Green River Star -

By PETE RUST
Contributor 

Star Valley Braves tame GR Wolves 21-0

 

October 25, 2017

Star photo by David Martin

Quarterback Chance Hofer makes a run for it as a Star Valley Brave attempts a sack.

The Star Valley Braves brought their powerful running game to town and it was as good as expected, overpowering the Wolves in their final regular season game 21-0.

The Braves, the defending 3A State champs, came away with their 14th straight victory as they dominated with 62 plays to Green River's 30, utilizing only one pass play. The Braves wore down the smaller Wolves defenders though their time of possession on long drives. Their All-State running back Josh Dawson lead the runners, complimented by the blocking and ball carrying of his teammate tight end, Ronnie Kaye.

While the Braves dominated time of possession and the score, the game was much closer than the score indicated, particularly in the first half.

The Wolves got the ball to start the game with an excellent kickoff return by Anthony Johnson of 26 yards to start the drive, but the Wolves went three and out on offense as Star Valley showed a tough, aggressive defense to start the game.

Star Valley took over and sustained a long drive with one big run play of 33 yards, but the Wolves defense, led by Chance Anderson, stiffened and stopped the Braves. The Wolves' next drive lasted a much longer, totalling eight plays with one big run of 12 yards by speedy Kyle Ivie, but the Wolves were forced to punt at the end. Chance Hofer hit an excellent 35-yard punt into a strong 25 mph wind to the 5-yard line to pin Star Valley deep in their own territory. The Braves then mounted a long drive going 83 yards on nine plays, surprising the Wolves with speedy Wyatt Moore changing the pace from the pounding running of Dawson on a 48-yard spring for the first score of the game, despite tough defense from Justin Rubalcaba, Anderson, Candon Croft, Anthony Mitchell, Payton Tucker and a host of other Wolves defenders.

The Wolves' offense took over and ran just five plays before being forced to punt once more, with a big play going against Green River when running back Ivie was injured and was taken out for the rest of the game.

The Wolves stopped Star Valley on the next series as Tucker, a sophomore who has started all season, came up with a fumble recovery to turn the ball back to the Wolves' offense. In the next series, the Wolves gained 30 yards on two big penalties against Star Valley, one against the Braves' Dawson for a head-to-head tackle against Hofer and one against Star Valley's bench who disagreed with that call. The Wolves moved to the 2-yard line, but were unable to punch it in, which turned out to be a huge momentum changer just prior to half time.

In their first offensive series of the second half, Star Valley marched 75 yards in 18 grueling plays, with Dawson running hard for 10 plays, eventually taking the ball in for the second score of the game and a 14-0 lead in a 9 minute drive. Anderson Croft, Dakota Wingard, Devin Love and Dallin Serrano made the Braves work for every yard with Dawson having to leave the game several times after some big hits by the Wolves' defense.

On their first series of the second half, the Wolves sustained another devastating loss to injury as Cole White went out after a pass from Hofer and did not return to the game. Hofer blasted a 65-yard punt with the wind to again pin the Braves back.

The Braves mounted another long drive taking more than 7 minutes and 15 plays, with six runs by Kay and seven by Dawson, with Kay taking it in for a 21-0 lead. The Wolves mounted a drive of their own late in the game, but it ended with a big hit on Hofer, who fumbled the ball to end the drive.

Despite having a powerful running game and a tough defense, the Wolves were a couple of offensive plays from a one score game. The Wolves played a tough defense with Anderson leading the way with 26 tackles on the night.

The Wolves will enter the playoffs seeded No. 2 when they host the Douglas Bearcats at Wolves Stadium Friday night.

 

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