by nathan oster
The Greybull Buffs kept their playoff hopes alive Saturday afternoon with a 38-6 win over Lyman.
The Eagles had previously beaten Lovell 12-0, so the win essentially created a logjam beneath the conference’s top two teams, Mountain View and Big Piney, that won’t be decided until all of the games have been played this weekend.
Greybull, at 3-2 in league play, hosts Mountain View, while Lyman, at 2-3, tangles with Big Piney and Lovell, also at 2-3, plays Kemmerer.
“There are all kinds of scenarios, but we’ve tried to simplify things by telling the kids that if they beat Mountain View, they’ll be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs and the No. 3 seed,” said Coach Marty Wrage. “But if we lose … well then we will be counting on other people, like Big Piney beating Lyman.
“So our primary focus is Mountain View.”
Scoring plays and individual statistics from the game in Lyman were unavailable, but Coach Marty Wrage said it was a nice bounce-back effort by his team, which was coming off a disappointing loss in Lovell.
The Buffs led wire to wire. Brayan Castro scored the first two times he touched the ball from the line of scrimmage. Both came on long runs “that swung things in our favor,” said Wrage, adding that they covered a combined 120 yards.
Lyman’s game plan going in was to stop the Greybull passing attack, which is tops in all of 2A. But that created openings for Castro, Wrage said. So when the Eagles made adjustments to slow down the Greybull rushers, Riley Hill and his receivers capitalized. One of the biggest plays of the second half was a 54-yard pass from Hill to Felipe Gaytan that went for a touchdown.
Wrage said his team was more stout at the line of scrimmage than it had been against Lovell.
“We played more physical, which was a key,” said Wrage, noting that it started with “a good week of practice” and carried over into the game. The key, Wrage said, was making the Eagles one-dimensional — or more specifically, stopping the run so that they had to throw against a talented Greybull secondary.
Lyman is the most offensively-challenged team in 2A. The Eagles entered with the 13th-ranked offense, averaging 145 yards rushing and passing combined per game. They did about that against the Buffs, finishing with 100 rushing yards on 39 carries and completing just 2 of 11 passes for 31 yards.
The Buffs had a more balanced attack, finishing with 157 yards on 32 carries and gaining 168 yards through their air on 16 of 29 passing.
“That was a Lyman team that shut out Lovell 12-0, so we knew we’d have our work cut out for us,” said Wrage. “But the kids didn’t back down from the challenge. They knew they hadn’t played well in Lovell and felt like they had something to prove.
“So they came out focused and ready to play.”
This week’s opponent is conference champion Mountain View, which will enter Friday evening’s game with a 6-1 overall record and having already sewn up a No. 1 seed for the upcoming Class 2A playoffs.
Statistically Mountain View ranks second in 2A in total offense, averaging 341 yards per game; Greybull, by comparison, ranks sixth after seven weeks of play, with an average of 278 yards per game.
Friday’s game will feature the No. 1 and No. 2 passing attacks in 2A. Greybull, at 182.1 yards per game with Riley Hill under center, ranks first. Mountain View is right behind, averaging 164.9 yards per game.
“This is as good a team as they’ve had in awhile,” said Wrage. The keys to victory include “being disciplined against their spread offense. We are going to have to play a little more man-to-man coverage on the outside, so there will be less margin for error. It’ll be a busy night for (defensive backs) Felipe, Brayan and Miguel (Castro).”
Mountain View also has good size, with tackles on each side tipping the scales at over 300 pounds.
But they, too, can be beaten. Wrage said his team will enter “in a good frame of mind” after its convincing win in Lyman. “I’m really pleased with how we handled things,” he said. “It should be a good final conference game of the season.”
The four Greybull seniors — Hill, Gomez, Castro and Korbin Adams — will be honored prior to the game.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.