Green River Star -

By Pete Rust
Contributor 

Wolves fall to Braves in Star Valley

 

September 26, 2018

A pack of Wolves take down a Star Valley runner during their game with the Braves Friday. The Wolves will look to earn a win Friday when they take on Jackson at Wolves Stadium. Photo courtesy of Chet Erickson, Star Valley Independent

The Wolves hit the road for the second week in a row to take on the always tough Star Valley Braves in their conference opener Friday, but ended with a difficult 31-0 shutout in favor of the Braves.

An early start time meant the teams had a huge crowd with perfect weather unaffected by the smoke of local forest fires.

The Wolves were without three of their best players with All Conference linebacker and receiver Anthony Mitchell,as well as juniors Payton Tucker and Thomas Harvey. The young Wolves got even younger, as a group of mostly sophomores replaced the three upperclassmen in the lineup.

The Wolves kicked off to the Braves, who returned the kick 23 yards before being stopped by sophomore Jace Griffiths. The Wolves defense gave up one first down in the drive, but stopped Star Valley who had to punt. The Wolves then mounted a seven-play drive with the big play, a 17-yard pass from quarterback Dallan Serrano to sophomore James King, but Star Valley's defense sacked Serrano for a 10-yard loss and the Wolves had to punt.

Star Valley ran the ball on four consecutive plays, with one first down in the drive, but good defense by Tayler Jensen, Jose Sanchez and King stopped Star Valley, forcing a second punt. Senior Anthony Johnson got of an excellent 20-yard return, but the Wolves offense was stopped on their second drive and they had to put. Star Valley ripped off several good runs, but the defense did not break, led by seniors Ryan Hoffman, Kyle Ivie, Michial Anderson and junior Tayler Jensen. The first quarter ended with no score by either team.

On the first play of their series, Serrano completed a 27-yard pass to sophomore Seth White, but the drive stalled on a fumble and Star Valley got the ball back. Star Valley again went to their run game and aided by a 15-yard face-mask penalty scored their first touchdown of the game on a 21-yard pass.

The Wolves got two good runs by Serrano and a third by King, but a couple of incomplete passes and a run for no gain and the Wolves again had to punt, with Seth White booting it 57 yards into the end zone.

Star Valley went on a long drive, but once again the Wolves defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Braves.

The Wolves then mounted a long drive of their own, but ran out of time on the 11-yard line with the halftime score 7-0 in favor of the home team. "We played really well in the first half," head coach Marty Wrage said.

The second half kick of was returned by Austin Anderson for 13 yards and the Wolves were in good field position to start their drive. King, running hard, picked up 19 yards on first down. The second down snap was fumbled, but recovered by the Wolves. Constant pressure and with the Wolves' next two passes being incomplete forced a punt. White kicked a 37-yard punt and the Braves took over.

They mounted another long drive wearing down the Wolves defense, which ended in a 32-yard touchdown run and after the P.A.T. the Braves were up 14-0.

The Wolves ran six plays with one first down, but were stopped by the Braves and had to punt again. The Braves mounted another drive, which ended in a failed 29-yard field goal.

On the first play of their drive Green River's pass was intercepted and returned all the way to the 5-yard line.

The Braves then had fumbles on two consecutive plays, with senior Russell Ferrell making the recovery on the second, allowing the Wolves to dodge a bullet.

However, the Wolves again were stopped by the Braves and the ball went back to Star Valley to start the fourth quarter.

Star Valley continued to run the ball and, with the aid of a penalty, they again took the ball in for another score with the point after the score was 21-0.

The Wolves offense could just not get going against the bigger, more experienced Star Valley defense, while the Wolves defense was getting worn down by Star Valley's long drives. The Braves scored one more touchdown and a field goal to end the game with a 31-0 shutout.

Wrage said big plays hurt the team in the second half. He does believe the team continued to improve, but also cautioned that they have a long way to go.

The coach said they are seeing continued improvement and that leaders are "beginning to emerge in each grade, which bodes well for the future of their program."

The Wolves will return home for their next game to the friendly confines of Wolves Stadium for their own Homecoming game against 4-1 Jackson.

 

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