Nick Perkins, K2 Radio

This past weekend saw Central Wyoming’s premier high school football rivalry play out again with the Oil Bowl in Casper won by Natrona County this year.

It makes it a good time to look back at outstanding high school football plays, some from recent years and couple that go back a bit.

I asked for assistance from a couple people who know the game well. George Kay covered football for nearly fifty years in Central Wyoming and Patrick Schmeidt, a sports writer for the Casper Star-Tribune, is currently compiling statistics on high school football for a book he intends to publish.

I spoke with them both and came up with this list.


Worland vs. Torrington

1955 State Championship

Schmeidt's book will be a history book when he completes it later this year. He’s pulling together stats on high school football all the way back to 1893.

My number five doesn’t go quite that far back, but it is historical.

The 1955 Class A Championship game between Worland and Torrington was a game that went into overtime with a score tied at 14. What makes this choice interesting were the rules in place at the time.

Back then when a game went into overtime the ball went to the 50 yard line and each team would get five plays to get that ball as far down the field as they could. The first team with the ball takes it as far as they can in one play and the next team reverses the direction from that point back towards their goal. After five plays whoever’s side the ball is on gets two points and the victory.

As Schmeidt tells it, after nine plays, Worland had the ball on Torrington’s 48 yard line. So Worland had one chance to move the ball two yards for the championship.

As it played out, running back Terry Smothermon managed to gain three yards pushing the ball back over the line winning the state championship for Worland by one yard.

Schmeidt says he doesn’t know if its the best way to play out an overtime but it sure makes for a lot of drama.


Natrona vs. Cheyenne East

2006 State Semi-Finals

This play comes with a call that to this day is still controversial.

Cheyenne East came to Casper to play Natrona for a state semi-final game in 2006.

It was late in the 4th quarter. Natrona had the ball, with East leading 3-0.

NC elected to take a safety rather then punt the ball making it 3-2. Natrona then punted and the East returner ran it all the way back to the ten yard line.

Cheyenne then kicked a field goal making it 5-3 with about a minute left.

Natrona got the ball back and moved down the field quickly. They got to about the 15 or 20 yard line and Natrona called  a time out with about 15 seconds to go.

Natrona hurried their field goal team on and got the snap off and with about 2 seconds left, Natrona’s kicker,  Garrett King, put it, by most accounts, through the uprights. It was close and it looked like it went through, but the two officials under the uprights said, “Nope, no good”.

K2 Radio’s Kevin Koile was working for KCWY News 13 at the time and took the only video available.  That video was viewed thousands of times after that, but in the end it was the officials opinion that mattered.

A lot of people in the stadium thought Natrona should have had that one, but Cheyenne East prevailed  and went on to play in the state championship, but lost to Gillette.

The kick was really, really, close and remains a highly controversial call.

Justin Bugsby Sailor, Flickr

Natrona vs. Kelly Walsh

2009 Oil Bowl

This play goes back a couple years to the 2009 Oil Bowl.

That  game also went into overtime.

The deciding move came  after a two point conversion when the Natrona County Quarterback faked the hand off.

In response, ten of the Kelly Walsh players went for the fake, but one guy stayed home, like he was supposed to, and made the tackle on the Quarterback at the one yard line at the end of the conversion.

Kelly Walsh took that game over Natrona 28 to 27.

That win for K-W was a long time coming.


Natrona vs. Kelly Walsh

1980 Oil Bowl

This play comes via the memory banks of Casper’s longtime Sportscaster, George Kay, who was around in 1980 for the Oil Bowl that year.

He says this one was one of the best, because both teams were unbeaten.

According to Kay, back then they use to play the Oil Bowl at the end of the season on a Saturday. He says K-W had a super team that year and won state with Allen Griffen and Mike Devereux.

As Kay describes it, it was the first offensive play of the game that made it special. It came from Kelly Walsh with a long pass. Dave Gosnell threw to Mike Devereax, and, Kay says, it just opened things up and the Trojans kind of rolled from there winning the Oil Bowl with a score of 28-13.

Kelly Walsh went on to the State Championship that year.

Natrona vs. Sheridan

2010 State Championship

Readers may not agree and that’s o.k., but I like action and this one comes with a long pass and run.

It was the 2010 State Championship game between Natrona and Sheridan.

Sheridan had tied it up at 14 after a long touch down drive.

Sheridan kicked off and Natrona County got the ball.  NC needed to turn the momentum back around and Jim Schellenberger threw to to Cole Montgomery.  Montgomery went for close to 70 yards and a touch down and swung the championship to Natrona County.

It was a play that helped win the Mustangs state championship last year.

Final score 34 to 14.