The Bearcats’ quest for their first undefeated season since 2010 remained intact after annihilating the Rawlins Outlaws 63-0 Friday Oct. 9.
With Cody being upset by Star Valley, it leaves Douglas as the only team in 3A who can say they’ve yet to lose, although number-one Jackson moved to 3-0 in the conference with a 58-7 win over Evanston.
“As far as being the only undefeated team in 3A, I don’t put much stock into it,” head coach Jay Rhoades said. “We have to go out each Friday night and play who we’re playing.”
That last undefeated season a decade ago is also the last time Douglas was able to win it all, according to Wyoming-football.com
The win also marks the team’s fifth win of the season, matching last year’s total with two regular season games and playoffs on the schedule.
“We’ve been saying all year this team is just different,” Hugo Acedo said. “We really bought into the brotherhood of everything and just being dogs out there every play.”
“It was a great effort and we did what we had to do,” Rhoades said. “We knew Rawlins hasn’t won a game and they’re a down team right now, but it was a matter for us to focus on what we do and not just the team we are playing.”
The game remained scoreless about halfway through the first quarter as the offense came out flat.
Quarterback Koby Case then threw one of his prettiest balls of the year, sailing one over Rylan Wehr’s shoulder for a 20-yard touchdown, beginning an offensive onslaught that wouldn’t let up.
From that play on it seemed as if the Bearcats scored every single time they touched the ball.
Wehr in particular scored on half of his eight touches, spread across the passing, rushing and special teams game.
Although the Rawlins game was the best thus far of the season for Wehr, his production is hardly new.
Wehr has been one of the most prolific punt returners in the state, with four of the top six longest punt returns in the conference thus far into the season, including the top return of 80 yards back in the season opener against Torrington.
“To touch the ball eight times for 202 yards and four touchdowns is something,” Rhoades said. “He would be the first to give credit to his teammates but he’s a pretty electrifying player.
“He’s such a weapon for us. He has decent speed, he’s quick and shifty, and he has a real understanding of the game. He has a great feel of what’s going on around him when he’s out there and it makes him great in space. It’s been fun to watch the year he’s having right now.”
Helping Wehr lead the way offensively were Kelton Ewing and Case.
Ewing led the team in rushing yards with 75 on 11 carries, while scoring once. He also had a catch for ten yards.
Case completed seven of 13 throws for 111 yards and ran the ball twice for 13 yards.
Overall, six players found their way into the endzone, with Wehr and Ewing being joined by Acedo, Aaron Oria, Nych Melchor and Kaden Bauersachs.
“We got a lot of guys in who don’t normally get a lot of playing time,” Rhoades said. “It’s good to reward those guys for the hard work they’ve been putting in all season.
“Now when those guys get a turn to play they have some experience. Football is a tough sport and it’s always a next man up mentality, so getting them some playing time is going to do nothing but help us.”
As explosive as the offense was, the calling card for Douglas all year has been the defense which ranked number one in yards per game allowed through five weeks, according to wyopreps.com, and that was evident again on Friday.
Bearcats’ defenders swarmed the ball seemingly before the offense said hike and didn’t give the Outlaw play makers room to breath, holding them to negative 24 yards on the ground, while forcing three turnovers.
Luke Skeen and Ewing were main contributors on the defensive end. Skeen had a team-high nine tackles including a sack, while Ewing had two tackles, a sack and a pass break up.
Overall, Rawlins had more turnovers than they did third-down conversions.
Next up for Douglas is a road game with bitter rival Buffalo.
“I haven’t forgot, and the coaches up there haven’t forgot the battles that we’ve had,” Rhoades said. “It goes all the way to my first year here in 2006 when they had a 27-win streak and just barely beat us.
“Then we come and beat them in the state championship in 2008 and 2010. This is a huge rivalry. It doesn’t matter what their record is we expect them to play us tough.”
Buffalo has struggled to a 1-4 record on the season, but will likely be the best defensive team Douglas has played.
Buffalo has held their opponents to just 14 points a game, and that number is a bit inflated after allowing 27 points in last week’s loss to Worland.
Buffalo is second only to Douglas in team defense and are anchored by a strong rush defense that allows just 36 yards a game and 2.3 yards per carry.
Rhoades said he doesn’t expect an overly complicated scheme, but the coaching staff will do a good job of trying to take their best players out of the game.
If you want to explain the Bisons’ less-than-stellar record, just take one look at the offense.
Buffalo is second to last in yards per game offensively, ahead of only Rawlins, and has scored in single digits in four of their five games.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in Buffalo.