The Teton Timberwolves could not have started the season opener with a more electric play.
Unfortunately, that was about as exciting as things got for Teton on Friday night in Jackson.
After Hunter Johnson took the opening kickoff back for a Teton touchdown on the first touch of the season, Jackson tamed the Timberwolves in a hurry and didn’t look back.
Jackson was up 44-6 at halftime, via a dominating pass-heavy attack spurred by quarterback Sadler Smith.
Jarom Heuseveldt scored a 4th quarter quarterback keeper and Dason Morris added a pick-six (with a two-point conversion) with three seconds left in the game.
Jackson is expected to be a contender for Wyoming’s 3A state championship after falling in last year’s state title game to Cody.
Teton’s new head coach Jeff Wilkes will now have to pick his team up off the ground after the defeat for their home opener (and Homecoming) on Friday against Marsh Valley.
“We’re still a team, We’re still here, this doesn’t change anything,” said Coach Wilkes after the game. “This doesn’t matter, we’re gonna put it behind us and we still have to learn and grow.”
Wilkes will lead the Timberwolves into a week of practice where admittedly, there are improvements to be made on both sides of the ball. Wilkes talked about what they’ll be working on before the home opener.
“Oh man, everything,” said Wilkes. “Tackling’s a big thing, assignments, and understanding where we need to be, and we as coaches need to be better at getting these guys prepped for that.”
Like any debuting coach, there will naturally be some growing pains and adjustments to be made throughout the season.
One area where Wilkes likes his team’s ability is on the mental side of the game, as evidenced by the Timberwolves not throwing in the towel and getting a couple of scores at the end.
“They’re fightin’, they finished strong, and I have to be proud of that,” said Wilkes.
Before the game, Wilkes was adamant that the work ethic his players have shown during practice will pay off across the season.
“We’ve put in extra time in the weight room, trying to get every minute we could out of every practice,” said Wilkes.
This year both the offensive and the defensive sides of the ball will be running new systems, something the ‘Wolves will continue working adamantly on through the season.
“We’ve been implementing a new defense and offense and we’re just trying to maximize good communication through our apps and film studies so we can get out there and run as smoothly as possible,” said Wilkes.
One of the most important aspects of high school football, no matter the results, is the ability to come together as a team and buy into the brotherhood created by battling under the lights.
“We’re still a family, our motto is one pack one mind and we’re all together so we’ll get back up and build from this,” said Wilkes.
Teton’s next game will be Friday at 7 p.m., at home against Marsh Valley. The visiting Eagles fell last week 21-20 to Beaver (UT).