Alva Review-Courier -

Late takeaways seal victory for Rangers over HSU, 30-24


September 16, 2018

Trey Lunn

The Rangers defense put in a strong performance in the first half.

ALVA, Okla. – Big plays on both sides of the ball were key for the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Rangers on Saturday night as they knocked off Henderson State in a big conference battle, 30-24.

Northwestern trailed the Reddies early in the fourth quarter 24-17 when Isaiah Weed connected with Myles Mitchusson in the middle of the field for a 57-yard pass play and touchdown. Zave Goodrich added the extra point to knot the game up at 24.

After the defense forced the Reddies to go three-and-out on their next possession, Weed completed four passes to move the ball down the field, including a huge catch at the one yard line by Gavin Garner falling out of bounds. Jalen Williams punched it in for a touchdown to put the Rangers on top for the final outcome of 30-24.

On the ensuing drive, Trey Merritt jumped in front of a Richard Stammetti pass for an interception on what looked like a play to seal the game. However, two plays later the Rangers coughed the ball up to give control right back to the visiting team.

With the clock winding down on the Reddies, they were forced to take a couple of shots on the end zone when Qua'Shawn Gray picked off a pass as the clock turned to zero.

The win is Northwestern's first of the season as its record moved to 1-2, while the Reddies are now 1-2 with the loss. The Rangers will be on the road next Saturday as they travel to Southeastern Oklahoma State for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

It was the second win in as many seasons over Henderson State.

Early in the game the story was the play of running back Jacob Peyton. The redshirt junior running back rushed for a total of 171 yards on 14 carries in the victory, including a 75 yard burst in the first quarter to set up the second Ranger score.

It was the longest play from scrimmage for the Rangers this season. Peyton has now rushed for 335 yards in the past two games.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jimmie Pace was all over the field with seven tackles, including five solo tackles, and two sacks. The Great American Conference's leading tackler, Dakota Driskill, had nine tackles and a sack.

Trey Lunn

Top: Junior wide receiver Kentrez Bell makes a one-handed catch for a touchdown. Bottom: Red-shirt sophomore Gavin Garner makes a catch that helps the Rangers' field goal position.

Northwestern jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. On the first Ranger possession, Peyton busted outside for a 48-yard gain to move the Rangers into HSU territory. Kentrez Bell capped the drive with a one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown connection with Weed.

Weed finished the game 20-for-35 with 298 yards and two touchdowns, while Bell led the Ranger receivers with 98 yards.

Henderson eventually tied the game at 14 after the first quarter.

The two teams battled back and forth through the second stanza before the Rangers were finally able to drive the ball 43 yards on 10 plays, closed out by a 29-yard field goal by Goodrich, to give the black-and-red a 17-14 lead at the break.

HSU took the lead on its second drive of the third quarter as Logan Moragne ran the ball in from two yards out to take the lead. On their following possession, Temo Martinez split the uprights to make it a 24-17 ball game.

Northwestern's defense settled down after the field goal, setting up the dramatic fourth quarter.


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