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Lyman Eagles soar to 2A state title

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 13th, 2012

The Lyman Eagles celebrate their state title Nov. 10. Photos by Dell Barnes

LARAMIE — It was remarkable to see the same two teams vie for the 2A state championship. The Lovell Bulldogs defeated the Lyman Eagles twice in 2011, including in the title game. The Eagles hosted the Bulldogs in the Bridger Valley this season, as the two squads are both members of the 2A West conference.

Lyman evened the regular season score with a 20-6 home win, but the state title game was much closer, in a seesaw battle with four lead changes which came down to the wire. The Eagles scored the go-ahead touchdown with just 43 seconds remaining to lead, 22-20. Lyman went for a two-point conversion, so a Lovell field goal could not tie the game, but Branson Bradshaw, who scored all three Eagle touchdowns on short runs, and rushed for 143 yards, was stopped short, giving the Bulldogs life, as a field goal would now win it.

A pooch kick on the kickoff did not help matters, and the Bulldogs, in good field position, moved the football well on a pair of plays. Their hopes were dashed, however, by a Dalton Schofield interception, which sealed the victory for Lyman, earning the Eagles their first state football crown since 1999.

As they have done all season, the Eagles limited the ground game of their opponent, holding Lovell to 33 net yards on the ground. The Bulldogs were effective throwing the ball, completing 14 of 26 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, but with two interceptions, as well.

The Eagles rushed for a net 260 yards, but their passing attack was limited by Lovell. Lyman was 6-11 for 49 yards, but suffered three picks.

Depending on whether the zero week game is counted or not, and officially, it does not, the Eagles finished with an unblemished 11-0 season, joining Natrona County and Powell as 2012 state champs without a loss, in coach Dale Anderson’s inaugural season at the helm.

The Herald congratulates the Lyman Eagles football team on a sensational season!

1A, 3A, 4A state titles settled

Three of the five Wyoming state championship football games played at the University of Wyoming’s War Memorial Stadium on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, treated fans to what they like to see — close, hard-fought battles in which the rotund lady didn’t show up to sing until the very end.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was how one-sided the outcome of the final title game played ended, when many believed it would be the closest of all, based on the teams’ regular season meeting.

The Dubois Rams won the six-man title, 54-30, over Little Snake River for their first football title in school history. Last year, the Rams played the runner-up Rattlers.

The 1A championship was of the lopsided variety. Southeast High School proved a Cyclone can tame a Tiger, with Southeast winning 40-6 over Niobrara County/Lusk. The Cyclones have now won their fifth title in the past seven years. The two teams played to a one-point game in the regular season, with the Lusk Tigers winning, 7-6.

The Powell Panthers claimed their second 3A state championship in as many years, defeating the second-ranked Star Valley Braves, 13-10, capping a perfect season. The Panthers scored 13 against the Braves in Powell in the regular season, holding Star Valley scoreless, so the neutral site allowed for an even closer contest.

Natrona County, who dominated the 4A ranks through eight regular season games, barely escaped with a home victory over number two, Campbell County, 20-17, when the two powerhouses met in Casper for the regular season finale, with identical 8-0 records. Most assumed this would be the most competitive championship game, but it was all Mustangs, 35-7, ending with another perfect 12-0 season.

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