The 2023 state football championships — and the 2023 season — are done. Here’s a quick look at how the championship games turned out:
Class 1A six-man: Snake River’s 30-game winning streak came to an end after Burlington stopped the Rattlers four times inside the 10-yard line — including a fourth-and-inches play — in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to preserve its 42-39 victory. The Huskies won their third state championship and their first since 1994 and thwarted Snake River’s three-peat attempt. Joe Bassett’s receiving touchdown in the fourth quarter gave the Huskies the lead for good in a game that was tight throughout; after a quick Burlington start, the game was tied at 26 at halftime.
Class 1A nine-man: In the Class 1A nine-man title game, the first quarter belonged to Wind River. The rest of the game belonged to Big Piney. The Punchers rallied from a 14-0 deficit and scored the game’s next 39 points to win going away, 39-14. Big Piney won its ninth state title in program history and its first since 2006.
Class 2A: The 2A game — for the third straight year — came down to extra points. Torrington made all four of its, while Big Horn missed two of its four (one kick and one two-point), and the Trailblazers won 28-26. The Trailblazers never trailed and won their first state championship since 1990 after several close calls, finishing as runners-up in 1992, 1996, 2017, 2018 and 2020. Big Horn was playing in its 15th state championship game since 2000 and was denied an opportunity to repeat as state champion. Torrington will head to Class 3A next season.
Class 3A: The 3A championship was anticlimactic, as Star Valley never let Cody into the game and won going away, 27-0. The Broncs did have opportunities, making it inside Star Valley’s 20-yard line four times, but the Braves held each of the four times, including a block field goal in the first half. The Braves rode Smith McClure’s offensive production, as the quarterback ran for three touchdowns and threw another. Star Valley won its 14th state championship and its sixth title in the past nine years.
Class 4A: Speaking of anticlimactic, Sheridan absolutely had its way with Cheyenne East to win the Class 4A title, with the Broncs winning 31-3. In winning yet another championship — the program’s 30th — the Broncs finished their second three-peat of the decade. Along the way, the Broncs finished 2023 with 608 points, a new state 11-man record.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 3-2 (60 percent). This season: 266-49 (84 percent). 19-year overall mark: 4,621-1,092 (81 percent).
And with that, the 2023 season has come to a close. Site updates will be coming over the next week or so, with individual team pages getting the 2023 season data added to them as soon as I can.
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