Have “Alex Trebek” read this week’s post. Made possible by Uberduck.

For the seniors on Evanston’s football team this year, a 5-0 start should feel familiar.

As freshmen, the Red Devils started their season the exact same way.

To start the 2018 season, Evanston defeated Altamont, Utah; Rawlins; Riverton; Lander and Powell.

Then Evanston played Cody, and it all started crashing down.

The 46-26 loss that the Broncs, then 3-1, handed the Red Devils started a slide from which Evanston could not recover. After that loss to Cody, Evanston went 2-19 over the next two-plus seasons.

The Red Devils lost three of their final four games and exited the 3A playoffs quietly in the quarterfinals. Then came 2019 (0-8) and 2020 (1-8), two seasons that made this year’s success that much sweeter.

“Dizzy” is about the only way to describe the type of turnaround Evanston has had in 2021.

Evanston’s season so far has been a showcase of both good fortune and good play under pressure. The Red Devils’ first four victories came by a combined 14 points; last week’s 27-7 victory against Green River was the Red Devils’ first wire-to-wire dominant victory.

Now, once again, Evanston finds itself where it was three years ago: 5-0, ready to play Cody in an effort to keep the undefeated momentum going.

The only slight difference this time as compared to 2018 is that this year, Cody is also undefeated, bringing a 4-0 record into Friday’s showdown in Uinta County. They are the last two undefeated teams in Class 3A.

Evanston has been here before.

The Red Devils’ challenge is to have the previous sentence be impossible to say at the end of October.

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Cody-Evanston is not the only game where two undefeated teams are meeting. The last two undefeated teams in Class 1A nine-man, and the top two ranked, meet in eastern Laramie County when Pine Bluffs hosts Shoshoni. This might be the closest thing we have to a state championship game preview this week. Both have already proven themselves in their respective conference games; this nonconference matchup won’t affect seeding but will definitely affect strategy, mentality and approaches to a potential postseason rematch. …

Four teams in Class 4A are 4-1. Of those four, Sheridan appears to have the toughest task on their hands to move to 5-1 as the Broncs host Natrona. Of course, last year’s four-overtime epic between these teams isn’t far from anyone’s minds, and neither is the fact that the Broncs are coming off a loss for the first time this season. How will they respond? …

Wheatland and Torrington are the last two undefeated teams in the 2A East conference standings, but the Trailblazers in particular pick up a tough challenge this week against Big Horn, winners of two straight and eager spoilers in the East race. …

We knew the 1A six-man West was going to be wild, and so far it has not disappointed. The most intriguing game on the schedule this week is Encampment-Meeteetse. The Longhorns have given up 68 points in each of their last two games and yet still won them both. Can the track meets continue?

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Picks. Bold = teams I think are going to win. Sometimes life really is that simple.

Thursday
Interclass
Rock Springs JV at Snake River
Friday
Class 4A

Campbell County at Cheyenne Central
Cheyenne East at Cheyenne South
Kelly Walsh at Thunder Basin
Natrona at Sheridan
Rock Springs at Laramie
Class 3A
Buffalo at Riverton
Cody at Evanston
Douglas at Lander
Green River at Jackson
Powell at Star Valley
Rawlins at Worland
Class 2A
Big Horn at Torrington
Big Piney at Lovell
Glenrock at Newcastle
Lyman at Kemmerer
Thermopolis at Cokeville
Wheatland at Burns
Class 1A nine-man
Lingle at Saratoga
Riverside at Wind River
Shoshoni at Pine Bluffs
Southeast at Moorcroft
Wright at Lusk
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Dubois
Encampment at Meeteetse
Hanna at Midwest
Hulett at Guernsey-Sunrise
Kaycee at Farson
Saturday
Class 2A
Pinedale at Mountain View
Upton-Sundance at Tongue River
Class 1A nine-man
Rocky Mountain at Wyoming Indian

St. Stephens and Greybull canceled their game this week.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 5” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.

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Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:

Last week: 28-3 (90 percent). This season: 116-26 (82 percent).

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Did you make it this far? I know I did. If you did, too, I know you’re a dedicated fan of this stuff, and I’d love to hear from you and what you think about concession stand popcorn, press box wannabe DJs, and, oh yeah, players and teams that have caught your eye through the first half of the regular season. Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

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–patrick

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