Both Franklin County high school football teams sparkled in their Week 2 games.
Preston traveled to defending Wyoming 4A state champion Star Valley and left with a 34-15 win, while West Side thumped Snake River 34-0 in its Homecoming game on Friday night in Dayton.
Preston quarterback Brecker Knapp shined in his second varsity start as he completed 15 of 25 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns, vs. one interception. The junior completed a handful of passes where he hit his wide receivers in stride.
“Very fortunate night (for us),” PHS head coach Eric Thorson said. “The team was able to perform to the level we had been seeing in practice, but there is still a lot of growth needed.”
The Indians (1-1) took a 6-0 lead when Knapp hooked up with Cole Harris on a 63-yard catch and run to the end zone on the game’s second play from scrimmage. Star Valley (0-2) scored the next 13 points, but Preston bounced back defensively and shut out Star Valley’s offense in the second half.
Preston pulled even at 13-13 with 2:54 remaining in the second quarter on a 41-yard strike to a wide open Harris.
The Indians got a quick defensive stop and then proceeded to put together another march to paydirt in the final minute of the opening half. Knapp connected with Chevy Nelson on a beautiful 27-yard fade to give the hosts the lead for good.
Knapp found Tyler Lindhardt in stride on a 44-yard pass to set up Tait Rawlings’ 1-yard touchdown plunge less than four minutes into the second half. Preston then increased its advantage to 34-13 on a lovely 39-yard dime from Knapp to Nelson on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Star Valley recorded a safety in the fourth quarter to avoid getting blanked in the second half.
Rawlings dominated the game defensively as he made a few jarring hits and finished with eight tackles.
It was also a memorable night for West Side, which avenged its only loss from a year ago. The 3A Panthers edged the 2A Pirates 7-6 in a game West Side dominated for the most part in 2019.
There was no heartbreak for the Pirates this time around as they increased their winning streak to 12.
Cristian Plancarte scored West Side’s first four touchdowns against Snake River (0-2), including two in the second quarter. Plancarte had TDs runs of 3 and 2 yards, and hauled in scoring passing of 44 and 63 yards from Blaize Brown, who threw for 167 yards on 6 of 7 attempts.
Brown found Bryler Shurtliff on a 6-yard pass to paydirt in the first play of the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring for the Pirates (2-0). Cage Brokens highlighted West Side’s rushing attack with 91 yards on 15 carries.
Taze Stegelmeier anchored another impressive defensive performance for the Pirates, who have only allowed six points in their two games this season. The senior recorded 13 tackles, forced a fumble, recovered one and broke up a pass. Brokens chipped in with eight tackles, including 2.0 for a loss, one sack and one fumble recovery for the reigning 2A state champs.
“Our kids were very focused and dialed in tonight,” WS head coach Tyson Moser said. “They executed a game plan that I wasn’t sure they could do. It was a full team effort and a great job by our defensive staff.”