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Big Plays Help Laramie Top Central on the Road

Chad Browning, Laramie Plainsmen, Football, LHS, 2017, Central
Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media

Three second half takeaways, a safety and a 99-yard touchdown pass helped the Laramie Plainsmen beat Cheyenne Central 23-13 Friday night.

It was the third straight win in the series for LHS and second in a row at Riske Field in Cheyenne.

Plainsmen head coach Clint Reed said we knew it wasn’t a pretty win, but we’ll take it.

“There were mistakes all over the place. There really was, but we just found a way to persevere, play through it and come back to the next play. If there was a mistake, they didn’t let it defeat ‘em.”

Laramie (2-3) led 14-13 at halftime. Jason Upton intercepted two passes in the end-zone that preserved the lead in the third quarter.

A punt by Central backed the Plainsmen up to their own 1-yard line. The Indians decided to come on an all-out blitz. Laramie receiver Chad Browning beat the cornerback off the line of scrimmage, and Nate Burman tossed a pass that Browning caught in stride at the 30-yard line in front of the Plainsmen bench. Browning out-ran all Central defenders to the end-zone. The result was a 99-yard touchdown pass and a 21-13 lead.

Reed said that play was an example.

“Nathan and Chad made an adjustment when they saw them press (coverage). They just went up top again based on what we were calling, and it was a great job… But it was a little bit of a risk, it was, and we had to take some chances a little bit. We got some opportunities tonight.”

On the next possession for the Indians, Laramie’s defense forced a punt deep in Central territory. A bad snap over the punter’s head went through the back of the end zone. The safety made it 23-13.

After a punt by the Plainsmen, Central turned the ball over downs before the teams exchanged fumbles.  Laramie was trying to run out the clock when Upton ran into his own teammate and lost the ball. Two plays later senior Zach Heil sacked Indians’ QB Dawson Macleary and forced a fumble that was recovered by Ben Martinez.

Reed also said, “Different guys stood up. They knew to defend certain guys. Certain guys are getting double-teamed on the field, like Garrett, and so we were able to make some other plays with other guys.”

Neither team scored in the first quarter. Laramie finally broke through on an Upton 11-yard touchdown run, but missed the point-after. Central came right back with a Macleary to Niko Bostic 20-yard TD pass for 7-6 lead. The Plainsmen answered with a Burman to Browning 8-yard touchdown pass. Burman then found Garrett Worden for the 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead. The Indians scored on the final play of the half, when Macleary found Bostic again. This time it was from 29 yards out. The two-point run failed, and LHS held the 1-point edge at the break.

Reed admitted the end of the first half was tough, and they’ve got to be able to knock those balls down.

“I think the kids rallied more than anything. The leadership in the locker room; learning from last week was big. It wasn’t so much us getting after them and trying to be negative about the situation.”

Laramie finished with 317 yards of offense. Burman was 9-18 for 194 yards and two TD’s. Browning had 145 yards receiving on four receptions. Upton added 79 yards rushing and the one score.

Central (1-4) had 399 yards offensively. Macleary threw for 225 yards with the two TD’s and a pair of interceptions. Bostic hauled in five passes for 123 yards and two scores. Adarius Gallon added 99 yards on the ground.

The Plainsmen defense had five sacks led by a two from linebacker Daylon Puckett.

Laramie continues its three-game stretch against the Cheyenne schools when they host No. 3 Cheyenne East Friday night at Deti Stadium. It’s the annual Homecoming game and will start at 7 p.m.

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