Rangers battle in storm


A hurricane like storm, a seemingly never-ending delay, and a top-tier conference team would cause many teams to not even put up a fight, but not the Rangers.

The Rangers put up a fight that almost led to a major upset that would have sent shockwaves throughout the Great American Conference.

After an hour and a half delay, the teams finally took the field and action got underway at Ranger Field. Despite a well fought game that saw the Rangers have a chance to drive the field and score the tying touchdown, the final score ended up being 42-34 in favor of Ouachita Baptist.

Shortly after the skies cleared and the ball was kicked off, the Rangers found themselves down 21-7 early in the ballgame. At the completion of one quarter it felt like the same old Ranger team, a struggling offense and a defense that spent way too much time on the field.

However, just like the storm that rolled through Alva just hours before kick-off, the Rangers gained momentum with each possession on both sides of the ball and finally broke through when quarterback Reid Miller hit stand-out receiver Horatio Smith for a 60-yard touchdown on a key third down midway through the second quarter.

Smith, who currently leads the conference in all-purpose yards, finished the afternoon with six catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Miller, who himself ranks in the top-ten nationally in passing yards, also filled up the stat sheet with 400 passing yards and three touchdowns.

After the Miller to Smith strike to bring the score to 21-14, the Rangers held an explosive Ouachita Baptist running game out of the end zone and forced a punt to give the Rangers the ball with just 48 seconds left in the first half. Following one last shot to the end zone, the Rangers found themselves heading to the locker room down just 21-14.

The Tigers came out in the second half and put together an impressive 10 play, 75 yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Kris Oliver, who garnered Co-GAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after his performance against Northwestern.

Both teams would put together ineffective drives before an Ouachita Baptist touchdown early in the fourth quarter would open up a 35-14 Tiger lead. Once again the potent Miller to Smith touchdown strike would give the Rangers life, down just two scores.

After a quick three-and-out for the Tigers, Miller would this time use his legs to bring the Rangers within one score. However, a 67-yard run for Oliver straight up the middle of the Ranger defense extended the lead back to two scores.

Ultimately the Rangers scored and had a chance to tie the ball game up with 2:50 left on the clock, but a Miller interception would end the Rangers attempt at an upset.

Northwestern will remain at home next weekend where they will play host to the East Central Tigers on homecoming. The game is set to kick off at 4 p.m. on Saturday.