YODER – Southeast and Shoshoni will clash on the gridiron for the second time this season on Friday night when the ball is kicked off at 4 p.m. at Teeters Memorial Field.
The first meeting was in week one on Sept. 4, and the Cyclones opened the season with a 22-0 victory over the Wranglers.
This time the stakes are much higher.
A trip to the Class 1A 9-Man division championship game is on the line.
“Like they said, it’s always hard to beat someone twice,” Southeast coach Mark Bullington said. “The nice thing is, we are home. We won’t be the ones taking the five-and-a-half-hour bus ride.”
A lot has changed in those eight weeks.
Shoshoni went on to lose its second straight game the following week, 22-20 to Rocky Mountain, the eventual winner of the 1A 9-Man West Conference, but since Sept. 11, the Wranglers have rattled off seven consecutive wins.
During that seven-game winning streak, the Wranglers have outscored their opponents – including games against a 3A and 4A junior varsity squads – 335-27. Shoshoni has only allowed four touchdowns during that stretch and has pitched four shutouts.
“They’ve done a few things differently personnel wise,” Bullington said. “They have a different quarterback. He’s a little bit more athletic and little bit older.”
Despite the change, he doesn’t think things will be much different than they were in week one.
“As far as doing anything different, I don’t think it’ll be that much different,” Bullington said. “We have to be ready.”
Shoshoni comes into the game with the division’s best defense, allowing under 150 yards per game – the only team in the 9-Man division to accomplish that feat.
However, Southeast’s defense is the second best, allowing only 211 yards per game.
Offensively, both teams are nip-and-tuck with Southeast averaging 373.4 yards per game, and Shoshoni averaging 343.4 yards.
“When you get to the playoffs, you go back and to what you do best. If it works don’t fix it,” Bullington said. “I’m sure they’ll have a few wrinkles like normal.”
The winner will punch its ticket to the state championship game, and for Southeast, it would mean home field advantage for the season’s biggest game.