Rawlins football hosts Buffalo
By Thorn Compton
RAWLINS — Returning home after a 1-1 road trip, the Rawlins High School football team takes on Buffalo in their first conference match of the 2016 season tonight.
The Outlaws are coming off a solid 26-21 win in Jackson last Friday, the first time Rawlins has won in Jackson in 63 years.
RHS head coach Corey Wheeler said his team has looked good in practice coming into their game against Bison.
“I honestly feel like this is the best week of practice we have had all season,” Wheeler said on Thursday before their final walkthrough. “Energy was there, intensity, and I thought we had a physical week of practice.
“Coming off some injuries we took it light last week so it was nice to get back into our normal practice.”
Of course that injury two weeks ago against Green River was to senior quarterback Trey Young, who is still going to be out at least the next three weeks.
Filling in for Young last week was senior Colton Garlington, and Wheeler said Garlington has made strides in picking up the offense in his second full week of practice.
“I think he has come a long way and is starting to grasp exactly what we are trying to do,” Wheeler said. “He has been willing and eager to learn, I think he is taking a lot of pride in this being his turn to lead the team down the stretch while we wait for Young to get back.”
With Garlington getting more comfortable, Wheeler said they have been able to install more into the offensive scheme to make it “easier on him and easier on our offense in general.”
A big factor in the win at Jackson was the play of the Outlaws defense. They only gave up three scores, one of which was aided mightily by penalties, and Wheeler said they played their most complete game of the season.
Buffalo is a team like Jackson that is a very run heavy offense, but Wheeler said they run a triple option look that is similar to Craig, Colo., who the Outlaws faced in their zero week game.
“They are about a 90 percent running team,” Wheeler said of Buffalo. “They run the dive option, triple option look. We have to key on the fullback, quarterback then running back. We are really keying those guys and if we can stop those three defensively we will get off the field and get our offense back on to score.”
Arguably the best two defensive performances of the season came from the Jackson win and the 15-12 win against Craig to open the season.
“As long as we play fundamentally sound and do exactly what we are reading, our defense should have a big night,” Wheeler said. “If we play the same type of defense that we did against Craig we will be just fine.”
The game kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. at Outlaws Stadium.