The Cody Broncs held off a second half rally by Star Valley on Friday night for a 24-17 home playoff win.

The victory pits the undefeated Broncs against Jackson for the 3A state championship Friday in Laramie. 

Jackson Schroeder had 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Jackson Gail hit a 25-yard field goal and recovered an onside kick late in the game to secure the win.

Cody dominated nearly every facet of the game in the first two quarters, taking a three-TD lead into the half.

Schroeder busted through the line to score on a 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that put Cody up 7-0. Drew Trotter added a 5-yard touchdown run through a hole to the left later that quarter to put the Broncs up 14-0.

Schroeder finished the first half with another touchdown run from two yards out early in the second to put Cody up 21-0. 

Cody (10-0) held the Braves (6-5) scoreless for the rest of the half, forcing a fumble and an interception. With the Braves making their first drive into the red zone of the night, Nathan Wilson picked off a pass on the 7-yard line, halting the crucial drive. In total, the Broncs forced five scoreless possessions from the Braves in the first half.

Star Valley got on the scoreboard with a 1-yard rushing TD halfway through the third. 

On the next drive, Cody turned the ball over on downs, giving the Braves excellent field position on the Broncs 27-yard line. But the Broncs defense wouldn’t break, only allowing the Braves to get to the 12 before they turned it over on downs. 

Cody squandered this opportunity, however, when a fumble led to Star Valley taking back the ball at the Cody 2. The Braves scored shortly after to make it 21-14.

It was here the Broncs did what they’ve done so well all season: time management. Cody ticked off nearly seven minutes of the clock before Jackson Gail punched in a 25-yard field goal with less than five minutes remaining for Cody’s final score.

Star Valley responded on the next drive with a 22-yard field goal from Mckell Merrit to make it a one-touchdown game again.

On the ensuing onside kickoff, Gail dived on the ball, clinching the win for the Broncs.

Chaz Cowie added 75 rushing yards on 14 carries. Luke Talich had 80 rushing yards and forced a fumble when he sacked Star Valley quarterback Taft McClure.

Talich was 2-for-6 passing for 26 yards.

The Broncs dominated the ground game with 269 rushing yards. 

Star Valley finished with 269 total yards. McClure was 20-for-31 passing with 196 passing yards.

 Friday’s championship will be a rematch of last year’s title match that Cody won 34-13. The only difference this year is the game will be played at War Memorial Stadium instead of Spike Vannoy Field.

Cody beat Jackson 21-15 earlier this season at Spike Vannoy Field on a last-minute TD reception. No. 2 Jackson (9-2) beat No. 5 Douglas 28-20 in the other semifinal game. Cody has won its last three championship games since 2009.

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