Halloween was Sunday, but the scariest thing over the weekend may have been the Cody defense Friday night as they ended up being a nightmare for the visiting Worland Warriors in a dominant 40-7 victory in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs.
The Broncs (9-0, 5-0) defense harassed and sacked Worland (4-5, 3-2) quarterback Kade Weber eight times and held the Warriors offense to under 200 yards in an impressive start in their quest to repeat as 3A state champions.
“We knew they were going to throw pretty much every play,” Broncs lineman Jace Grant said. “We worked on the pass rush all week, trying to make sure the quarterback didn’t get outside on us.”
Weber spent the majority of the contest scrambling to stay on his feet as the Broncs got pressure with just a three-man front, while the rest of the defense was able to drop back and blanket the Worland receivers.
Daniel Gorman finished the night with three sacks and three tackles for loss in a big defensive effort.
Grant added two sacks and three tackles for loss.
Grayson Beaudrie finished with a sack and a tackle for loss.
Kash Merritt and Logan Class combined for a pair of sacks.
Offensively, Cody couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start.
The Broncs scored on their first three possessions, a 6-yard touchdown run by Jack Schroeder, a Jackson Gail 3-yard touchdown catch and a 46-yard Schroeder run to put the Broncs up 21-0 by the end of the opening quarter.
“I really liked how fast of a start we got off to on both sides of the ball,” coach Matt McFadden said. “We got off to a little slower start over there. This game we came out and established what we wanted to do.”
Drew Trotter added a three-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to make it 27-0.
Weber found Carter Clark in the end zone on a perfect pitch and catch at the three-minute mark of the second to make it 27-7 Broncs.
Schroeder answered less than a minute later with a four-yard touchdown run set up by a long, punishing run in which he ran past, around and eventually through a Worland defender with a statement hit that got the crowd on its feet.
“I didn’t really have a move to make on him, so I just kind of lowered my shoulder and tried to run through him the best I could,” Schroeder said. “I guess it worked.”
The Broncs led 34-7 at the half, opened up the third quarter with sacks by Gorman and Grant, and then a six-yard touchdown run up the middle by quarterback Luke Talich to make it 40-7.
Cody finished the night with 337 yards rushing and five touchdowns, but the defense may have made the biggest impact in the win.
William Thomasson also added tackle for loss as did Collin Lindemann.
Remy Broussard picked off the Warriors twice for the Broncs.
Cody will host Star Valley Friday night in the semifinals of the 3A playoffs. The winner will face either Jackson or Douglas in the state championship game in Laramie the following week.
Star Valley is coming off a 50-20 win over Lander on Friday night.
The Broncs beat Star Valley 22-3 Oct. 8 in Cody.
“Star Valley was a tough game, but we get them at home,” McFadden said. “We are excited about it. That’s what the semifinals should be. Two really good teams just going at it.”