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Panthers remain atop 3A football poll

PHS a near unanimous choice

As expected, the Powell Panthers held firm to their No. 1 ranking in Class 3A following last week’s 41-14 rout of then-No. 3 Buffalo. Powell picked up 25 of a possible 26 first-place votes in this week’s Wyopreps coaches’ and media rankings.

There were no new teams in the poll this week, although the top five schools did juggle position slightly. Douglas remains No. 2 and picked up the only first-place vote not belonging to Powell. That voter placed the Panthers second overall.

Star Valley moved up to take over Buffalo’s spot at No. 3. Green River also bumped up one spot in this week’s poll to weigh in at No. 4.

Buffalo slides to No. 5 in the polls following the loss to the Panthers.

Two additional teams received votes in Class 3A. Cody picked up one fourth place and eight fifth-place votes to finish just outside the top five. Riverton was placed fourth on one ballot and fifth on another to also receive votes.

There will likely be a shakeup in the week ahead. No. 2 Douglas travels to No. 3 Star Valley this week. No. 4 Green River is making the long drive to No. 5 Buffalo.

Powell hosts Torrington (0-1) in a game that will kick off at 6 p.m. The Trailblazers fell 33-30 to Worland last Friday. Torrington did not play a game in the first week of the season.

The Trailblazers were the perfect example of balance in their game last week against Worland. Torrington finished with 336 yards of offense, split perfectly between rushing and passing with 168 yards in each category.

“They’re running a bit more out of a spread look than they have in the past,” Panther head coach Jim Stringer said of Torrington. “But they’ll give us a lot of different looks. They run some two-back sets, some unbalanced formations to try and keep you on your toes and try to catch the defense napping. They’re playing around with a variety of things.”

Regardless of how they line up, when Torrington’s offense is on the field, all eyes will be on Blazer quarterback Caden Coffelt, who accounted for 253 yards last week. The Torrington signal caller rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown while also completing 12 of his 20 passing attempts for 168 yards and another touchdown.

Blake Wisroth was on the receiving end of seven of those 12 completions.

“Defensively, they run what I call a flex-tackle,” Stringer said. “It’s a four-man front, but occasionally they’ll take that tackle and line him up a yard or so off the ball so that it almost becomes a three-man front.”

Despite the peculiar looks the Panthers may get at times offensively and defensively on Friday night against Torrington, Stringer notes the focus remains on the Panthers improving and cleaning up their own play.

“We worked on our route relationships in the passing game this week,” said Stringer. “Our pass routes have gotten a little sloppy and that’s part of the reason we weren’t able to complete as many as we would have liked last week. We’re working to improve on our consistency in all areas of the game.”

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