From the perspective of a fan who has no rooting interest, a close game always makes for a more interesting experience than a blowout.

And from that perspective, Wyoming’s six-man classification in 2022 may have given us some of the most boring football we’ve ever seen.

Last year in Class 1A six-man, the chances were significantly better that the game would end with a running clock than in a down-to-the-wire finish — and it wasn’t even close.

More than 61% of six-man games in 2022 (36 of 59) ended with the winning team winning by at least 45 points, the cutoff point for the mercy-rule running clock. This included all seven playoff games. Only two of those 59 six-man games (3.4%) were decided by a margin of a single possession or less. Overall, only 10 of those 59 games last season were decided by less than 20 points.

The average margin of victory was 44.3 points.

Not all that exciting.

The hope is that the blowout trend in 2022 was just an anomaly. After all, the 61% blowout rate was the highest at the six-man level since its return to Wyoming in 2009. And the 3.4% single-possession game rate was the lowest.

Blowouts have always been more plentiful than single-possession games, but the differences in 2022 were stark:

YearTotal gamesMargin 45 or moreMargin 8 or lessPercent finishing with mercy rulePercent single-possesison
20094113431.7%9.8%
20104118443.9%9.8%
20114819339.6%6.3%
20124816933.3%18.8%
20136231450.0%6.5%
20145930750.8%11.9%
20155922537.3%8.5%
20167234447.2%5.6%
20176736453.7%6.0%
20186626739.4%10.6%
20196833748.5%10.3%
20205718731.6%12.3%
202150211042.0%20.0%
20225936261.0%3.4%

Some hope that 2023 might return to some kind of normalcy is the fact that the 2021 season was maybe six-man’s most exciting. In that season, 20% of six-man games finished as one-possession games, the highest rate since six-man’s return in 2009.

–patrick

Four Wyoming players helped Team USA to an 84-16 victory against Team Canada in the 25th annual CanAm Bowl six-man all-star game on Saturday in Hanna, Alberta, Canada.

Former Farson assistant coach Scott Reed, a Team USA coach, said the four Wyoming players — Kannadis Peroulis, Hadley Myers and David Hernandez from Snake River and Clayton Rux from Dubois — all had a hand in the victory.

Peroulis scored twice and had 237 rushing yards on just four carries. Myers added 106 rushing yards, threw a 21-yard touchdown pass and scored on an 88-yard kick return. Hernandez intercepted a pass and blocked a punt. And Rux played center, despite never playing the position previous to the CanAm Bowl, and was in on every offensive play for Team USA.

The 84 points scored by Team USA on Saturday was a CanAm Bowl team record, Reed said.

Reed said the CanAm Bowl will be played in Wyoming for the first time — and in the United States for just the second time — next year. CanAm Bowl XXVI is slated for July 6 in Meeteetse. The first CanAm Bowl to be played in the United States came in 2021 in Lambert, Montana. This year’s game in Alberta was the only other game in CanAm Bowl history to be played outside Saskatchewan.

–patrick

Four Wyoming six-man football players will take part in the 25th CanAm Bowl, a six-man all-star game between teams from America and Canada, this week.

Snake River’s Hadley Myers, David Hernandez and Kannadis Peroulis and Dubois’ Clayton Rux will be a part of a group of six-man players from Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas to play in the game, which will be played Saturday in Hanna, Alberta, Canada.

The game will stream live on YouTube. The game will start at 1 p.m.

Team USA has been practicing in Lambert, Montana, since Monday. The team leaves Friday for Alberta.

Former Farson assistant coach Scott Reed and Snake River assistant coach Sam Weeldreyer, along with Thomas Tritz of Oakwood, Texas, will comprise the coaching staff.

Team USA won last year’s game 71-30. The game wasn’t played in 2020 or 2021. Team USA leads the series 19-5.

–patrick

Nebraska defeated Wyoming 52-16 on Friday in Chadron, Nebraska, in the annual six-man all-star football game between the two states.

A couple highlights are provided here. The series is now tied at six victories apiece.

Wyoming’s roster changed slightly from the initial announcement in March. Players included:

BURLINGTON: Carson Jones, Pablo Mendez, Cohen Schlenker, Seth Wardell.
DUBOIS: Kaden Chamley, Ryan Wells, Clayton Rux.
ENCAMPMENT: Briston Sifford, Ben Wagy.
FARSON: Matthew Smith, Simeon Stotts.
HANNA: Tom Wagner.
HULETT: Hunter Reilly, M.J. Ulmer.
SNAKE RIVER: Wade Corson, David Hernandez, Hadley Myers, Kannadis Peroulis.

–patrick

The 2023 Wyoming-Nebraska six-man all-star football game roster is set for Team Wyoming.

