“They were at our Midwest game when we weren’t at the top of our game on defense. I think they are going to try and run the ball by showing pass. If I was playing us, that is what I would do.”
— Mike Bates, the Little Snake River Valley School’s six-man varsity football head coach, on what he expects from Kaycee High School’s offense Friday
If you go …
What: Little Snake River Valley School six-man varsity football game vs. Kaycee High School in the semifinals of the Wyoming 1A state playoffs
When: Noon Friday
Where: LSRV, 333 N. St., in Baggs, Wyo.
— Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults
A week after the Little Snake River Valley School’s six-man varsity football team played an opponent they had never matched up with before, the Rattlers play a similar opponent Friday.
LSRV will host Kaycee High School at noon in Baggs, Wyo., in the semifinals of the Wyoming 1A state playoffs.
It will be the fifth meeting in three years between the two teams.
Kaycee won the first game in 2009, but the Rattlers have won the past three, including a playoff game last season and a 66-6 victory Oct. 7 at home.
“There are no secrets,” head coach Mike Bates said of playing a team for a second time in a season. “They know your offense, your defense, your weaknesses and your strengths. They are going to try and exploit your strengths to make them your weaknesses and of course exploit your weaknesses.”
The Rattlers (9-0) defeated Hulett, 72-15, at home last week and Kaycee scored a 73-13 victory over Hanna-Elk Mountain in the first round of the playoffs.
Bates said he watched film from the Oct. 7 game to see what Kaycee was able to do right against his team.
While the Buckaroos (6-3) are usually a 50-50 team when it comes to passing and running the ball, Bates said he expects them to run the ball more often this time around.
“They were at our Midwest game when we weren’t at the top of our game on defense,” he said. “I think they are going to try and run the ball by showing pass. If I was playing us, that is what I would do.”
To protect against whatever Kaycee brings at them, Bates said the team switched up the defense slightly.
“We are going to stay with zone coverage because it has worked, but we are going to move some zones around and send some blitzes from some different spots,” he said. “Players will be playing in some different roles than they normally do, but I think it will be enough of a edge to get us the win.”
With turnovers always a determining factor, Bates said he is hoping to see big defensive plays from juniors Manuel Quinteros and Cole Gourlay.
Offensively, Bates said the Rattlers won’t change much from the last match-up, but the team has added six new plays from the shotgun formation since Oct. 7.
“We looked at our plays and we have about 100, and we didn’t feel we needed to add anymore,” he said. “All our run plays worked last time and gave us a good base for a few pass plays.”
Against Hulett, senior Daniel Wille rushed for 247 yards and recorded seven touchdowns.
Bates said Wille and Quinteros would be depended upon to carry the workload from the backfield.
The offense could get help, Bates said, from good special teams play.
“If we get good play from our special teams in the first half, it can set us up with good field position,” he said. “If we can get some scores from special teams, it just adds to it and we have to be able to stop their special teams.”
LSRV, the defending Wyoming 1A state champions, could extend its winning streak to 20 games with a victory over Kaycee and return to the state championship game.
The winner of the Rattlers-Buckaroos game will play the winner of the Dubois-Midwest game, which takes place at 2 p.m. Friday in Dubois, Wyo.
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