LARAMIE – The Class 2A state football championship game could keep the clock running faster than usual when the top two rushing teams in the classification clash for the title.
Lovell and Lyman will meet for a second time this season at 10 a.m. today at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie to find out which team can run better than the other and attempt to slow down the other’s rushing attack.
Lovell, coached by Nicholas Crosby in his third season with the Bulldogs, boasts a 2A-best 267.7 yards per game on the ground.
Lyman, with 10th-year coach Dale Anderson leading the Eagles, is not far behind with a 2A second-best 255.7 rushing yards per game.
To put those rushing averages in perspective, Lovell’s total offense is 325.6, and Lyman comes in at 327. For further similar comparisons when running the ball, the Bulldogs have 2,677 total yards and 40 touchdowns, and the Eagles have 2,557 yards and 39 scores.
On the other side of the ball, stopping the run has also been a priority for the teams.
Lovell (9-1) has stymied the opposition with a 2A-low of allowing just 80.6 rushing yards (five total touchdowns), and in keeping with the trend, Lyman is second at 106.3 (seven touchdowns).
It’s been production by committee this season for the Bulldogs, with four players above 525 total yards carrying the ball. The group is led by junior Dallen Mangus (133 attempts, 757 yards). He is followed by junior Amos Monterde (92-599), sophomore Ben Nichols (62-531) and sophomore Preston Nichols (88-525).
Junior Ashton Housekeeper and senior Chevy Fackrell have carried the rushing workload for the Eagles. Housekeeper is second in 2A with 187 attempts for 1,321 yards (132.1 ypg) to go with 25 touchdowns. Fackrell added 118 runs for 819 yards (81.9 ypg) and six scores.
The teams previously met this season Sept. 17, with the game tilting in Lyman’s favor, 34-15.
Lyman (10-0) will be trying to defend a 2A title for the first time in program history. The Eagles defeated Torrington 14-3 to claim the championship last season. Lyman also won titles in 1976, 1982, 1999 and 2012.
This will be Lovell’s first appearance in the championship since 2012, when it lost to Lyman 22-20. The Bulldogs have two titles as a program, in 1987 and 2011 when they beat Lyman 21-13.
Note: Attempts by WyoSports to contact coaches from the respective schools and coaches for interviews this week were unsuccessful.