When Air Force hosted the Wyoming Cowboys this past Saturday night, Air Force was looking to rebuild a winning season and Wyoming Cowboys were looking to give Air Force Falcons another loss. The Falcons won their opening game against Colgate but then lost two in a row. The first possession for each team turned into a touchdown. The game was off to a quick start. Air Force Falcons and the Wyoming Cowboys looked more like a border war than the war between the Cowboys and the Colorado State Rams. With both offenses looking good this was bound to be a great game with both teams looking to be the dominating factor over the other. But by the end of the first quarter, the Wyoming Cowboys had a more physical play than the Air Force Falcons.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Wyoming's linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo put a vicious hit on Air Force Falcons kick returner Anthony LaCoste. Anthony La Coste fumbled the ball and Cowboys Devyn Harris recovered the fumble. This set up a Brett Smith pass of 4 yards to a wide opened Jalen Claiborne to make it 28-10.
It looked like the end for Anthony LaCoste but being the athlete that Anthony LaCoste is, he came back in the game and played his heart out. Unfortunately even this was not enough.
Wyoming's quarterback Brett Smith threw for a school record of 373 yards and four TDs and added 138 yards on the ground in leading the Wyoming Cowboys (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West) to their highest scoring output ever against Air Force (1-3, 0-3) in a heated series that dates to 1957. Casey Bramlet held the records but as we all know in sports, records are set and broken quite a bit. Bramlet held the record of touchdown passes in his time at Wyoming of 56 TD passes. Smith passed this record of throwing number 57 and he is only a junior.
It was also a homecoming for Wyoming Cowboys wide receiver Dominic Rufran. This young man has been a standout since high school. With his ability to catch the football even when facing a bone rattling crunch, and then able to shake the defense, it is no wonder he was heavily recruited by colleges across United States. He chose Wyoming and has been their leading wide receiver for the past couple of years.
Air Force Football was tested all night. Wyoming Cowboys were in a fighting mood and they did rack up the penalties. But Air Force is a team that has discipline and knows the meaning of true sportsmanship. As hard as the Cowboys tried to break them and get them to lose composure by being more then what the physical game is based on, the Falcons did not sub come to this type of play. Even in the face of defeat, the Falcons kept their professionalism and played a hard fought game.