The last time Hulett started 5-0, the Red Devils were playing nine-man football.

Way back in 1994, Hulett strung together eight consecutive victories to start the season before losing the Class 1A nine-man championship game to Burlington — incidentally, the last nine-man game in Wyoming until 2020.

This year’s Red Devils, now in Class 1A six-man, have finally ended that drought, putting together victories in their first five games for the first time in almost 30 years.

Oddly enough, in 1994 after their 5-0 start, the Red Devils’ sixth game came against Midwest. The same thing will happen in 2021, as the 3-2 Oilers, on a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2017, make the visit to Crook County on Saturday for game No. 6 on Hulett’s schedule.

No matter what else happens the rest of the season, a victory against Midwest will give Hulett the top seed from the six-man East Conference. Hulett’s only remaining conference game after Saturday is against Hanna in Week 7, and even a loss to the undermanned Miners would not stop the Red Devils from holding tiebreaker victories against every other team that could tie them for the top spot.

Don’t sweat that outcome too much, though. Hulett has scored a six-man best 349 points, averaging 69.8 points per game. The defense has shored up the past two weeks, as they’ve only given up 38 points combined in their two conference games against Kaycee and Guernsey.

Victories against Midwest and Hanna — victories that must be earned, sure, but games in which Hulett will be the favorite — would give Hulett its first outright conference championship since 1999.

Then comes Week 8, when Dubois will meet Hulett halfway in Ten Sleep for the game that will be the biggest threat to Hulett’s regular-season winning streak.

If the Red Devils want to keep their 1994 comparisons going, they’ll have to beat the Rams in a year where six-man’s West Conference teams have all but dominated their East Conference foes. Hulett’s 64-58 Week 1 victory against winless Burlington marks the only time East has topped West this season. Only three such interconference six-man games remain, with Hanna hosting Encampment this week and Guernsey hosting Burlington in Week 7.

Hulett’s first priority, though, is Midwest — and 6-0.

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Some other games to watch in Week 6, at least on paper… because they’re all technically games to watch in the real world:

If Campbell County’s near-miss against Cheyenne East didn’t get your attention, the Camels’ victory against Cheyenne Central last week sure should have. The Camels and their opponents this week, Natrona, are both 3-3. Somehow, having the Camels back in the fold makes 4A fun again. …

The “old” Capital Bowl with Central and East is always interesting. I’m curious to see how the Indians rebound, because if they do, they’ll be 2021 capital city champs. …

Speaking of rivalries, the Fremont County showdown between Riverton and Lander has the makings of, well, a mystery. Riverton’s 0-6, Lander’s 1-4 and lost four in a row, but neither team is a pushover. …

This is your obligatory 3A West mention for the week, with Star Valley’s trip to Cody taking center stage in a conference that deserves all the attention it will get in 2021. …

Despite an upset loss to Burns last week, Wheatland still controls its own destiny in the 2A East. A solid Tongue River team, which is coming to Platte County, will test the Bulldogs’ resiliency. …

In a 1A nine-man East that’s suddenly quite competitive below the top rung, Saratoga’s trip to Yoder to play Southeast is maybe the most interesting game on the Week 6 schedule. Lusk’s trip to Cowley to play Rocky Mountain is, too, but doesn’t mean nearly as much to the postseason chase…

At least one really good team is going to be left out of the 1A six-man playoffs, because only four teams from the West can go. This week’s games — Farson at Dubois, Meeteetse at Snake River — will go a long way in deciding who stays home after Week 8. …

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At this point in the proceedings, I’d like to take some time out for predictions. I’ll bold the teams I think will win this week. The normal-type teams, though, will do well to know that I’m not always right. And I love unpredictability.

Thursday
Class 1A nine-man

Wind River at St. Stephens
Friday
Class 4A

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

Encampment at Hanna
Farson at Dubois
Meeteetse at Snake River
Midwest at Hulett
Open: Burlington.

For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 6” 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: 24-6 (80 percent). This season: 140-32 (81 percent).

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Cody, Lyman, Pine Bluffs, Hulett, Snake River. Five undefeated teams left. Which one(s) do you think have what it takes to finish that way? Leave a comment here, or hit me up on the Facebook page or on Twitter.

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–patrick

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