Green River Star -

By Pete Rust
Contributor 

Wolves earn 8-6 win Friday

 

September 16, 2020

Toby Trumble

Max Orr tries to recover a fumble during action against the Buffalo Bison Friday at Wolves Stadium. The Wolves would go on to win the defensive contest 8-6.

This past Friday the Wolves (0-1) took on the Buffalo Bison, who had not played a game due to their first game being canceled by COVID-19 concerns. Buffalo is returning to the 3A conference for football for the first time in several years, but had gone to the championship game last year. The Bison, despite graduating nine starters on both offense and defense their previous year, had a number of experienced players returning.

The Wolves got the ball to start the game, but went three and out on the first three plays and had to punt. Senior Seth White got off a good punt to the 28-yard line and Buffalo got a 13-yard run, followed by a short gain of 2 yards before connecting on a 56-yard screen pass on their third play of the game, scoring a touchdown for the Bison. However,a low snap caused a run attempt, which was stopped and held the Bison to a 6-0 lead.

The Wolves took over with senior running back James King carrying the ball for several plays. This momentum would not last after the offense stalled on a couple short runs and an incomplete pass, giving Buffalo possession of the ball.

Buffalo took to the run also with five running plays before an incomplete pass stalled their drive, with good defense against the runs provided by seniors J.D. Renfro, Derek Saldivar, Max Orr, King and Tony Murphy, amongst others.

The Wolves got the ball back and once again Buffalo played tough defense, giving the Wolves only three plays before having to punt. With the ball being exchanged again on a couple series that went nowhere for both teams, Buffalo held a 6-0 lead at the end of the quarter.

Both teams moved the ball in the second quarter but were unable to score until King, carrying the load for Green River on the ground with good blocking from his offensive line, scored to tie the game at 6-0.

On the extra point attempt the snap from center was fumbled. but senior kicker Oran Watts recovered the fumble and rolled out with a Buffalo defender holding his jersey got of a perfect pass to fellow senior Kolby Ivie, who made the catch for the two-point conversion and the Wolves took an 8-6 lead just before the end of the first half.

The rest of the game was similar to the first half as the Bison pounded the ball into the Wolves' line for, but tough defense from juniors Jacob Schieve, Alex Atkinson, and Hayden Roberts; and seniors Canaan Eslick, Ivie, Jake Martinez, Trevor Brangham, King and Saldivar and others held the tough Buffalo runners from getting into the end zone.

Green River was able to move the ball but Buffalo's run defense tightened and the Wolves were unable to score in the second half.

Neither team was able to get much of a passing game going as a strong crosswind frustrated the play of both teams all night.

In the end both teams exhibited strong defense and a strong running game, but the Wolves were just a little bit stronger in almost all phases of the game and came away with the victory.

King, who was all over the field on defense, carried the ball 27 times for 109 yards to lead the Wolves. They will travel to Worland (0-2) Friday for the first road game of the season.

"We knew Buffalo would be tough as they have some hard nosed kids and they played us extremely well for all 4 quarters," Green River's new head football coach Kevin Cuthbertson, said.

The coach said he was extremely proud of his team as they overcame some tough situations and the entire team played well, especially noting the defense making two goal line stands.

Looking ahead, Cuthbertson said they have another tough opponent coming up in Worland as they face the long road trip. The coach also noted that Worland is a different team than they have faced in their first two games as the team spreads the ball out on offense and uses the pass much more than their first two opponents. The coach also said they need to "work hard to get more production out of our offense and put more points on the board in order to stay in the win column."

 

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