RIVERTON – The adrenaline pumps through the body as players sit in the locker room mentally going over the game plan. With a last minute pep talk from a fired-up coach, emotions hit an all-time high as the players wait to run out of the tunnel for the first time to get another season started.
For the Green River Wolves, their new season got started on the road as they traveled to Riverton to get the new campaign underway. Riverton took control early and never looked back as the Wolves drop the season opener, 38-6. Although the final score does not show it, the team will take a lot of positives away from the opening game.
Riverton jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Big plays hurt the Wolves in the first half as the Wolverines used a 60-yard run to extend the lead 24-0 and a 37-yard run with 7:21 in the half to jump up by 31. The Wolves had a solid drive towards the end of the first half as Tyler Vendetti found Riley Yeager twice through the air for 16 yards. James Bunderman also had several solid runs but the drive stalled. Riverton got the ball back after stopping the Wolves on fourth down and that’s the way the half would end with the Wolverines ahead, 31-0.
Riverton finished the first half with 311 yards rushing and 75 yards through the air. Tanner Trumble was a bright spot in the first half for Green River. Trumble caught seven passes for 110 yards to pace the Wolves.
One thing which was very noticeable in the first half was Green River missed tackles on the defensive side. On several Riverton drives, the Green River defense was in the spots they needed to be in but were unable to finish.
The Wolves opened the second half with possession but Riverton quickly took over after forcing a Green River punt. The Green River defense stepped up and shut down the Wolverines on their first possession of the second half to give the ball back to the offense.
Green River took the ball and had a solid drive moving into Riverton territory. Vendetti found Trumble for 29 yards but again the Wolves drive stalled as Riverton took over after stopping Green River on fourth down. The Wolves defense came out attacking and remained focused on Riverton’s second drive. Green River forced a fumble as Matt Medina recovered the loose ball around midfield.
The Wolves offense continued to struggle in the third quarter and despite having good field position to start the drive, they gave the ball back to Riverton. The Wolverines finally broke through to score first in the second half as they took a 38-0 lead heading into the final quarter.
Green River finally broke into the scoring column as Trumbles scored the first TD of the new season. Green River had another strong drive with time running out in the game as Bunderman carried the Wolves inside the Riverton red-zone. Just as it looked like Green River was going to strike again, a Wolves fumble ended the drive and ultimately the game as the Wolverines ran out the clock for the 38-6 win.
With such a lopsided score, it is hard to see the positives. While Riverton ran away in the first half, the Wolverines were only able to outscore Green River in the second half by one, 7-6.
Riverton’s explosive offense was evident in the finals stats of the game. Riverton finished with 534 total yards in the game, 397 on the ground and 137 through the air. On the Green River side, the Wolves were solid with 341 total yards, 124 rushing and 217 passing.
Vendetti finished with 41 yards running the ball and 217 passing the ball. Bunderman had 58 yards on the ground while Trumble was the hot target as he caught 14 passes for 179 yards with the only Wolves touchdown.
On the defensive side, Medina had the fumble recovery while Vendetti picked off a Riverton pass.
The Wolves will have the home fans behind them next Friday as they open home play against Rawlins. This will be the first time since 1989 the two teams have faced each other on the football field.