Wyoming all-stars head coach Jack Cobb of Snake River, the defending 1A six-man champion, shared the roster via email Thursday.

The roster is dominated by two teams, with players from runner-up Burlington nabbing five spots and Snake River grabbing four more. Dubois, Encampment, Farson, Hanna and Hulett also have players on the team.

The team includes:

BURLINGTON: Carson Jones, Noah McMakin, Pablo Mendez, Cohen Schlenker, Seth Wardell.
DUBOIS: Kaden Chamley, Ryan Wells, Clayton Rux.
ENCAMPMENT: Briston Sifford, Ben Wagy.
FARSON: Matthew Smith, Simeon Stotts.
HANNA: Tom Wagner.
HULETT: Hunter Reilly.
SNAKE RIVER: Wade Corson, David Hernandez, Hadley Myers, Kannadis Peroulis.

Coaches for team Wyoming include Cobb; Trent Aagard of Burlington; Kegan Willford of Encampment; and Sam Weeldreyer and Kyle Jeffres of Snake River.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. June 2 in Chadron, Nebraska. Wyoming leads the all-time series 6-5 and won last year’s game 68-44.

–patrick

Post updated 3:47 p.m. March 23 to include coaches.

Sheridan’s undefeated Broncs of 2022 deserve tons of praise.

With a 12-0 finish, Class 4A Sheridan became just the fourth team since 2005 to finish Wyoming’s big-school football season undefeated, joining a previously undefeated Bronc team from 2017 and Natrona teams from 2012 and 2014.

However, a look at their playoff results gives Sheridan an ignominious aspect to its playoff run — worst playoff defense ever among state champions.

Before you get those keyboards fired up, though, Bronc fans, hear me out. This isn’t my call. It’s simple math: No team that has ever won an 11-man championship in Wyoming has ever given up so many points during its three-game playoff run than Sheridan gave up in its three playoff games of 2022.

The Broncs gave up 92 total points in their three playoff victories, giving up 27, 42 and 23 points in their quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games, respectively. Sheridan still won each game by double digits on its way to victories of 52-27, 63-42 and 34-23, finishing off that undefeated season with yet another 4A title.

Still, the 92 total points allowed is by far the most allowed by a title-winning team in a three-game stretch, topping the 79 points Star Valley allowed in 2016. In fact, only four 11-man title teams have allowed more than 60 points in their three games, the others being — ready for this? — Sheridan in 2019 with 75 points and Sheridan in 2021 with 65 points.

The other 11-man champions this year gave up 51 points (Star Valley, 3A) and 33 points (Big Horn, 2A) in their respective three-game playoff runs.

As noted in a previous post and updated here, here are the most points allowed by 11-man teams in their three-game championship runs:

92 points: Sheridan (27, 42, 23), 4A 2022
79 points: Star Valley (27, 42, 10), 3A 2016
75 points: Sheridan (14, 35, 26), 4A 2019
65 points: Sheridan (14, 24, 27), 4A 2021
58 points: Cheyenne East (10, 34, 14), 5A 2007
55 points: Star Valley (13, 27, 15), 3A 2015 … Big Horn (14, 19, 22), 2A 2013 … Sheridan (12, 29, 14), 4A 2011 … Big Piney (8, 33, 14), 3A 2001 … Big Piney (7, 20, 28), 2A 2000
54 points: Lyman (20, 28, 6), 2A 2021 … Cheyenne Central (20, 20, 14), 5A 2005 … Rocky Mountain (12, 22, 20), 1A DI 1997
51 points: Star Valley (17, 27, 7), 3A 2022 … Sheridan (17, 6, 28), 4A 2016

Conversely, the fewest points allowed in a three-game playoff run for teams on their way to a championship include:

0 points: Kemmerer (0, 0, 0), 3A 2007 … Wind River (0, 0, 0), 1A DII 1997
2 points: Southeast (0, 2, 0), 1A 2008
6 points: Lusk (6, 0, 0), 2A 2002 … Sundance (0, 6, 0), 2A 2005
7 points: Gillette (0, 0, 7), 4A 2000
8 points: Cokeville (0, 8, 0), 1A 2002 … Glenrock (8, 0, 0), 3A 2008
9 points: Upton (0, 3, 6), 1A 2005
10 points: Natrona (0, 7, 3), 5A 2003
12 points: Glenrock (0, 6, 6), 3A 2003 … Glenrock (0, 12, 0), 3A 2002 … Torrington (6, 0, 6), 3A 1990
13 points: Cokeville (0, 7, 6), 1A 11-man 2014 … Cokeville (0, 7, 6), 1A 11-man 2010 … Cokeville (0, 13, 0), 1A DII 1995 … Lusk (6, 0, 7), 1A DI 2000 … Natrona (0, 13, 0), 4A 1996 … Powell (0, 3, 10), 3A 2012 … Southeast (0, 6, 7), 2A 2001 … Thermopolis (0, 0, 13), 2A 1992 … Worland (0, 0, 13), 4A 2003 … Worland (7, 6, 0), 4A 2001 … Mountain View (14, 0, 0), 2A 1995 … Natrona (7, 0, 7), 4A 2012 … Wheatland (6, 0, 8), 2A 2015

+++

To win a championship while still allowing so many points, Sheridan must have had a record-setting offensive performance during its playoff run, right?

