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Powell defense rules in 3A

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Powell defense rules in 3A 
By liekd001 on Jan 18, 2014 12:53 AM
Powell defense rules in 3A

LARAMIE It was snowing like Christmas by the end of the Wyoming State High School 3A Football Championship game and the Powell Panthers defense decided to award their own holiday present.

In a game that pitted two undefeated teams, with the top two defenses in the classification, the Panthers' roaring D was just a little bit better on the most important series of the season. www.49ersnflofficialprostore.com/14-Ya-Tittle-Red-Jersey.html

Powell's defense made the goal line stand of the year, stopping Douglas on fourth down on the 1 yard line in overtime to propel the Panthers to a 19 13 victory and the state title.

"I trust my front seven more than anybody," said Powell defensive back Carter Baxter, who had one of his team's three interceptions.

Defensive linemen Riley Stringer, Dillon Ohman, Alex Bjornestad and their mates blocked the goal line as if they were a dike holding back a reservoir. In OT Douglas had four cracks from the 10 yard line, and the Panthers yielded nine yards, but stopped the Bearcats on the last try.

"We knew we could do it," Stringer said.

Now 12 0, Powell captured its third straight state championship over the 10 1 Douglas team that it knew would provide its biggest test.

"It's the best feeling ever," Stringer said.

The entire 48 minutes of regulation was a game of defense. The hitting was hard, yards were surrendered only grudgingly, and it was 13 all when the clock ran out.

And the Panthers expected the game to unfold in that fashion despite both teams bringing high scoring offenses to War Memorial Stadium.

"Oh yeah, I knew it would be a close, defensive game," Stringer said.

As Douglas kept hurling bodies into the line on its four OT downs, the Powell defense steeled itself and exhorted one another to "Stop 'em" or "Keep it up," said Bjornestad.

Besides Baxter, Ryan Ferro and Hayden Cragoe, who doubles as the quarterback and scored the winning touchdown, each picked off passes. It was the type of game where the teams might take chances to pull it out in regulation and Baxter said his coaches told him to drop off in coverage a bit.

"They were looking to pass," Baxter said. "I've NFL Y.A. Tittle Jersey got to give credit to the defensive line for putting pressure on them."

Defensive lineman Zach Thompson said they all had confidence they could hold that line when it counted, but he also expressed respect for Douglas.

"It was a hell of a game," Thompson said.

Whether it required weathering blowing snow, countering what the Bearcats could muster, or overcoming the odds at the goal line, the result was a Powell triumph, the capstone of an undefeated 2013.
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