Six days ago, the Thunder Basin High School football team was projected to be the No. 1 seed with guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
After a 35-0 loss to Sheridan last week, the Bolts (7-2) fell to the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Natrona County (5-4) at 6 p.m. Friday. The quarterfinal game will be a rematch of week seven when Thunder Basin shut out Natrona County 40-0 in Casper.
Despite going into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, the Bolts fell to the No. 4-ranked team in the WyoPrep.com coaches and media football rankings after being ranked No. 2 for several weeks. The team that passed Thunder Basin in the rankings to take the No. 3 slot: Sheridan.
The Bolt's loss to Sheridan ended a four-game winning streak going into the last week of the regular season. The game was a rematch of last year's state championship where Sheridan beat Thunder Basin 35-26.
Thunder Basin will look to move past the regular season finale and focus instead on the opponent that lies ahead.
Natrona County's best win of the season came against Sheridan (6-3), with the Mustangs other wins coming against Campbell County (1-8), Laramie (2-7), Kelly Walsh (4-5) and Cheyenne South (0-9).
The winner of Friday's game will play the winner of Cheyenne Central (No. 2) and Kelly Walsh (No. 7).
If the Bolts get past Natrona County, they would either host Kelly Walsh or travel to Cheyenne to play the Indians. Central (7-2) was the only other loss for the Bolts during the regular season in week three while Thunder Basin beat Kelly Walsh 35-13 in week five.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 1 seed Cheyenne East will take on No. 8 seed Laramie while No. 4 seed Sheridan will host No. 5 Rock Springs. The Broncs are arguably the hottest prep football team in 4A and secured a home game with last week's win over Thunder Basin.
Friday's home game will be Thunder Basin's fourth time hosting a playoff game in the school's four-year history.
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