Injuries mount as Estacada loses 40-0 at Molalla on Friday
As head coach Brigham Baker walked off the field on Friday night, the number that most concerned him was not the number of points his team had allowed, 40, or the number of points they scored, zero. Instead, it was the number three.
Three was the number of Ranger football players who weren't walking off the Molalla field with him on Friday because they were in the hospital.
Quarterback Ryan Vauthier left the game with what was believed to be a broken leg, but was later identified as a severe sprain. Ben Adamson left the field with a gash on his head that required stitches. The third, and most serious of the three, was lineman Jordan Rohling, who had to be lifeflighted to the hospital with a severe concussion.
'It was definitely one of the lowest points we've ever been at because any time you're at a point where a kid is getting life-flighted, the game becomes secondary,' Baker said. 'And the best thing about Friday was that Jordan turned out to be okay.'
For Rohling, it was the second traumatic head injury sustained this season, so he will miss the remainder of the season, however he was released from the hospital the following afternoon and is doing well.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the news about Vauthier was similar. With a severe high-ankle sprain, he is expected to be on crutches for two weeks and will also miss the remainder of the season.
What makes that news even worse for the Rangers is that it comes just three days after the team learned that then starting quarterback Bryan Rhone would be transferring.
As for the game, the results were just as bleak.
After slowly moving the ball on their opening drive, the Rangers were eventually forced to punt after a false start penalty stalled their drive. The game appeared to be set for a defensive battle as the Rangers stopped the Indians on their first drive of the game as well.
Unfortunately it was all downhill from there.
The Rangers would go six straight possessions after that without a first down, while the Indians began an avalanche of scoring.
First it was the running combination of quarterback Drew Johnson and runningback Bryce Leedham that combined for an impressive 66 yard drive before Leedham cruised into the endzone from 22 yards out.
On their next possession, Molalla marched 78 yards before running back Alex McGann went into the endzone from a few yards out to extend the lead to 13-0 after T. Jay Barber blocked the extra point.
Only to outdo themselves once again, the Indians went 90 yards on their next possession when McGann needed just one play to score, outrunning the Ranger defense for a 90-yard score that brought the halftime score to 19-0.
The Rangers finished the first half with just 51 total yards compared to 317 for the Indians.
Things didn't get any better for the Rangers in the second half, as the Indians piled on three more touchdowns to bring the final score to 40-0.
McGann finished the game with 168 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, while Leedham had another 128 and two scores.
As for what his team's future holds, Bakers remains cautiously optimistic.
'We've had a lot of major setbacks since the middle of August but if we can piece some things together here at the end of the season, anything is possible,' he said. 'We're in the exact same position we were last year at 0-2 in league except that we had won a non-conference game so we're going to operate knowing our season is not over.'
One thing to watch for this week is what the Rangers will do at quarterback for their game against Madras on Thursday night. Having lost arguably their top three options at quarterback already this season, it remains to be seen as to what Baker has in mind for the future.