by nathan oster
The Greybull Buffs rode a potent ground game to a 25-12 win Friday in Pinedale.
Greybull scored all four of its touchdowns on running plays and churned out 275 rushing yards, its highest output of the season, in the Class 2A West Conference victory. With the win, the Buffs moved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play.
“We did a lot of the things we’ve been working on in practice, so I was pretty pleased with that,” said Coach Marty Wrage. “But we missed on a lot of opportunities to score, too.”
Four times, the Buffs had the ball inside the Pinedale 20 and failed to score.
On three of those drives, they were inside the 10.
“We have to get better in that area,” said Wrage.
No individual statistics — offense or defense — were available at press time.
As a team Greybull rushed for 275 yards on 53 attempts, with Dawson Forcella and Dawson McEwan accounting for most of those.
Through the air, the Buffs were 9 of 18 for 139 yards.
As a team, they recorded 22 first downs and had 525 yards of total offense.
“We found some gaps in their defense and were able to exploit them,” said Wrage.
Greybull never trailed in the game.
Pinedale finished with 310 all-purpose yards, which included 122 passing and 79 rushing.
“’They have a quarterback and a couple of good backs so it was nice to see that we could contain them,” said Wrage. “They relied on the run, but did try to throw it deep on us. We did well in pass coverage. Their only pass play that was of any distance went to a tight end; other than that, we really contained them.”
The Buffs have made three long road trips in the past four weeks, coming away with a win each time. Their fourth and final road test is Friday in Lyman. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
The good news is, they have put themselves in a perfect position.
With two weeks to play in the regular season, Greybull and Lovell sit atop the conference standings with matching 4-0 records. The two teams clash in the regular season finale set for Oct. 23 in Greybull.
This week, the Buffs have Lyman, while Lovell draws Kemmerer.
If the Buffs win this week, they can do no worse than the conference’s No. 2 seed, which would guarantee them at least one home playoff game.
A win this week over Lyman and next week over Lovell would ensure that the Buffs, if they were to continue to win, wouldn’t have to hop on another bus until they go to Laramie for the state championship game in November. The No. 1 seed from the West earns home field for the first two rounds.
Before any of that can happen, the Buffs need to take care of Lyman.
The Eagles are also in the mix, sporting a 3-3 overall mark and a 3-1 conference record.
“They’re close to getting in so you can bet they’ll be fired up to play us,” said Wrage. “We know that we are in. If we win against Lyman, we’re guaranteed at least the No. 2 seed. If we beat Lovell, we’re guaranteed the No. 1 seed.”
To beat the Eagles, the Buffs “have to control the ball,” said Wrage. “Last year we played them and we know that it’s a team that relies on the run. They run so much clock. They max it out, as a matter of fact. So if you don’t control the ball, you won’t have it very long. We absolutely have to be able to run the ball this week.”