ROCK SPRINGS — Going into Friday night’s matchup between #3 Rock Springs Tigers and #1 Thunder Basin Bolts, there was no doubt that the game was going to be an indication of where the Tigers ranked among the other top 4A teams.
Rock Springs came out on top over Thunder Basin 33-17, leading the entirety of the game.
To put it plain and simple, Rock Springs has arrived as state title contenders. And they aren’t going anywhere.
Here’s tonight’s postgame thoughts.
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Defense, Defense, Defense
If there was one obvious factor going into Friday night’s game against the high-powered Thunder Basin offense, it was the Tigers’ defensive game plan that was ultimately going to determine who won in the end.
To keep the Bolts offense to 17 total points is impressive, and it’s something this defense should look back on the rest of the season when times get tough.
Last week the Bolts had over 500 yards of total offense against reigning champion Cheyenne East. For the Tigers to go on the road and hold Thunder Basin to three scores is almost more impressive than the victory itself.
Year in and year out, Defensive Coordinator Casey Walker continues to shine. The adjustments in the second half held the Bolts to a lone seven points and put the defense in position to create a turnover and which ultimately won them the game.
And if that’s not enough to celebrate, it’s only the second game of the season. This defense is only going to get better and that’s a scary thought for the teams that have yet to play this Rock Springs team.
Flack’s Game Ball 🏈
My game ball this week goes out to senior quarterback Brock Bider who once again showed why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in all of 4A.
One thing I love about Bider’s game is how smart he is with the football and how quickly he makes the right decision. Time after time tonight he either made a big play with his arm or created something on his feet.
Last year Bider didn’t get much respect from many around the state in my opinion. This year he’s torching them.
Bider finished with two rushing touchdowns and one through the air to Andrew Skorcz on a 51-yard play.
Have a day, Brock
Over the last two weeks, the Rock Springs Tigers offense has been nearly perfect. Outside of the two turnovers late in the game against the Bolts, this has been as fun of an offense to watch in a long time for Rock Springs.
During tonight’s game, the Tigers had consistent movement of the chains and the Bolts struggled to find an answer defensively. One stat you might not be aware of is that this team is 10 for 10 in scoring in the red zone this season. It’s game over for opposing defenses inside that 20-yard line.
You can tell that this team plays with confidence. Despite having a few penalties on their opening drive, they overcame both offensive holding calls and scored. You wouldn’t have seen that a few years ago.
Loaded with talent, this team executes and that’s why they’ve put up 89 points in two weeks. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this team run Lenhardt’s masterpiece of a playbook, come and see.
Moving on Up
As one of the handful of media and coaches that vote on weekly rankings, I can tell you this team is the best in 4A after two weeks. We have yet to see the Tigers play Sheridan or Cheyenne East, but it’s going to be hard to convince a lot of people that this team isn’t in the driver’s seat right now.
I know who I’ll be voting in at number one in next week’s poll.
Take a guess.