Colors: gold and black
Stadium: Bison Bowl
State championships: 1979, 1983, 1996, 2004 and 2005
Times worth remembering: The Bison have had plenty of success, but nothing compares to the 27-game winning streak they produced in 2004-06. Led by a core of athletes that included five Super 25 honorees, the Bison put together back-to-back 11-0 championship seasons in 2004 and 2005, teams that many considered the best in the state regardless of classification.
Times worth forgetting: After a loss in the state championship game in 1961, the Bison hit some hard times, going 1-8 in 1962 and 1-7-1 in 1963. Both years, the only team Buffalo beat was Midwest. But, as usual for Buffalo, the streak didn’t last too long — the 1964 team went 6-2-1, and since then the Bison haven’t had a season with fewer than two victories.
Best team: The Bison team of 2005 might have been the best assembly of talent ever seen not only in Buffalo, but in any current Class 3A program. Led by the backfield of Chris Prosinski, John Camino, Kyle Cummings and Josh Smith, Buffalo was rarely challenged. The Bison’s closest regular-season win was a 25-point victory over Lander, and after rolling past Douglas and Powell in the playoffs, the Bison beat Star Valley in Afton 17-14 in the championship.
Biggest win: After losing to Mountain View in the 2A championship game in 1995, Buffalo’s only loss in a 9-1 season, the Bison earned a chance for revenge in the semifinals one year later. In what basically amounted to the state championship game, the Bison edged out the Buffaloes 9-6 in a hard-fought game at the Bison Bowl. The next week, the Bison won an anticlimactic 33-6 title game over Thermopolis, a team the Bison had beaten 35-18 earlier in the season…. But it was all set up by the win over Mountain View. It capped an 18-2 run over two years and set up the Bison’s only championship of the 1990s.
Heartbreaker: Robert Allen is a name Bison fans aren’t likely to forget. After all, it was Allen that scored all four touchdowns for Star Valley in Buffalo’s 27-22 loss to the Braves in the 1980 Class A championship, including a 90-yard kick return to open the game and the game-winning 68-yard touchdown run with about 10 minutes to go. Buffalo scored all 22 of its points in the first half and led 22-21 at halftime, but couldn’t hold off Allen and the Braves one last time.
Updates: Manville, Sunrise, Wheatland, Cokeville, Big Piney, St. Mary’s, Burns, Reliance, Pinedale, Glendo and coaches
Some updates I’ve found in the past couple weeks:
Found the date for Manville’s 18-13 victory over Sunrise on Sept. 12, 1952.
Found the score for Wheatland’s 20-6 loss to Eaton, Colo., on Nov. 2, 1945.
Found the date for Cokeville’s 20-12 victory over Big Piney on Oct. 20, 1944 (stays on missing games list because I couldn’t find the location).
Found the score for St. Mary’s 44-6 victory over Burns on Sept. 24, 1943.
Found the location of Reliance’s 32-6 victory over Pinedale on Oct. 8, 1943 (it was in Pinedale).
Noted that Big Piney won its game against the Green River JV on Sept. 2, 1995 (stays on missing games list because I haven’t found a final score).
Noted that Glendo won its game against the Natrona JV on Oct. 6, 1967 (stays on missing games list because I haven’t found a final score).
Coaches Project: Updates for Big Piney, Glendo, Guernsey, Jackson, Lander, Manville, Pinedale, Riverton, Shoshoni, St. Mary’s, Sunrise, Wheatland, Worland. Check out those individual team pages to see the progress.
The score was 44-21 — about what you’d expect in the Gillette-Evanston season opener.
Evanston won the game? Not Gillette?
Oh. Well, that changes everything.
Yes, it really was Evanston, and not Gillette, that dominated. On the road. With a new coach. Coming off a 1-8 season.
All of the traditional reasons that Evanston should have lost on Friday did not mean anything to the Red Devils, who went from unknown afterthought to the center of attention in Class 4A football circles. Evanston burst out to a big lead early and made big plays all night long against the Camels, who never figured out how to stop the Red Devils’ offensive attack.
On an opening night that pretty much went according to the script, the Red Devils provided the dramatic turn of the plot in the final scene — the one that keeps the audience breathlessly waiting to see what happens next.
We only have to wait a few more days to see just that. Evanston hosts Natrona next week in an early showdown of 1-0 teams. Gillette, meanwhile, has to travel to Laramie and try to regroup against the Plainsmen, who also lost a tough season opener on Friday.
