Homecoming game pits archrivals in the 81st meeting of a fall gridiron classic

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Powderpuff game completed? Check. Thursday night Broncs Bash Bonfire rally in the books? Check. Broncs ceremonial 1981 State Champion football finished making the rounds to local Bronc Backers? Check, and check.

Kickoff is almost here and it’s time to settle an old score. The 81st meeting between two old rivals will play out at the Willie T. Mac tonight as the #2 ranked team in Wyoming 3A (Jackson) will square off against the #3 team (Star Valley).

Homecoming week celebrations have raised the bar a bit on tonight’s big football game. (JHHS)

The meeting last year didn’t go so well for the Broncs as they got ragdolled by the Braves in Afton, 51-0 on October 7, 2017.

But these are two different teams. Jackson has been on a roll since dropping their opener in Driggs on August 24. Since then, the Broncs have won five straight averaging 33 points a game to Star Valley’s 29.5. The Broncs bring a 5-1 (2-0) record to tonight’s homecoming showdown. The Braves are 4-2 (2-0).

The Broncs are coming into the game tonight off a road victory over Green River 33-23. Perennial powerhouse Star Valley downed the Panthers last week in Powell, 14-7.

The two teams are evenly matched this year. Jackson has the advantage at the skill positions—boasting the tandem running attack of Jeydon Cox and Kirby Castagno, who have been gobbling up yardage on the ground like no other team in the state.

Strike up the rally band…the Broncs’ touchdown song will get played early and often. (JHHS)

The Broncs can throw, too, if they have to and if they catch opponents stacking the box to stop the run. Quarterback Pearson Evans has been especially effective off play-action when opponents get caught trying to stuff Jackson’s potent run offense.

The Braves return only one starter from last year’s dominant team that placed runner-up to state champs Cody. They are also dealing with injuries at key positions.

But Star Valley is big. They impose their will on both sides of the ball. Jackson will have to get off blocks on defense, and find a way to make holes for their running backs on offense.

It goes without saying but Coach David Joyce will likely be preaching mistake-free football to his young team. Sloppy play and turnovers cost the Broncs a perfect record at this point and nearly bit them last week as the Black-and-Orange surrendered two 4thquarter touchdowns to Green River.

Expect the Broncs to start strong with homefield advantage and the excitement of homecoming week flowing through their veins. If Star Valley can hang tough through the first half, Jackson might have to find another gear to put their arch-rivals away.

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