Fresh off their first win of the season, the Laramie Plainsmen return home for a big test Friday night against the No. 2 Natrona County Mustangs at Deti Stadium.

Laramie (1-2) ended a lengthy losing skid with last week’s win at Gillette, 44-0. Now they try to end another long slide versus the Mustangs.

Last year’s 14-13 defeat was the closest in what is now an 11-game losing streak to NC. A blocked PAT and a block field goal after a poor snap contributed to last year’s set-back.

The last Plainsmen victory in the series was on senior night 2001 in Laramie, 49-28.

Coming into this year’s meeting, the Mustangs are proving to be one of 4A’s best yet again. NC returns the core of last year’s state runner-up team. Laramie head coach Clint Reed knows that and knows it’ll be a big game. Reed says they’re trying to build on last week’s win, maintain consistency and prepare for a very good Natrona team.

The Mustangs have 4A’s top offense that averages 462.3 yards and 57.3 points per game. They also have the No. 2 ranked defense that allows only 174.7 yards and 14.3 points per game.

Natrona (2-1) is led by senior running back Brett Brenton. A returning all-state selection, Brenton is rushing for 146 yards per game. He’s an all-purpose threat that averaging better than 207 yards per game and has scored seven touchdowns on the season. Brenton is joined by senior QB Jesse Harshman. He is 4A’s third-ranked passer at 207 yards per game. He tossed nine TD’s and only two interceptions. Mason Gallegos and Brenton are dynamic return specialists, while kicker and punter Riley Shepperson is one of 4A’s best.

Defensively, NC is anchored by Shepperson (15 def. ppg) and Ben Acres (12 def. ppg). They’ve allowed only four touchdowns and are plus-3 in turnover ratio.

Laramie enters with 4A’s eighth-ranked offense (279.7 ypg) and sixth-ranked defense (364 ypg), which moved up after last week’s shutout. They’re averaging 31.3 points per game, but allow 29.3 per game.

The Plainsmen are led by senior QB Nate Burman. He is rated as the fourth as a passer, 187.3 yards per game, and sixth all-purpose, at over 203 yards per game.

Defensively, LHS is led by senior Garrett Worden (24 def. ppg), who has a 4A best six sacks on the season. Senior Daylon Puckett ranks seventh in defensive points at 15 per game and is averaging 7.3 tackles per game.

The series dates back to 1909 and is the longest active one going in the state of Wyoming. It’s slightly older than Natrona-Central and Laramie-Central.

Kick-off is at 7 p.m. from Deti Stadium. KOWB (AM 1290) will provide live broadcast coverage of the game. David Settle and VerDon Hoopes will call the action. They take to the airwaves at 6 p.m.

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