THE RAGING RIVALRY

The football game between Cody and Powell comes down to the wire.
Quarterback Jhett Schwahn looks to release a pass downfield. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore.
Quarterback Jhett Schwahn looks to release a pass downfield. Photo courtesy of Mike Moore.
Mike Moore

The highly anticipated matchup between the Powell Panthers (7-2) and the Cody Broncs (8-1) took place on Oct. 20, 2023. The rivalry between the two powerhouses has been going on for decades, and as the game got closer, the contention only continued to heat up.

Both teams took the week to prepare for the big game that would determine the number 2 and 3 seeds in the playoffs. The Panthers were coming off a blowout win over Jackson Hole in enemy territory, defeating the Jackson Hole Broncs 51-6, while the Cody Broncs overcame Evanston with a 48-13 victory. With both sides completing victories on the road a week prior, the organizations received a significant boost of motivation.

“We felt fairly confident going into the game,” junior wide receiver Evan Whitlock said. “We figured that because Cody lost to Star Valley by around 30 and we only lost to them by 3 that we had a good chance of getting the win.”

We felt fairly confident going into the game. We figured that because Cody lost to Star Valley by around 30 and we only lost to them by 3 that we had a good chance of getting the win.

— junior wide receiver Evan Whitlock

Star Valley secured the number 1 seed in the playoffs after substantial wins over Cody and Powell. PHS seemed to have had a closer game against the potent Braves than their neighboring town. With that in mind, it gave the Panthers even more confidence. Despite that, 24 miles away, players at Cody High School also felt poised.

“The team felt confident going into the game,” senior CHS football player Micah Grant said. “We knew that no opponent should be underestimated, and we still had to give it our all.”

The team felt confident going into the game. We knew that no opponent should be underestimated, and we still had to give it our all.

— senior CHS football player Micah Grant

The first half of the game concluded with a score of 16-15 with Powell leading. With mistakes being a constant occurrence for the teams participating, each side did their best to address the issues during halftime. 

“We felt good going into halftime,” Whitlock said. “Then there were times where it didn’t look very good.”

Going into the 3rd quarter, the Panthers would receive the ball first. The team put together a long drive with high hopes of finishing it until the Broncs defense put the opposing offense on hold. The Panthers were unable to get points on the board and extend their lead.

The second half of the game would produce a total of 10 points scored, with 7 going to Cody, unlike the first half, which resulted in 31 total points scored.

“I think the turning point was the 4th quarter, when everything started to come to an end,” Grant said. “The stakes were definitely higher, and they should be; a rivalry game isn’t taken lightly, especially when it can determine the spots in the playoffs.”

I think the turning point was the 4th quarter, when everything started to come to an end. The stakes were definitely higher, and they should be; a rivalry game isn’t taken lightly, especially when it can determine the spots in the playoffs.

— CHS senior Micah Grant

The game came to an end with a final score of 22-19 Cody, marking the end of the team’s respective regular seasons. Powell will receive the #3 seed and Cody will take the #2 seed in the playoffs. The two juggernauts walked off the field with each team experiencing different emotions.

“The team was definitely hurt after the result,” Whitlock said. “We should have been more motivated.”

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