Jackson Hole Broncs run over Green River
October 12, 2023
The Green River Wolves traveled to Jackson Hole to play in what was characterized as a "must win" game for either team as the Wolves came in with a 1-4 overall record and Jackson was 2-4. Jackson had the number one rated quarterback and number one rated receiver in #3A, as well as a potent passing game, averaging over 300 yards passing per game. The Wolves held them to just 129 yards passing, but Jackson changed gears and came up with an effective running game, rushing for 179 yards to the Wolves' 23 yards, which included a number of runs that were stopped for losses and several sacks which contributed minus 34 yards to Green River's run total.
In the Wolves' first offensive series they got several gains on run plays, but a penalty, a fumble, and a sack resulted in the Wolves having to punt to Jackson from their own end zone. The short punt gave the ball to Jackson on the 35-yard line. Jackson had a couple of good runs, but they had a penalty and two fumbles which they recovered. They were able to kick a 32-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Wolves mounted a sustained drive on their next possession, but a penalty halted the drive and once again the Wolves punted. Jackson mixed passes and runs to march down the field, culminating in a pass to the end zone for a touchdown. After the P.A.T. kick was blocked, Jackson had an early 9-0 lead. On the next series, the Wolves were stopped again, but on Jackson's series Senior Axel MacKinnon intercepted the pass to stop Jackson and give the Wolves some momentum. Still, on the very first play for the Wolves, Jackson intercepted and got the ball back. Neither team scored the rest of the first half and Jackson took a 9-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jackson got the ball to start the second half and dealt Green River a demoralizing blow as they got a big 72-yard kick off return. After a 15-yard run they were able to take the ball into the end zone on a short run, and with the point after kick good they had a 16-0 lead. The Wolves got the ball, but Jackson stopped them in three plays and they had to punt the ball back to Jackson. After Green River's Garrett Smith stopped Jackson for a loss on first down, the Wolves came up with a big hit on the Jackson receiver on a swing pass. Smith recovered the fumble and the Wolves were back in business. Unfortunately Jackson's defense stopped the Wolves again and Jackson took over on downs. Jackson then fumbled the ball back to the Wolves, and a couple plays later Jackson's pass was picked off by Mackinnon for his second interception of the game to stop Jackson's drive once more.
In the battle of turnovers, Jackson moved the ball on the ground with a couple of good runs, but Sophomore Dax Taylor came up with a big interception to stop Jackson once more going into the fourth quarter. The Wolves got three completions in their next offensive series, but a quarterback sack by the Jackson defense stopped them again. In just two plays, Jackson's potent pass offense had run the ball twice, taking it into the end zone for a 23-0 lead after the P.A.T. kick was good.
The Wolves' Mackinnon then returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for what turned out to be the Wolves' only score of the day to make the score 23-6. Jackson's defense stopped the Wolves on their next couple of series and added one more touchdown on a pass play to complete the victory at 30-6.
Players of the game for the Wolves were Christian Lee on offense, who caught four passes, and Axel MacKinnon on defense, who, in addition to making a great kickoff return for a touchdown, also intercepted two passes. The Wolves' defense played another decent game and the team had fewer penalties and turnovers, but Jackson's defense was able to penetrate Green River's backfield all night, causing disruption losses on runs and quarterback sacks to prevent the Wolves' offense from getting untracked.
The Wolves will be hosting the number one ranked team in 3A this week as the powerful Star Valley Braves will be in town for a 7 p.m. game.