Smoky Hill senior quarterback Tyliq Bowers, right, does a backflip in the air on his way to pick up the Wagon Wheel traveling trophy along with Jaxon Thompson (17) and Kyron Gayles (3) after the Buffaloes’ 42-12 Week 3 football win over Overland on Sept. 8, 2022, at Stutler Bowl. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

GREENWOOD VILLAGE | Tyliq Bowers did everything he could — and then some — to get his hands on the Wagon Wheel Thursday night at Stutler Bowl.

The senior quarterback rushed for four touchdowns and had his Smoky Hill team in control for the majority of the night during a 42-12 non-league victory over Overland to earn another year of custody of the traveling trophy that has recently come to be the prize in an longtime rivalry that stretches back more than four decades.

Then, Bowers did a cartwheel and back flip on his way to collect the Wagon Wheel before bringing it back to his senior-heavy team, which has had it for their entire careers. It was Smoky Hill’s fifth straight season with the trophy after Overland — which still leads the all-time series 26-16 — won it the first four seasons.

Photo gallery from the Wagon Wheel game, here

It was also the first official win of the season for coach Brandon Alconcel’s Buffaloes, who had to forfeit its season opener against Denver East (which they had won on the field) and then came up a touchdown short against Rock Canyon in Week 2.

Bowers did the majority of the damage on the ground, while sophomore John Bass III and junior Kaiden McElhiney also got into the end zone to give Smoky Hill (1-2) its season-high in points.

The Buffaloes were challenged at times by coach Kyle Reese’s Overland team (1-2), which came in off a victory over Prairie View. The Trailblazers got a big play in the opening half with a kickoff return touchdown by senior Komari Owens and sophomore Jarrius Ward rushed for a score early in the third quarter.

Smoky Hill has a road game at 7 p.m. Sept. 16 against Palmer Ridge, while plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 on the road against Heritage.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

Smoky Hill 42, Overland 12

Score by quarters:

Smoky Hill  7  21  7  7 — 42

Overland     0   6  6  0 — 12

Smoky Hill highlights: Taliq Bowers 4 rushing touchdowns; John Bass III rushing touchdown; Kaiden McElhiney rushing touchdown. Overland highlights: Jarrius Ward rushing touchdown; Komari Owens kickoff return touchdown

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