The high school football ‘Game of the Week’ as voted on by fans for week 5 is a matchup between two prominent big-school programs.

Top-ranked Thunder Basin hosts No. 3 Natrona County in a Class 4A heavyweight showdown.

The Bolts are the lone undefeated team left in the big-school class at 5-0. The Mustangs come in at 4-1. Their lone setback is a week 2 loss at second-ranked Sheridan, 31-7.

WyoPreps’ David Settle visited with both head coaches, Steve Harshman of the Mustangs and Trent Pikula of the Bolts ahead of the big game. They discussed some recent key victories, the development of their teams, and thoughts on the opponent.

In terms of common opponents to this point of the season, both teams have wins over Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South, and Gillette. Thunder Basin beat Sheridan, while NC lost.

Who to Watch for Thunder Basin: Mason Hamilton is the No. 2 passer in Class 4A. He’s averaging 247 yards per game through the air with 10 TDs and 7 interceptions. His top two targets are Blaine Allen and Tanner Richards. Caleb Driskill is No. 1 in defensive points for Class 4A. The senior linebacker is averaging 11.8 tackles per game.

Who to Watch for Natrona County: Harrison Taubert leads the top ground attack in 4A. He is averaging 75 yards per game in rushing and 143 through the air. Wilsk Jackson is rated No. 7 in defensive points. The senior safety is averaging 8.6 tackles per game, but also has three interceptions, two pass breakups and has scored a defensive TD.

Key Segments of the Game:

Thunder Basin – In two games against the other top four teams, the Bolts haven’t rushed for 100 yards in either game. Can the younger offensive line open some holes and provide some balance to let Hamilton have time to work his magic through the air.

Natrona County – The top rushing attack in the big school division has three rushers in the top 10. It will be strength on strength, as the Mustangs average 247 yards per game, while the Bolts surrender only 102 yards per game. The younger skill players need an offensive line to open holes for the run game, but Taubert may need to make plays with his arm for balance.

The game at Bolts Stadium will start at 7 p.m.

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