Cheyenne Central junior quarterback Keagan Bartlett runs the ball against Kelly Walsh on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at Harry Geldien Stadium in Casper. Cayla Nimmo/Casper Star-Tribune

Burns at Tongue River

Records: Burns (0-2) at Tongue River (2-0)

Kickoff: 2 p.m. today

Last week: Burns forfeited to Mitchell, Nebraska; Tongue River won by forfeit against Thermopolis, and beat the Sheridan junior varsity, 42-7.

Last meeting: Burns won 16-7 on Sept. 11, 2020, in Burns.

Facts: Burns has quickly fallen behind this season, losing 41-6 to Yuma, Colorado, in Week 0 and being forced to forfeit last week’s contest because of COVID-19 quarantines. It looks to get its first win of the season against a team that was victim of one of the two Burns wins last season. “We got our butt kicked in Week 0, didn’t get to play Week 1, now we have a conference game that we’ve had circled for a long time,” Morrison said. “I know Tongue River is upset about losing to us. Last year, they had some kids out for quarantine, and I just want to prove it was a legit win.” … Tongue River quarterback Eli Cummins leads Class 2A in all-purpose yards (258) after the Eagles put up 434 yards of total offense against the Sheridan junior-varsity squad last week. Tongue River’s original contest was canceled after Thermopolis was forced to forfeit ... The Broncs will look to limit the Eagles’ momentum early. “They pride themselves on being physical and pounding the ball,” Morrison said. “So, we have to match their physicality early and give ourselves a chance to do what we do.”

Sheridan at Central

Records: No. 2-ranked Sheridan (2-0) at Cheyenne Central (0-2)

Kickoff: 6 tonight at Riske Field, Cheyenne

Radio: KRAE (101.1 FM, 1480 AM)

Last week: Sheridan beat Cheyenne South, 56-0; Central lost at Kelly Walsh, 21-13.

Last meeting: Central won 20-17 on Sept. 11, 2020, in Sheridan.

Facts: The Indians took steps in the right direction during last week’s loss at Kelly Walsh, fourth-year coach Mike Apodaca said. “The thing that sticks out the most is, offensively, we started to find a rhythm,” Apocada said. “Part of that is we had another week under our belts, and part is we’re finding an identity. We were a lot better at moving the football than we were (Aug. 27). Moving forward, I expect to keep playing two quarterbacks and maybe going with whoever has the hot hand.” ... Central posted 333 yards against Kelly Walsh after mustering just 123 against Natrona. ... Indians junior quarterback Keagan Bartlett is fourth in Class 4A in rushing average at 79.5 yards per game. ... Bartlett has thrown for 90 yards, while senior Nathanial Talich has thrown for 104. ... Central sophomore linebacker Jaxon Lobatos is tied for ninth in 4A in defensive points per game at 14.0. ... Sheridan also is using a two-quarterback system. Carl Askins has gotten the bulk of the time behind center, throwing for 184 yards and five touchdowns. Rich Hall has thrown for 71 yards and a score.

Campbell County at East

Records: Campbell County (1-1) at No. 4-ranked Cheyenne East (1-1)

Kickoff: 6 tonight at Okie Blanchard Stadium, Cheyenne

Twitter: @rmunoz307

Radio: KFBC (97.5 FM, 1240 AM)

Last week: Campbell County beat Laramie, 48-3; East won at Natrona County, 14-13.

Last meeting: East won 42-7 on Sept. 11, 2020, in Gillette.

Facts: The Thunderbirds have four players in the top 10 of the Class 4A defensive points per game average. Ethan Brinkman leads the state at 22.5 per game, while Drew Jackson (18.0) and Jakob Culver (17.5) are third and fourth, respectively. Kaleb Romero is tied for sixth at 15.0. ... East coach Chad Goff called Campbell County much-improved. “They have the biggest D-line we’ll see all year,” he said. “They have a lot of big kids, and a lot of varsity experience. Some of those guys were forced to play varsity as freshmen and sophomores. The more you play, the more the game slows down, the more things click, and the better you play.” ... East senior quarterback Gavin Goff leads 4A in passing average at 250 yards per game, while junior receiver Garet Schlabs is tops in receiving average at 140.5 yards per game. ... “We played four quarters in our win against Natrona, and not the quarter-and-a-half we played when we lost to Thunder Basin,” Chad Goff said. “We had to learn how to play four quarters. I was really happy with how much we grew from Week 1 to Week 2.”

Lusk at Pine Bluffs

Records: No. 1-ranked Lusk (1-0) at No. 4 Pine Bluffs (1-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. today at Carlstrum Field, Pine Bluffs

Last week: Lusk beat St. Stephens by forfeit; Pine Bluffs won at Riverside, 30-0.

Last meeting: Lusk won 58-35 on Sept. 11, 2020, in Lusk.

Facts: Pine Bluffs coach Will Gray noted tackling as the biggest emphasis for the Hornets entering the season. Following the Week 1 shutout for the defense, it’s safe to say the work is paying off. “We tackled well,” Gray said. “There were still some open field tackles that we whiffed on, but it was better. There’s a lot to work on, but we are pleased with our progress so far.” … The Hornets had five receivers with at least two receptions last week, including a five-catch, 66-yard performance from Ryan Fornstrom. The amount of players that can find success with the ball in their hands is a luxury to have, Gray said. “It’s huge,” he said. “Teams can’t put two defenders on any one guy. It allows us to spread the field and use our kids’ strengths.” … After last week, junior quarterback Stu Lerwick leads 1A nine-man in passing (183 ypg), and the rush defense ranks No. 1, as well (42 ypg). … Although Lusk wasn’t able to play last week, Pine Bluffs still knows what to expect from the top-ranked Tigers. “They are always a very physical team that executes well in the run game,” Gray said. “Defensively, they get off the ball and tackle very well.”

Thunder Basin at South

Records: No. 3-ranked Thunder Basin (1-1) at Cheyenne South (0-2)

Kickoff: 6 p.m. today at Bison Stadium, Cheyenne

Twitter: @jjohnke

Last week: Thunder Basin lost to Rock Springs, 33-17; South lost at Sheridan, 56-0.

Last meeting: Thunder Basin won 64-7 on Sept. 11, 2020, in Gillette.

Facts: South’s Robert Campbell is tied for ninth in Class 4A in defensive points per game at 14.0. He has posted 15 tackles (nine solo and two for loss) through two games this season. … The Bison have been dealing with a rash of non-COVID illnesses that have kept players off the field. “The kids that are able to practice are practicing hard and practicing well,” sixth-year South coach Dan Gallas said. “That threw a wrench into things, but the kids are trying hard. I appreciate that.” … Thunder Basin is fourth in 4A in total offense (380 yards per game) and ninth in total defense (450 ypg). … Bolts senior running back Isaiah Halliburton leads the state in rushing at 142 yards per game. … Senior quarterback Ryan Baker is second in 4A in passing average (224 ypg). … “They’re big, and they have a heritage there already that they brought over from Campbell County (High),” Gallas said. “They have carried on Gillette’s winning tradition. I’m sure they’ll be loaded for bear against us and ready to get back on track after losing to Rock Springs.”

– By Robert Munoz and Jeremiah Johnke, WyoSports

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