Plainsmen Fail to Slow Down Rock Springs
The start to a ‘New Era’ for the Laramie Plainsmen was spoiled thanks to a 29-21 loss to third-ranked Rock Springs Friday night at the new Deti Stadium.
Three first half turnovers led to a 15-0 deficit at halftime. Even though Laramie scored on their three possessions of the second half, they failed to stop the Tigers.
Head coach Chuck Syverson said you can’t turn the ball over, and we talked about that last week.
“Unfortunately we has the same situation this week. I really thought we had a good week of preparation, and we didn’t see anything different than what we saw on film or in practice. We just made a couple of poor decisions on a couple of passes and didn’t hang on to the ball on a fumble. We can’t afford to have those turnovers like that.”
Rock Springs (2-0) took the opening drive 12 plays and scored on a Marcus Kalista 1-yard run. After the two-point conversion, it was 8-0.
Plainsmen QB Taylor Dodd fumbled on Laramie’s first drive. It was recovered by the Tigers, and they scored again. This time it was on the only pass of the game Rock Springs attempted. Oaklan Jenkins found Brayden Barker from 30-yards out in the back of the end zone for a 15-0 lead.
Syverson said, “I thought defense kind of kept us in the game that first half. We were down 15-0, but I felt like it could’ve been worse than that if our defense didn’t play as well as they did.”
The score stayed that way until the third quarter.
Laramie (0-2) drove and faced fourth down and five at the Tigers 34. Dodd found Conor Beeston in the left flat. Beeston broke a tackle and raced 34-yards to get the Plainsmen on the scoreboard. Those two hooked up two more times on TD passes of 16 and 41 yards, respectively.
Rock Springs answered each time Laramie scored. Matt Fowler’s 4-yard run late in the third quarter put the Tigers up 22-7. Jenkins 4-yard run with 2:34 left in the game had Rock Springs up 29-14.
Syverson added, “We had our opportunity to get that one stop that we could’ve gone for the tie. We just couldn’t get it."
After Dodd found Beeston from 41-yards out with 1:16 left, Laramie went for an onside kick. It failed to travel the required 10-yards, and the Tigers ran out the clock.
Laramie finished with 283 yards of offense. Dodd went 10-of-20 for 186 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Beeston had four catches for 103 yards and three scores.
Rock Springs gained 358 total yards with 328 coming on the ground. Jenkins ran for 162 yards with a TD and a fumble. Fowler added 133 yards and a score. The Tigers enjoyed a massive edge in time-of-possession at 34 minutes to Laramie’s 14 minutes.
The Plainsmen will head to Casper, as they seek their first win Friday night against another 0-2 team, in the Natrona County Mustangs. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.