The only thing we can say with any certainty at this point of the season is that, with eight weeks remaining in the regular season, Evanston has already matched last year’s win total — and that no one will take them lightly the rest of the season.
Second mad props to Laurel, Mont., which beat Cody 21-12 on Saturday night.
Late Sunday edit: Third mad props to the Cheyenne East JV, which beat Southeast 20-16 on Saturday in Cheyenne. The T-Birds returned two punts for touchdowns, including one with a minute to go in the game, to knock off the Cyclones. That’s becoming a trend for East, isn’t it?
And that’s all I missed in the opening week of picks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some games that deserve some mention:
I attended the Cheyenne East-Green River game on Friday, and even though East won 33-30, Green River was quite impressive. The Wolves kept the game interesting and never gave up, rallying for 23 points in the final 6:10 to keep it close. Obviously, East’s Jeremy Woods stole the show with 215 rushing yards and a 74-yard punt return touchdown, but don’t forget the Wolves had two backs with more than 100 rushing yards in Kolby Kester and Cooper Palmer….
Don’t underestimate either Lyman or Newcastle this year. Both teams played out-of-state foes down to the final minute on Friday, and even though they both lost, they both proved they have what it takes to hang in Class 2A this fall….
Riverton put up 49 points on Saturday in a big victory over Jackson. Like I said on Thursday, I think Riverton has been under the radar all offseason — something you have love as a team, because every week is another opportunity to prove yourselves and you don’t have to have expectations weighing you down. A tough draw of nonconference opponents (Powell, Star Valley and Lander) will test that notion, but if Saturday is any indication, the Wolverines could be 4-0 heading into their 3A East schedule. …
One other housekeeping note: The game between Powell and Miles City, Mont., was canceled due to a koala bear infestation up in Custer County…. It was the cutest infestation ever. Until I hear otherwise, that will be the reasoning I give. Thanks to Mitch Hedberg for the help on that game!
This week: 12-3 (80 percent). This season: 12-3 (80 percent).
Newsbreak: Sheridan, Kelly Walsh, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne Central, Gillette, Evanston, Cody, Torrington, Thermopolis, Lovell, Riverside
Sheridan defense stifles Kelly Walsh, Natrona answers a challenge from Central and East’s Jeremy Woods comes up big in reserve role (Casper Star-Tribune). … Gillette suffers eye-opener against Evanston (Gillette News-Record). … Cody-Laurel brief recap (Billings Gazette). … Some video of the Torrington jamboree (Torrington Telegram). … Thermopolis-Lovell recap (Northern Wyo Daily News, click today). … Riverside season preview (Basin Republican Rustler).
I’m waiting to recap my weekly picks, but, in true Zero Week style, I’m still waiting to hear some scores from some games. Has anyone heard finals from these games? If so, post it below and share, pretty please!
Greybull at Riverside
Southeast at Cheyenne East JV
Wind River at Big Piney
Nevertheless, it was a fun opening weekend. Any favorite moments stick out for you? Post them below.
Thanks and we’ll see you for Humble Pie on Sunday.
Newsbreak: East, Green River, Natrona, Central, Rock Springs, Laramie, Sheridan, Kelly Walsh, Newcastle
Cheyenne East-Green River recap and Natrona-Cheyenne Central recap (Wyoming Tribune Eagle). … Rock Springs-Laramie recap (Laramie Boomerang). … Sheridan-Kelly Walsh recap, Natrona-Cheyenne Central recap and Cheyenne East-Green River recap (Casper Star-Tribune). … Custer, S.D.-Newcastle recap (Rapid City Journal).
Newsbreak: Natrona, Central, Kelly Walsh, Sheridan, 4A, Cheyenne East, Gillette, Laramie, Meeteetse, Riverside, Green River, Greybull, Lusk
Natrona season preview, Natrona-Central preview, Kelly Walsh season preview, Kelly Walsh-Sheridan preview, Hulett cancels varsity season, and Class 4A classification preview (Casper Star-Tribune). … East looks to change defensive outcomes (Wyoming Tribune Eagle). … Gillette kicks off season at home (Gillette News-Record). … Laramie season preview (Laramie Boomerang). … New coach fires up Meeteetse (Cody Enterprise). … Tradition carries over for new coach at Riverside (Northern Wyo Daily News, click today). … Green River faces rebuilding positively (Green River Star). … Greybull veterans lead youth into new season (Greybull Standard). … Lusk seniors carry high expectations into final year (Lusk Herald).
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