EVANSTON — The Evanston Red Devil football team picked up a commanding Class 3A home victory, defeating the Rawlins Outlaws, 35-7, on Friday night, August 31.
Rawlins won the toss and started out on offense but the drive was thwarted when the Red Devil defense forced a fumble which was recovered by Kody Smith at the Rawlins 30-yard line.
Three plays later the Red Devils would commit their first turnover on a second and 6 at the Rawlins 18-yard line. Larenzo Ebell picked off his first of three interceptions on the night.
Penalties and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage by Rigden Wagstaff and David Baxter forced a Rawlins punt, which was returned by Angel Rodriguez to the Red Devils’ 48-yard line with about six minutes left to play in the first quarter.
Evanston utilized a combination of running and passing to cap a seven-play, 52-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run by Pablo Escalante for the first score of the ball game. Escalante added the PAT and with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter, Evanston led 7-0, a lead they would not relinquish.
Rawlins started on their own 20-yard line following the touchback on the Red Devil kickoff. Baxter and Jagger Mitchell teamed up on a tackle for no gain and Bridger Barker led a host of Red Devils for the first sack of the night, forcing a three-and-out for the Outlaws.
Evanston returned the punt to the Rawlins 46 yard line with 1:37 left in the opening quarter.
Tyus Cornia found a hole provided by his offensive line and broke into the Rawlins secondary, where he broke at least two tackles for a 46-yard touchdown run. The PAT was again successful, and with 1:23 left in the first quarter the Red Devils owned a two-touchdown lead of 14-0.
The Outlaws would get their lone score of the night on their third possession on an 80-yard drive with a combination of rushing and passing. Quarterback Alex Rodriguez connected with Ebell from 19 yards out to the one-foot line and Rodriguez then punched it in on a quarterback-keeper on the next play from scrimmage. The point-after-touchdown was good and with 5:51 remaining in the first half, Rawlins had pulled to within one score at 14-7.
But the Red Devils were not done and would answer the score on a Lloyd to Kody Smith touchdown pass covering 23 yards. Angel Rodriguez put the Red Devils in good field position with a 38-yard kickoff return to the Evanston 46. The PAT was good and Evanston took a 21-7 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Red Devils would receive the second half kickoff and begin from their own 27-yard line. Evanston scored on an eight-play, 73-yard drive culminated by Cornia’s second score of the night, this time from 16-yards out to make it 28-7 with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter.
The teams would go back and forth as penalties on both squads played a factor in stalling drives, along with turnovers for both.
The Red Devils final score came with 8:16 left to play in the fourth quarter when Lloyd found Rodriguez in the end zone with a 30-yard scoring strike. After the fifth-consecutive PAT, Evanston led 35-7, and younger players for both teams were substituted for the starters.
Red Devil head coach Pat Fackrell was pleased with his team’s overall effort.
“I had said that I thought it would come down to blocking and tackling and it really kind of did,” Fackrell told the Herald.
“I was pleased with our effort and the fact that we got off to a fast start to set the tone for the game.”
The coach praised his offensive line for opening holes all night allowing Cornia and Escalante to pick up good yardage.
“They really sustained their blocks, enabling seams for our running backs.”
Fackrell also like the defensive effort of his squad.
“I thought we did a good job of taking away some of what Rawlins likes to do. We were rallying and tackling well with a lot of players getting to the football.”
Complete statistics will be added in the next Red Devil football story, but Cornia ran for over 220 yards on the night, thanks to the domination in the trenches by the Red Devil offensive line.
The Red Devils will be on the road this Friday, Sept. 7, as they travel to Riverton to face another 3A East Conference opponent in the Wolverines. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Wolverines Stadium.
Elsewhere in Class 3A, the top-ranked Cody Broncs blanked Riverton 38-0. The second-ranked Star Valley Braves knocked off Blackfoot, Idaho, 42-7, and No. 4 Green River got by Lander Valley, 31-20.
Third-ranked Torrington defeated Class 2A Glenrock, 20-16, and fifth-ranked Douglas downed Class 2A Buffalo, 7-0.
Jackson halted a 14-game losing-streak with a 41-13 win over the Bear Lake Bears in Montpelier, Idaho, and Worland bested Powell by a touchdown, 14-7.
In local action, the defending Class 2A state champion Mountain View Buffalos fell to the Panthers in Cokeville, 20-13, as the Panthers forced a fumble and recovered it in the Buffalo end zone in the fourth quarter.
The Lyman Eagles lost a Class 2A West Conference battle to the Wranglers in Pinedale, 28-22 and the Rich Rebels were walloped by the West Side Pirates, 55-0.