ALBION – It’s rare that 16 points is enough to win a six-man football game, but that was all Wyoming needed to end Nebraska’s three-year reign in the Nebraska-Wyoming Six-Man Shootout on Saturday.
Wyoming forced five Nebraska turnovers, including a game-clinching interception with 39 seconds left, allowing Wyoming the 16-14 win.
Both defense established themselves early on, culminating in a rarity for six-man – a scoreless first quarter.
Wyoming would get the scoring started in the second quarter, when Danny Ramirez of Kaycee, the leading rusher in Wyoming six-man in 2017, broke a 44-yard run to the end zone, giving Wyoming a 6-0 lead they would carry into halftime.
Nebraska would even things up in the third, when Garrett Egger of Cody-Kilgore recovered a Garrett Oneyear fumble, setting up Nebraska with a goal-to-go situation. They would capitalize two plays later, when Riley Swerczek of Riverside connected with Tucker Scherbarth of Harvard on a 15-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 6.
It would stay that way until late in the third quarter, when Ramirez made his presence felt on defense, intercepting Caleb Werger of Elwood and returning it 35 yards to the endzone. Wyoming led 14-6 at that point.
Less than a minute later, Mark Largent of Kaycee tackled Swerczek in the endzone, giving Wyoming a safety and a ten-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
While Nebraska’s offense continued to struggle, their defense got them back into the game in the fourth quarter, when Egger forced Tallon Wiles of Burlington to fumble the ball in the end zone. It was scooped up by Mark Thurston of Silver Lake, and Nebraska pulled within 16-14 just before the end of the third quarter.
But just as it had the whole game, Wyoming’s defense wouldn’t let Nebraska get anything in the fourth, as Swerczek was intercepted by Kameron Evans of Little Snake River in the final minute to seal the win.
Wyoming finished with four interceptions and a fumble recovery, winning their first Six-Man Shootout since 2014.