After looking at the Class 4A standings two weeks into the season, and then the upcoming Week 2 schedule, a simple question crept into my brain:
When was the last time Kelly Walsh and Rock Springs played each other when both teams were undefeated?
So, because I can, I looked.
The answer? If you don’t count season openers… Never. The answer is never.
This isn’t too surprising. Despite being consistent Class 4A rivals, the Trojans and the Tigers have found their peaks at separate times. Of their 31 meetings, only three have been in the playoffs — the quarterfinals in 2001 and championship games in 1980 and 1981.
The 1980 title-game meeting is the closest we’ve ever come to having an undefeated Tiger-Trojan game; both teams came into the championship at 8-1, with KW winning its first of back-to-back titles at Rock Springs’ expense.
The lack of undefeated encounters ends on Friday, though, when the 2-0 Tigers host the 2-0 Trojans in Sweetwater County.
Rock Springs was my preseason No. 1 in Class 4A, so it’s not much of a surprise to see them at 2-0 after two weeks. The Tigers wasted Campbell County to start the season and topped last week’s No. 1 team in the Wyopreps Coaches and Media Poll, Thunder Basin, by double digits in Gillette.
Kelly Walsh? Well, the Trojans notched a huge victory last week by beating Cheyenne Central 21-13 in Casper, their second of two victories against Cheyenne schools after overwhelming outmanned Cheyenne South in Week 0.
Together, they represent two of the three remaining undefeated teams in Class 4A, with Sheridan and its 113-0 scoring advantage through two games the other.
Between the Tigers and Trojans, that number of undefeated teams will shrink by at least one after this week.
And that’s the first time anyone has been able to say that.
Some other games that look like they could be something really special this week:
Lander made my socks leave my feet — almost as if those sweaty foot coverings were blown that way — in its Week 1 game against Green River. I’m insanely curious to see how they stack up at home against Powell. If the Tigers can somehow win this one, watch out. …
Evanston has won two one-point games in a row to start the season and already have more victories than the past two seasons combined. It will be interesting to see if the Red Devils can keep the momentum going against Riverton in an intriguing matchup. …
If “slugfest” could be bottled and sold, you’d probably be able to buy it in Lyman on Friday, where the Eagles will face Cokeville in a game that has either 6-0 or 42-41 written all over it. I just can’t figure out which. …
It doesn’t seem fair that Lusk and Pine Bluffs play each other in the 1A nine-man East lid-lifter. This should be a Week 8 game. A conference championship might just be on the line in Week 2. …
Encampment and Snake River both got off to quick starts last week, and in a conference as competitive as the 1A six-man West, every game will be crucial. The whole direction of the conference could be dictated by what happens in Baggs on Friday.
Here are this week’s picks. Projected winners are in bold, but so are classifications and days of the week, which is a subconscious reminder that we’re all winners when football is happening.
Newcastle at Upton-Sundance
Natrona JV at Hulett
Campbell County at Cheyenne East
Kelly Walsh at Rock Springs
Natrona at Laramie
Sheridan at Cheyenne Central
Thunder Basin at Cheyenne South
Cody at Worland
Green River at Buffalo
Powell at Lander
Riverton at Evanston
Big Horn at Wheatland
Burns at Tongue River
Cokeville at Lyman
Kemmerer at Pinedale
Lovell at Mountain View
Torrington at Glenrock
Class 1A nine-man
Greybull at Wind River
Lusk at Pine Bluffs
Saratoga at Moorcroft
Shoshoni at Rocky Mountain
Southeast at Lingle
Wright at Wyoming Indian
Class 1A six-man
Encampment at Snake River
Midwest at Dubois
Belle Fourche, S.D., at Douglas
Jackson at Pocatello, Idaho
Rawlins at Moffat County, Colo.
Sugar-Salem, Idaho, at Star Valley
Class 1A nine-man
Riverside at St. Stephens
Class 1A six-man
Burlington at Farson
Meeteetse at Kaycee
Hanna at Cheyenne East sophs
Thermopolis at Big Piney has been postponed to Oct. 19. Guernsey also forfeited its game to the Cheyenne Central JV this week due to the Vikings being in quarantine due to COVID-19. Mask up, stay safe, get vaccinated and do your part to help keep football, and everything else, going.
For a full schedule including kickoff times, as well as results from past weeks, go here. Click on “Week 2” on the top of the page for this week’s schedule.
Here are the results of my picks from last week and this season:
Last week: 22-8 (73 percent). This season: 35-12 (74 percent).
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