Well… almost.

The Broncs’ 149 points scored tied for the sixth-most ever by an 11-man team in a three-game title run. And four of the top five performances ahead of Sheridan, though, have come since 2018, including three from 2019 alone. Again updated from a previous post on this site, those include:

191 points: Big Horn (67, 68, 56), 1A 11-man 2018
185 points: Big Horn (82, 48, 55), 1A 11-man 2019
162 points: Cokeville (54, 54, 54), 1A 2002
159 points: Sheridan (62, 62, 35), 4A 2019
152 points: Mountain View (72, 56, 24), 2A 2019
149 points: Sheridan (52, 63, 34), 4A 2022 … Buffalo (56, 50, 43), 2A 2018 … Sheridan (64, 43, 42), 4A 1993
148 points: Mountain View (55, 66, 27), 2A 1995
145 points: Lusk (68, 49, 28), 1A Division I 1999
144 points: Southeast (74, 42, 28), 1A 2007
140 points: Mountain View (60, 52, 28), 2A 2014 … Douglas (40, 56, 44), 3A 2009

The fewest points scored in a championship run, though, now includes this year’s aforementioned Big Horn team. The Rams only allowed 33 points, but conversely only scored 43 — tied for second-lowest of any 11-man championship team in a three-game playoff run:

31 points: Cokeville (7, 7, 17), 1A 11-man 1994
43 points: Big Horn (28, 7, 8), 2A 2022 … Glenrock (20, 10, 13), 3A 2003
44 points: Natrona (14, 23, 7), 4A 1996
48 points: Riverside (17, 10, 21), 2A 2007
49 points: Big Piney (12, 16, 21), 3A 2006
52 points: Pine Bluffs (23, 19, 10), 1A 11-man 2016
53 points: Southeast (34, 7, 12), 1A 2008
54 points: Guernsey (32, 8, 14), 1A 2006
55 points: Cheyenne East (13, 28, 14), 4A 2013
59 points: Cokeville (28, 19, 12), 1A Division II 1998

+++

In six-man, meanwhile, Snake River just put up the best defensive playoff run of any state champion. The 2022 version of the Rattlers allowed only 22 points — six in the quarterfinals and eight in both the semifinals and championship — on their way to this year’s six-man championship.

The 22 points allowed barely edged out the 24 allowed by Snake River in its 2010 title run. Snake River also owns the third-best run with 38 allowed in its 2019 championship season.

Three teams have finished with more than 200 points scored in a six-man championship run, led by Farson’s 225 in 2018. Farson also allowed more points during its three-game playoff championship run than any other, allowing 79 that same year. Two years later, in 2020, Farson scored 154 points — the fewest ever scored by any six-man champion since 2009.

Here are the top three performances by state champions in the six-man playoffs since 2009:

Most points scored
225 points: Farson (90, 62, 73), 2018
217 points: Guernsey (65, 72, 80), 2014
202 points: Dubois (89, 59, 54), 2012

Fewest points scored
154 points
: Farson (70, 42, 42), 2020
157 points: Kaycee (60, 56, 41), 2016
173 points: Snake River (64, 42, 67), 2010

Fewest points allowed
22 points
: Snake River (6, 8, 8), 2022
24 points: Snake River (0, 12, 12), 2010
38 points: Snake River (0, 0, 38), 2019

Most points allowed
79 points
: Farson (22, 19, 38), 2018
78 points: Guernsey (8, 40, 30), 2014 … Snake River (8, 46, 24), 2021

–patrick

Wyoming’s newest high school football program will be in Casper.

Casper Christian School, which opened last year, will offer athletics for the first time this year, starting with six-man football and basketball.

CCS became a member of the Wyoming High School Activities Association and will play a sub-varsity six-man schedule this year. The Mountaineers will play Midwest in Week 0 to start the season for both programs. CCS football coach Ryan Harrison said via email the rest of the program’s schedule is in flux, as no other games are set and “we have become many teams’ backup options if another game on their schedule falls through.”

WHSAA Commissioner Ron Laird said via email Thursday that Casper Christian School will spend this year and next year playing a sub-varsity schedule, “and then will need to show that they have the numbers to sustain varsity level numbers.”

