It’s Homecoming Week for Laramie, and the Plainsmen face a tough test against No. 3 Cheyenne East Friday night at Deti Stadium.

Laramie (2-3) hasn’t beaten the Thunderbirds in back-to-back seasons on the football field since 1999-2000. Last year’s 31-21 victory over East snapped a six-game skid in the series. They look for their first home win since 2009 when meeting the Thunderbirds.

After going 4-6 a year ago, Cheyenne East got off to a 4-0 start this season, but enter this game off their first defeat of 2017. The Thunderbirds lost at No. 2 Natrona County 14-7 last Friday.

Meanwhile, the Plainsmen are coming off their second road win of the season, 23-13 at Central.

Laramie head coach Clint Reed has actually welcomed the “distraction” of homecoming events, says they worked towards perfection this week and understands Cheyenne East is a very good team.

After last week’s performance, Nate Burman is now the No. 1 passer in class 4A at 185 yards per game. He’s thrown for 925 yards with nine TD’s and five interceptions. Burman is also No. 3 in all-purpose yards per game (204.2). Chad Browning has ascended to the No. 3 receiver with 17 receptions for 436 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s averaging 25.6 yards per catch. Defensively, Daylon Puckett and Garrett Worden rank fifth and sixth in 4A in defensive points.

Cheyenne East counters with 4A’s fifth best rusher in senior Ethan Ashworth. He’s averaging 116.8 yards per game and has eight touchdowns on the ground this season. He’s also a dangerous punt returner, as Ashworth averages 28.5 yards per return and taken two back for scores.

The big edge statistically lies with the Thunderbirds defense. They are No. 1 in total defense and rush defense. East has allowed only 183.2 yards and 5.6 points per game. They give up only 93.8 yards per game on the ground. The T-Birds pass defense has been event better at 89.4 yards per game (No. 2).

By contrast, Laramie’s defense allows 200 yards more per game. While the numbers are that drastically different on offense, the Plainsmen (288 per game) average about 31 yards less per game than East. Laramie’s edge lies in its passing offense, which did generate two scores last week in the victory at Central.

The Plainsmen meet the Thunderbirds Friday night. It’s the latest installment in a series that began back in 1960. Kick-off from Deti Stadium is at 7 p.m.

KOWB (AM 1290) will air the game live. You can also listen on our live stream or with our brand new KOWB app, which is free for Apple or Android devices. David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will provide the call. Coverage will start at 6 p.m.

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