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Wyoming late-game heroics help them edge Montana State 19-16

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Pokes squeak by, avoid losing home opener to FCS school

Wyoming v Montana State Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Saturday afternoon’s kickoff in Laramie marked the first time since 2019 that Poke fans were able to watch their team play football at War Memorial. Despite an arduous effort from the Montana State Bobcats, the struggling Cowboy offense was able to find some late life and will their team to a victory in their home debut.

First Half Offensive Woes

The Cowboys were unable to shake the rust off and get any kind of offensive momentum going in their favor for the entirety of the first half of Saturday’s contest with Montana State. The Pokes’ first drive of the game gave the fans in Laramie some unwanted 2020 flashbacks as Montana State’s Jeffrey Manning was able to pick off Quarterback Sean Chambers on an ill-advised pass over the middle and return it all the way down to Wyoming’s own 15-yard line to start the game. That play put the Bobcats in position to open up the low scoring affair early thanks to a touchdown pass on the very next play thrown by Bobcat QB Matt Mckay to WR Lance McCutcheon. After that, the scoring took an elongated pause. The entire rest of the first half saw both stout defenses having their way. Montana State was able to force three consecutive punts and a turnover on downs and limit Wyoming to one 37-yard field goal from Freshman Kicker John Hoyland in the latter half of the second quarter.

A Lackluster 3rd Quarter Leads to a Tumultuous 4th

The third quarter didn’t see much action on the scoreboard with the both defensive schemes seemingly working to perfection. It wasn’t until the very end of that quarter where Wyoming was able to finally march down into Bobcat territory and get some points up on the board at the start of the 4th. Thanks to a good push from the Poke Offensive line, Valladay was able to give the Pokes their first lead of the day. That seemed to have sparked the scoring for both sides as the two teams almost immediately swapped field goals, making it 12-10 in favor of the Cowboys. However, the lead wouldn’t last long as the Bobcats answered and forced the Pokes to march 75 yards down field and score an incredible game-clinching touchdown to win outright, 19-16 in front of their home crowd.

Poke Offensive Standouts:

Quarterback Sean Chambers was 15/28 and threw for 196 yds, 1 TD/1 INT

Tight End Treyton Welch caught two passes for 25 yards and 1 game-winning touchdown with 47 seconds left on the clock.

Running Back Xazavian Valladay had 19 carries for 77 yards and 1 touchdown.

Poke Defensive Standouts:

Linebacker Chad Muma notched 11 total tackles, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss.

Safety Braden Smith also left his imprint on Saturday’s contest, notching 7 total tackles and 1 forced fumble.