Harrison said about 10 students will make up the football team to start the season, but more could show up as the season starts. He said about 60 students will be enrolled to start the year across the seven grades (6-12) that the school offers. That is up from the 40 students enrolled last year, the school’s first. Home-school students will also be eligible to play sports.

He said he envisions the program growing as the school grows.

“Our expectation is that we will not be a six-man program forever,” Harrison said. “Casper is large enough that we have a lot of room to grow and I foresee us growing to the nine-man and eventually the 11-man levels at some point. Who knows how long that will take and what type of success we will have at the six-man level before that point, but I’m excited to see how everything turns out this year.”

Right now, Harrison said the only other sport on the horizon is boys basketball, but it too will play at the sub-varsity level to start. However, middle-school football and basketball, as well as volleyball, are also in the planning stages.

“At the size we’re at right now, it’s just about the interest our students have and if we can field a team or not,” he said.

CCS shares its building with the Restoration Church on the east side of Casper. It offers classes for sixth through 12th graders.

–patrick

Wyoming tied a Six-man Shootout record with 68 points in a 68-44 victory against the Nebraska six-man all-stars during Friday’s all-star football game in Chadron, Nebraska.

Wyoming won in the series for the first time since 2019 and took a 6-5 lead in the all-time series.

Wyoming took the lead early, and despite Nebraska’s best attempts, the flatlanders could never re-take the lead.

Snake River’s Zander Risner and Meeteetse’s Dace Bennett scored touchdowns to give Wyoming a 16-8 lead early in the second quarter.

After a Nebraska score — and then a turnover — Encampment’s Koye Gilbert caught a touchdown pass to give Wyoming a 22-16 lead. On Nebraska’s subsequent possession, Gilbert scored on a pick-six, which came on the final play before halftime, and Wyoming led 30-16 at halftime.

Nebraska cut the lead to 30-28 with a pair of early third-quarter touchdowns, but Bennett scored on a scramble and Wyoming led 38-28.

Nebraska cut the lead to 38-36 but Farson’s Cree Jones’ touchdown catch from Bennett extended Wyoming’s lead to 46-36 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter.

Hulett’s Bryce Ackerman scored to extend Wyoming’s lead to 54-36 early in the fourth quarter.

Nebraska cut the lead to 54-44 but Ackerman scored again and Wyoming led 62-44; Risner caught another touchdown pass a bit later to make the score 68-44.

Nebraska threatened but didn’t score again.

Wyoming’s 68 points tied a Six-man Shootout series record set by the Wyoming team in 2014. The 112 combined points set a series record as well.

–patrick

Wyoming’s roster for the annual Six-man Shootout all-star football game against Nebraska’s six-man all-stars is set.

The roster’s release was originally reported by WyoPreps on Tuesday.

The game will be played June 3 at Chadron State College. Each state has won five games in the series, with Nebraska winning the past two.

Coaches will be Snake River’s Jack Cobb (head coach) and Sam Weeldreyer, Hanna’s Zack Scott and Meeteetse’s Zeb Hagen.

Wyoming’s roster includes:

BURLINGTON: Brac Walker.
DUBOIS: Max Claar.
ENCAMPMENT: Michael Anderson, Caysen Barkhurt, Koye Gilbert.
FARSON: Cree Jones, Trevor Jones.
GUERNSEY: Rawland Isabell.
HULETT: Bryce Ackerman, Tyler Kromarek.
MEETEETSE: Dace Bennett, Jonathan Blessing, Kalvin Erickson, Mickle Ogden.
MIDWEST: Jacob Hutchings.
SNAKE RIVER: Wyatt Adams, Jerick Martinez, Zander Risner.

–patrick

Two Jackson players with record-setting years now sit at the top of Wyoming’s unofficial single-season passing and receiving yard record lists.

Including Week 0 efforts, Jackson’s Sadler Smith finished his season with 3,459 passing yards. Teammate Nate Keipert finished with 1,210 receiving yards. Both marks are unofficial single-season records for Wyoming.

Formerly, the records were held by Campbell County’s Dalton Holst for passing (3,190 yards in 2015) and Cheyenne East’s Chance Aumiller (1,121 yards in 2019).

Jackson went 9-3 this season and finished as Class 3A runners-up.

Smith also made the top 10 this season for single-game passing, with his 429-yard effort against Pocatello, Idaho, now third overall.

Cheyenne East’s Garet Schlabs moved into sixth in single-game receiving yards with 239 yards against Campbell County this season.

I also added sections in the individual records for nine-man and six-man games and seasons. Nine-man records are top five and date back to 2020 only. Six-man records are top 10s and date back to 2009, although full six-man season statistics were not available until 2012. However, some single-game records are incomplete due to lack of fully available game-by-game statistics. I will fill in the missing information as it becomes available.

–patrick

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