Depleted Plainsmen Host No. 1 Thunder Basin [VIDEO]
With a chance to make the playoffs still a possibility, the Laramie Plainsmen close out the regular season hosting top-ranked Thunder Basin Friday night at Deti Stadium.
Laramie (1-7) has lost seven straight games, but with either an upset for two other teams losing, can make the playoffs in Class 4A. The Plainsmen get in by knocking off the Bolts or thanks to a new points tie-breaker around the state, they can get in with a loss and losses by Cheyenne South and Kelly Walsh.
The tie-breaker works this way. It’s a point differential between the three teams involved since they all beat each other. The maximum you can receive is +12, while the minimum is -12. With Laramie +7 versus KW and -1 versus South, the Plainsmen number is 6. KW is +12 against South, but -7 versus Laramie, so the Trojans are at 5. South is +1 versus LHS, but -12 against KW, so the Bison are -11 overall. Thus, the Plainsmen would get the No. 8 seed and have to travel to top-ranked Thunder Basin next week in the first round of the playoffs.
Laramie is limping along at the end of the regular season. They have 16 players available for tonight’s game due to health and eligibility.
It’s also Senior Night tonight at LHS. The eight-member senior class will be honored before kick-off. The ceremony will be held on the track in front of the home bleachers starting just after 5:30 p.m.
Plainsmen head coach Clint Reed visited with KOWB’s David Settle about what’s going on with his team, their available players, the potential to still make the playoffs, this Senior Class, and tonight’s opponent, Thunder Basin in the video above.
Thunder Basin (8-0) has locked up the top seed for the 4A playoffs. They will have home-field advantage through the first two rounds. The Bolts have the No. 2 offense and No. 1 defense in Class 4A. They average 367 yards and just over 40 points per game. They even stingier on defense, as Thunder Basin allows only 210 yards and 16 points per game. They have 20 takeaways on the season and give up less than four yards per play.
The Bolts are led by senior quarterback Mason Hamilton, who has thrown for 1789 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior Jackson Pikula is the leading rusher at 651 yards and has 11 TDs. Thunder Basin has three receivers that have between 27 and 33 catches and between 401 and 503 yards on the season. Defensively, senior Caleb Driskill anchors the way. The linebacker averages 22.9 defensive points per game. He has eight tackles for loss, two sacks, has recorded a safety, and has blocked four kicks.
Laramie is led by sophomore QB Jake Vigen, who gets his second straight start tonight. He threw for 111 yards and a TD last week. Senior Janson Adair continues to be the main weapon. He tries to return from an injury suffered last week to play on Senior Night. Adair has 26 receptions for 425 yards and five TDs. He also has a kickoff return touchdown and returned an interception for a score. He’s eighth in receiving, 10th in scoring, and sixth in kickoff returns. Adair also leads the way defensively with 17.6 points per game, which is good for third in Class 4A.
It’s the third meeting between the two schools. Thunder Basin is 2-0 against Laramie.
Kick-off is at 6 p.m. from Deti Stadium.