A Celebration of Wyoming Football Rivalry
Wranglers vs. Punchers - Big Piney takes the Trophy home
by Terry Allen
November 12, 2015
In the golden glow of a late afternoon Wyoming sun, the Big Piney band played, the cheer teams cheered and the crowd clapped as the red clad Big Piney Punchers and the white clad Pinedale Wranglers ran onto the brilliant green field of play looking every bit as fit and well trained as Wyoming Cowboys; and fit they were.
Back and forth and up and down the field both teams ran, kicking up big sprays of the rubber sand buried in the turf...like a quarter horse throws up clods in a moist field. The players threw, tackled and slipped tackles, jumped and caught, jumped and missed, and dove like supermen for balls, jerseys and ankles.
When teams changed possession, the players ran to the sidelines and gathered around their coach and stared into his eyes, hanging on every word he spoke.
It wasn’t until near the end of the 3rd quarter that Big Piney scored the first points of the game. Unfortunately for Pinedale, the points came as a proximate result of a thrown interception…the first of three for them that probably determined the final outcome.
Big Piney went for the two point conversion, but the Wranglers wouldn’t let them have it. Interestingly, neither team attempted kicking an extra point. Instead, they tried for the two pointer at each opportunity.
Just before the end of the 3rd, Pinedale threw for a 70 yard play, but they weren’t able to get across the goal line before the quarter ended. On the first play of the 4th quarter Pinedale scored on a run by the always slippery Caleb Raney…making the scored tied at 6 – 6.
Unfortunately, it was after that exciting score that a series of errors befell Pinedale. A couple more interceptions that looked like the same play that resulted in the first interception; and then at least one fumble…pretty much dug too deep a hole for the team to climb out of.
Pinedale still played with great heart and skill, but there wasn’t enough time left on the clock for them to gain a second wind.
It was a heartwarming sight to see the player’s line up and give congratulations and recognitions to each other for a fair and hard-fought battle.
As a long line of young men in white uniforms slowly filed off the field of battle, the Big Piney Punchers raised the winner’s trophy in victory.
Then, the coach spoke and they gathered round him and took a knee and listened to him speak of the goals they had set and achieved, how he had watched them grow into men, and how he expected them to build on that and live their lives in good sportsmanship and as humble champions.
Congratulations to all you Sublette County, Wyoming athletes!
The rivalry football game was played Friday, October 23rd. For corrections or to order prints, contact Terry at: firstname.lastname@example.org.