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September 25, 2008 3:00 am

Panthers stay at No. 2 in 4A rankings

Written by Tribune Staff

Buffalo retains top spot

Class 4A's rankings were released Tuesday by WyoPreps.com, and the Powell High School Panthers remained the No. 2 team after defeating Riverton 34-6 last Friday.

The Buffalo Bison, who edged Powell 14-7 during week two, remained in the top spot despite losing to Class 3A Glenrock by a 16-14 margin last Friday. Buffalo (2-1) received 14 first-place votes while Powell (2-1) picked up nine.

Cody (2-1), following its 22-0 shutout victory over Rawlins (2-1) last week, jumped two spots in the poll to No. 3 and is followed by Jackson (2-1) at No. 4. The Worland Warriors (2-1), who were unranked last week, checked in at No. 5. Worland's lone loss was to Powell during the opening week of the season.

Powell will attempt to win its second game in row Friday night against a Lander team that has endured an up-and-down season so far. Lander (1-2) opened the season with a 49-0 setback to Buffalo. However, in week two, the Tigers rebounded and pulled off a stunning 6-0 upset victory over Jackson, the defending Class 4A state champions. That win snapped an 18-game losing skid for the Tigers. In the process, it ended a 12-game winning streak by the Broncs.

During last week's matchups, Lander lost a 14-13 decision to Worland.

“Lander is looking better,” said PHS head coach Jim Stringer. “They look like they are starting to turn things around some after going through some tough times.”

The Tigers are averaging 114 rushing yards per game and are ranked sixth in that category in Class 4A. In the passing department, they are eighth with 54.3 yards per contest. In team offense, the Tigers' 168.3 yards per game average is eighth out of 11 teams.

On the defensive side of the ball, this week's opponent for Powell is ranked sixth overall. The Tigers are giving up an average of 115.3 yards on the ground and an additional 78 through the air.

“They are more of a running team,” Stringer said. “They like to spread things out, and they use a lot of isolation and trap plays.”
Among the top players for Lander is running back Bret Klopp, who leads the team in rushing with 236 yards and two touchdowns on 60 carries.

As for Powell, the Panthers are ranked near the top of Class 4A in a number of offensive and defensive categories. PHS's 156 yards per game on the ground has them ranked fifth. The Panthers' 100.7 passing yards per game puts them at No. 3 in that statistical category. Powell's 256.7 total yards per game places them third in Class 4A.

In team defense, Powell ranks second overall and trails only Worland. The Panthers have given up an average of 153.7 yards per game while the Warriors are surrendering 133.3 per contest.

Powell has been strong against the run and the pass this season. On the ground, opponents have managed an average of just 109 yards against the Panthers. Opposing teams also have thrown for a mere 44.7 yards against PHS so far. In passing defense, Powell is ranked second in Class 4A.

Among the top players for Powell this season is Galen Mills. In Class 4A's all-purpose yardage category, he is ranked second overall with 162 yards per game. He ranks third in passing (100.7 yards per game) and sixth in rushing (61.3 ypg).

One of the top players on defense for the Panthers this year has been Trevor Donarski, who is fifth in Class 4A with an average of 19.3 defensive points. Matt McArthur, who averages 13.3 defensive points, is ranked 22nd.

Kickoff for Friday's Class 4A West Conference matchup between Powell (2-1, 1-0) and Lander (1-2, 1-1) is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Panther Stadium in Powell.