Even with their best offensive output of the season, the Laramie Plainsmen lost to the Natrona County Mustangs, 45-0, last Friday night at Deti Stadium.

Laramie (0-3) finished with 268 yards of total offense, but four turnovers hurt their ability to score. The Plainsmen also had a field goal blocked in the game.

LHS head coach Paul Ronga was very proud of his team’s effort.

“On Monday, we reinvented everything. We re-scripted everything. We re-did everything. We had players playing out of positions. I wasn’t actually calling plays. I was calling formations and getting people that I could see that could play in the field and get on the field, and then just making it up as I went along for who could be able to be out there.”

Laramie suffered a couple of more injuries in the game and finished with 18 healthy players.

Ronga added, “It was something I’ve never experienced in the field, but then again, on the other side, on the flip side, I’ve never been part of a program that was so undermanned and such attrition with such a massive amount of injuries that played so tough and so hard.”

Sophomore Ben Malone made his first career start at quarterback. He was 16-of-29 for 196 yards and three interceptions. He added 42 yards rushing. Senior Jackson Devine carried the ball seven times for 28 yards. He also had 10 catches for 82 yards.

Natrona (2-1) scored a touchdown on their first offensive play of the game. They added a TD pass on the final play of the first quarter. That began a string of four straight possessions that resulted in touchdowns for NC. They led 35-0 at halftime and tacked on a field goal and an interception return for a TD in the second half.

Mustangs’ junior running back Luke Spencer had a breakout game. He rushed for 174 yards and two TDs, one of 64 yards and another of 54 yards. Spencer also had the interception return for a touchdown, which was 81 yards. QB Tyler Hill added a pair of TD passes. Kaden Wilcox had a touchdown run, and Zachary Barrett made a 36-yard field goal.

Natrona rolled up 448 yards of total offense.

The Plainsmen return to action on Friday versus No. 4 Cheyenne East. The game starts at 6 p.m. at Deti Stadium in Laramie.

 

UW vs. NIU September 11, 2021