Laramie Tries to Tame the Tigers in the Playoffs [VIDEO]
Seeking their first playoff win in 16 years, the Laramie Plainsmen will take on the Rock Springs Tigers in the first round of the class 4A playoffs Friday night.
This is the 3-6 match-up in the 4A bracket. It is the highest seed for the Plainsmen since 2005, and their first playoff game that is not against Gillette, Natrona or Sheridan since 2009.
Laramie (4-5) enters the post-season on a two-game skid. After a home loss to top-ranked Gillette two weeks ago, the Plainsmen were defeated by Kelly Walsh in Casper last week.
Rock Springs (7-2) has won two straight coming into the playoffs. In those games, they’re averaging 56 points per game and beating their opponents by an average of 27 points per game.
This match-up is a contrast in styles. Laramie will look to throw the ball with the No. 2 passing offense in 4A, while Rock Springs is all about their ground attack. The Tigers lead 4A at 388.4 yards per game. They average 6.9 yards per carry and have piled up a 4A high 35 touchdowns on the ground.
Rock Springs has a one-two punch in quarterback Oaklan Jenkins and running back Matt Fowler. Both average over 148 rushing yards per game, and they’ve combined for 28 rushing touchdowns.
Laramie’s one-two punch is in the air with quarterback Taylor Dodd and receiver Conor Beeston. Dodd leads 4A in all-purpose yards per game at 243 per game, while Beeston is second in receiving at 73.6 yards per game. The two have hooked up for eight TD passes this season.
Plainsmen head coach Chuck Syverson doesn’t mind this match-up in the first round. He knows it’ll be tough to slow down the Tigers, but believes his squad will be tough for Rock Springs to handle, as well.
The regular season meeting was eight weeks ago in Laramie. The game was won by the Tigers, 29-21.
This will be just the fifth time these two have faced off in the playoffs. The last time was a 4A semifinal in 1998. That game was won by the Plainsmen in Laramie.
This one’s in Rock Springs, where the Plainsmen last snagged a victory in 2013 for Coach Syverson’s first win as head coach with Laramie.
Kick-off for this game is at 7 p.m. from Tiger Stadium in Rock Springs.
KOWB (AM 1290) will provide live coverage. David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will call the game with coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday.