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Rangers back on track


Two late touchdowns spur comeback over North Marion

One week after getting crushed by Gladstone, the Estacada Rangers found themselves down by nine with six minutes left in a road game against North Marion. In a sense, their reaction to this situation would truly define the 2012 season.

For Estacada head coach Brigham Baker, the prognosis was positive.

The Rangers rallied for two late touchdowns, including a six-yard scamper from quarterback Bryan Rhone with just 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining on the clock, to bring home a 32-28 victory.

North Marion got on the board first on their first drive with a methodical 94-yard drive that was unlike anything Estacada had seen all year.

“Nobody has done that to us over the course of 12-14 plays,” Baker said. “Usually it’s a few series before they get 94 yards, or it would be on one big play.”

The Rangers were able to respond immediately, however, tying the game at 7. This back and forth turned out to be the story of the game, as every time the Huskies scored, the Rangers answered.

At the half, the Rangers trailed 21-19 thanks to a pair of failed extra points.

“It kept going back and forth until the fourth quarter,” Baker said. “We ended up coming from behind and stealing one from them.”

Trailing 28-19 with six minutes left, the Rangers scored twice in less than four minutes to take a 32-28 lead. From there, the defense took control and held the Huskies scoreless to secure the victory.

The go-ahead drive was set up by Ryan Vauthier, who returned the kickoff all the way to the Husky 15 yard line to get things going. A couple plays later, Rhone dropped back to pass and as the play broke down, he spun away from a defender at the 10 yard line and bowled into the end zone.

“Defensively we made some adjustments in the second half like moving Alex Keeth to nose guard, where he did a tremendous job,” Baker sad. “Execution was still a key though, as we’re having a difficult time executing, missing blocks and falling off blocks on offense.”

Part of the problem for Estacada was the short week and shift in practice philosophy. Because of recent struggles, Baker opened up positional competitions all week, meaning fewer reps for starters throughout the week.

“I thought we would be in control of this game much more than we were,” Baker said. “Offensively it was tough to get in a rhythm and defensively, they gave us a taste of our own medicine, running the ball on us. My hat is off to them, they did a really good job.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.”