load the box with 2-3 extra players. Bulldog running back Colton Caves is at his best 2-3 yards from the line of scrimmage when he can see the defense and make cuts. He was unable to get on track as the Buffs defense had a series of run blitzes that overwhelmed the Bulldog offensive line. Caves was hit at the ankles every time he touched the ball and could not get into the open field. Wheatland was forced into several punting situations. With the wind gusting over 60 mph, Bulldogs punter Dylan Pearson could not get the ball into the Buff’s territory. The Mountain View offense started inside the Bulldog 50 on each possession of the first quarter. The Buffs would convert a field goal and 2 touchdowns to jump out to a 17-0 lead at the end of the first period. In the second quarter, the Bulldog defense gave up consecutive runs of 65, 62 and 33 yards on 3 possessions and Wheatland was unable to stop the bleeding and went to half down 37-0. Wheatland could not get on track offensively and was never a threat to score in the first half. Wheatland came out flat in the second half after their demoralizing first half performance and ended up falling 45-0 to the Buffaloes. Mountain View will face Glenrock next week for the 2A state championship. Wheatland will lose 2-year starters Trevor Vaughn (second in state in passing yards) Decker Anderson, Trigg Peasley and Zac Gunter (second overall in receiving yards per game). The Bulldogs also graduate regular contributors Braydon Billing, Jon Ferguson, Cody Jenkins, Justin Lema and John Stoll. Next year, the Bulldogs will return nearly their entire offensive line including standout Clayton Iacovetto who hopes to bounce back from a season long, nagging knee injury this year. Wheatland also returns Colton Caves who finished third in the state with 139 yards per game rushing and two excellent receivers, Kye Hicks and Kobey Preuit. In a surprisingly successful season, Wheatland finished with the second rated offense in the state and made the 2A semifinals for the 3rd time in the past 4 years.