For the first time since 2012, all five championship games were rematches of regular-season encounters.
And if you wanted to know how the title games went, you didn’t have to look any further than those earlier games.
All five teams that won these matchups in the regular season also won them on Friday and Saturday in Laramie, as Sheridan, Cody, Lyman, Shoshoni and Snake River made it clear their victories earlier this season were no flukes — they were trends.
Sheridan won its second Class 4A championship in three years and its fifth in seven years with an overwhelming offensive performance, beating Rock Springs 45-27. Rock Springs fell behind on the opening kickoff, which Sheridan ran back for a touchdown, and never recovered. The Broncs led 24-7 at halftime and the Tigers never got closer than 16 points in the second half. Compared to Sheridan’s 27-24 victory against Rock Springs in the regular season, this one wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking, but since the W came in Laramie, it generated significantly more excitement.
The Class 3A classic many expected — expectations based on Cody’s last-minute 21-15 victory against Jackson in Week 8 — didn’t develop. But Cody doesn’t mind that at all. Three long pick-sixes from Cody on three consecutive possessions in the second half broke open what had been a close game. The Broncs rode that momentum to a 41-24 victory and a second consecutive state championship and its fourth since 2014. At 11-0, Cody finished with its first undefeated, untied season since 1932.
In Class 2A, points came at a premium. Lyman’s second-quarter score and two-point conversion was enough for an 8-6 victory against 2A West foe Lovell. The game was nothing like the regular-season matchup the two teams had in September, when the Eagles scored points in bunches in a 34-15 victory. Lyman, though, will take that victory any way it can, marking a school-record 19th consecutive time the Eagles have finished with more points than their opponents. It’s the longest active winning streak in Wyoming, and it will continue into 2022.
Shoshoni’s championship in Class 1A nine-man built slowly. The Wranglers scored once each in the first, second and third quarters and had a 19-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter; they held on to beat Rocky Mountain 19-6. For the two West Conference rivals, their meeting in Week 11 was quite similar to their Week 2 game that Shoshoni won 27-10. Shoshoni will take it; the title is the program’s first since 1985. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies finished 9-2, with both losses to Shoshoni.
The Class 1A six-man championship game between Snake River and Encampment, at least in terms of the final score, was nearly identical to the regular-season matchup. Snake River won the championship game and capped an undefeated season with a 65-24 victory; the Rattlers won the regular-season matchup 66-24. The championship game itself was close at halftime, but an inspired Snake River effort on defense in the second half helped the Rattlers win their fourth state championship since 2010 and their second in the past three years.
And that’s how the 2021 season came to a close — familiarly.
Here are the results of my picks from last week, this season and all-time:
Last week: 4-1 (80 percent). This season: 261-50 (84 percent). 17-year overall mark: 4,085-999 (80 percent).
Several pages have already been updated, including the 2021 scores and standings pages, the playoff brackets, the state champions listings, the state championship games and a few others. Individual team pages, scoring records, streaks, all-time standings and everything else I can update with the 2021 games will be updated throughout the day on Sunday.
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Post updated at 9:33 a.m. Nov. 14 to correct an error in reporting on Class 4A.