Thunder Basin jumped out to a 35-0 lead in the first quarter and beat Laramie, 55-22, last Friday night at Deti Stadium.

Laramie (0-7) lost its ninth straight game dating back to last season. The Plainsmen finished with a season-high in total offense, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the fast start by the Bolts.

Thunder Basin (6-1) scored on its first four possessions. They started their first six drives in Laramie territory. They capitalized on five LHS turnovers and led 55-0 at halftime.

Bolts’ QB Ryan Baker threw for 158 yards and five TDs in the first half. He added a TD run. Isaiah Halliburton contributed 95 rush yards and a touchdown. Thunder Basin also scored on a sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery in the end-zone by Logan Loftus. The Bolts also blocked the second punt of the game by the Plainsmen and recovered a fumble on a punt.

Laramie head coach Paul Ronga said Thunder Basin was the best team he’s seen all year.

“They’re sound in everything that they do, and they showed that tonight (Friday night). Not only in their ability to pass, but also to run. Correct, that turnover early (on Laramie’s third drive in Thunder Basin territory) was something that we saw in the beginning of the year. We had a little issue with our special teams and punt team (referring to the blocked punt). We had one here again today (last Friday), and that set them up really nicely to go up and really punch into the scoreboard. That was a big hit for us. I was disappointed by that, greatly.”

Laramie came to life in the second half. They scored on the first play from scrimmage on an 80-yard TD pass to Jackson Devine. Mason Branch and Adrien Calderon also had TD catches in the second half, of 45 and seven yards, respectively.

The Plainsmen had a season-high 351 yards on offense. Ben Malone threw for a career-high 327 yards with the three TDs, but he also had three interceptions, and the fumble on the sack in the end-zone for the score by Thunder Basin. Branch had career-bests of eight receptions for 157 yards, and his first varsity TD catch.

The Bolts finished with 335 yards of total offense, most of which came in the first half.

Laramie will finish its season with two road games. They are still alive for the playoffs in Class 4A. The Plainsmen must win their next two games.

First up, LHS plays at Cheyenne South on Friday at 6 p.m. Both teams are winless this season, so someone’s going to get their first victory of 2021.

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