YODER – The Southeast High School football team opened the 2020 season with a shutout.
In a battle of preseason top five teams in the newly reformed Class 1A 9-man division, the top-ranked Cyclones held Shoshoni out of the end zone in a 22-0 victory at Teeters Memorial Field on Friday evening.
“I thought they would run it at us a little more,” coach Mark Bullington said. “Our kids, defensively, stepped up, and coach (Shawn) Burkhart does a great job scheming. They didn’t do anything different than what we thought they would.”
After a quick 3-and-out stand by the Southeast defense, the Cyclone offense went to work behind the three-headed rushing attack of juniors Ryan Clapper and Cord Herring and senior Brant Fullmer.
“We have Cord that can hammer it,” Bullington said. “Brant is a little jitter bug, and Ryan brings the speed. It helps when you have three guys. You can keep people fresh.”
Six of the seven plays on the drive were hand offs and with 7:18 left in the opening quarter, Clapper broke through on an 8-yard run for a touchdown.
It was the first of two touchdowns and a field goal for Clapper.
“He’s got some speed. When he gets to the outside, he’s gone,” Bullington said. “He’s got a knack to see where the hole is and change directions. About two steps, he’s full speed.”
Clapper also scored on a 26-yard run midway through the second and added a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to put Southeast in front 16-0.
Late in the game, senior quarterback Hayden Anderson capped off a short 38-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper.
On Shoshoni’s final drive of the game, the Wranglers made their only trip into the red zone before turning the ball over on downs with two minutes remaining in the game.
In all, Southeast’s defense only gave up 121 yards, and senior Harrison Hall led the Cyclone defense with 10 tackles, including one for a loss. Reece Robertson added six stops.
Offensively, the Cyclones tallied 232 yards, including 161 yards on the ground.
“We shot ourselves in the foot too many times on offense,” Bullington said. “Too many penalties. Bad snaps. It’s stuff we can clean up. I told the kids after the game, we should have hung 40 on these guys, and that’s the No. 4 team in the state.
“We have a lot to work on. We need to get rid of the mistakes and play better football. If we play better football, we’ll be tough to beat.”
Clapper led the team with 96 yards rushing on 16 attempts, while Herring had 51 yards on 12 tries. Fullmer added 42 yards. Anderson completed 8-of-15 passes for 71 yards. Herring and Fullmer caught two passes each for 23 yards apiece.
The Cyclones (1-0) host the Lingle-Fort Laramie Doggers (1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two Goshen County teams since 2015 when the Doggers defeated Southeast 24-14 in Yoder.
“We’ll be playing in a phone booth. It’ll be the same offense we played against in 2009 in the state championship game,” Bullington said. “It’s the same offense, just different personnel. It fits our front line with the size we have. We’ll be ready.”