Buffs suffer first loss

by nathan oster

The matchup of two of the top five teams in Class 2A was the knock-down, drag-out kind of affair that many expected. What wasn’t, perhaps, was the final score: No. 5 Mountain View 14, No. 2 Greybull 13.

The undefeated Buffs ran into their first loss of the season Friday afternoon in Mountain View, and in the process, lost control of their own destiny in their quest to capture the Class 2A West Conference title.

Playing without their starting quarterback, Riley Hill, who has an injured throwing shoulder, the Buffs turned to his brother, sophomore Brock Hill, who played well.

It just wasn’t the Buffs’ day.

“I think the bottom line is, we could have played better and we could have coached better,” said head coach Marty Wrage. “If ever there was a team loss, this was it. We weren’t consistent enough to win.”

The Buffs led for most of the game, though.

On their first drive, the Buffs made it look easy, going up 7-0 on a short touchdown run by Dawson Forcella and the ensuing PAT kick by Ralph Petty.

That was it for the scoring until the fourth quarter, when Mountain View produced the equalizer on a pass play. A key play on the drive was a pass interference call that went against the Buffs.

The Buffs won the flip for the first overtime and took the ball. Another short Forcella run gave them a 13-7 lead, but the PAT was no good.

Mountain View, again aided by a pass interference call, proceed to tie the score on a short touchdown run and win it with the kick that followed, sealing the 14-13 triumph that pulled them into a tie with the Buffs atop the conference standings.

Wrage said his team “moved the ball pretty well,” but was victimized by mistakes such as penalties, coverage breakdowns, penalties and missed assignments. “Thing like that really slowed us down. We missed a few opportunities, too.”

Mountain View “was what we expected when we looked at them: big, physical and a pretty good passing team. We did a nice job of slowing down their running game, so they had to mix it up against us.”

Greybull outgained Mountain View, 233-164, from scrimmage and had 11 first downs to Mountain View’s nine.

Mountain View, with the top-ranked passing game in 2A, was limited to 125 passing yards on 15 of 29 attempts. Greybull completely shut down the Mountain View running game, however, limiting the hosts to 39 yards on 31 attempts.

Greybull finished with 142 rushing yards on 39 attempts and 8 of 15 passing for 91 yards.

Individual statistics were unavailable.

The loss left the Buffs at 5-1 overall, 3-1 in conference play, with games remaining at home against Pinedale and on the road in week eight against Big Piney.

Mountain View has played one more conference game and sits at 4-1, with a single conference game remaining against Big Piney this week, followed by a nonconference matchup in week eight against Thermopolis.

Wrage insisted that in the big picture, “It’s just one loss. We’ll go back to work today and hopefully, it will give us a little spark. I’m confident we’ll get it back.”

Wrage isn’t sure which Hill will be under center Friday night in Greybull’s regular season home finale against Pinedale. Riley is day to day and if he cannot go, it’ll be Brock, with a game under his belt.

The Pinedale team that the Buffs will be facing is also in the 2A playoff mix. The Wranglers are 4-2 overall, 3-1 in the conference with games remaining this week against the Buffs and next week at home against Lovell.