Rangers take down Reddies

Rangers Athletic Department

      Northwestern Oklahoma State traveled to Arkadelphia for the second time this season. The first game was played at Ouachita Baptist where the Rangers fell by a field goal, but this time when the Black-and-Red came to town, they defeated Henderson State for the first time in five tries, 36-30.

      The entire game was a back and forth affair and in the end, the Rangers prevailed, following an interception by Aharon Barnes with 1:18 left on the clock. The interception was the first by the Northwestern defense so far this season and it was a big one. The victory was the first over the Reddies since joining the NCAA Division II ranks as well as the first in five tries.

      The visitors gashed the home team for 431 yards, 270 of which were on the ground. No Ranger had over 100 yards rushing, but three had 70 or more. The rushing attack was led by Isiah Weed (93), Jacob
Peyton (85) and Anthony Cota (70).

      The defensive unit was once again led by Devin Peyton who recorded 12 on the night and also had a forced fumble along the way. The scoring started early in the game as HSU struck first in Q1, but weren’t able to convert on the 2-pt. conversion, opening the door for the Rangers to take over on the TD just
three minutes later.

      There was only one more score in the first half and it belonged to the Reddies, making it a 13-7 game heading into the break. Out of halftime was when the game started to get really interesting and the suspense lasted for the entire 30 minutes of play. Northwestern led the third quarter off with the ball and marched it down the field 73 yards for the score on a two-yard pass from Weed to Gavin Garner. The Rangers took the lead on the drive at 14-13, but it wouldn’t last long. HSU started their drive at 12:06 and prolonged it for nearly five and half minutes before scoring and taking a 20-14 lead.

      The seesaw continued as the visitors came back and one-upped the Reddies on the amount of time for the drive as the scoring drive lasted 5:54 and led to a Ranger lead at 21-20. For the second straight drive, on the receiving end of the TD was Garner who finished the game with just 19 yards, but with
two scores.

      The fourth quarter was full of excitement as each drive came away with points, beginning with a touchdown by HSU quarterback, Andrew Black on a five-yard run, which put the deficit at six again in favor of the home team.

      A 19-yard run by Weed tied it up at 27 apiece and following a Zave Goodrich point after, the Rangers were on top by one again. At the 3:24 mark, the Reddies drove 58 yards toward the Northwestern goal line, but the Rangers stymied the HSU offense and held them to a field goal, which ultimately doomed Henderson State.

      With 1:32 to go on the clock, Northwestern took the ball down the field 60 yards and ran it in from a yard out to eclipse the Reddies at 34- 30. Seeing as the lead was just four, head coach, Matt Walter decided to make it a touchdown deficit and go for two. The rush was converted by Cota who also ran it in for the TD. To end the game, HSU was looking to go down the field, but Barnes had other plans, picking off the pass and ultimately ending the game.