Kemmerer hosted the Big Piney Punchers for the Homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 22. The Rangers fought hard all game long, but fell to the Punchers 34-12.
A great Kemmerer crowd braved the cold, wet weather to cheer on the Rangers. The Rangers kept Big Piney from scoring until 3:00 minutes left in the first quarter, bringing the score to 7-0.
Junior Anthony Tibbetts had a strong game on both sides of the ball, and Jeydon Boyd continued to show up strong on defense for the Rangers. Sophomore Dawson Schramm had a good defensive game — he even deflected a Puncher pass to bring up a fourth down for Big Piney.
But Big Piney still fought through to score and bring the Puncher lead to 14-0 with a little over 9 minutes left in the first half.
The home team took some hard hits from the Big Piney defense, but were quick to shake it off and get back in the game.
A Ranger interception by junior Lowell Ellis succeeded in getting the very cold crowd into the Homecoming spirit again to bring up 1st and goal for the Rangers.
Quarterback Josh Thatcher helped put the Rangers on the board with a beautiful touchdown pass to junior Hayden Walker, who was wide open in the end zone.
After a failed 2-point conversion attempt by the Rangers, the score was 14-6 going into halftime.
Big Piney’s offense came out a little slow to start the third quarter. But not Kemmerer. Anthony Tibbetts went to work, earning every first down against the tough Puncher defensive line.
Hayden Walker had a 20-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the third quarter, giving the Rangers hope to make a comeback.
Kemmerer attempted a two-point conversion, and the refs called a penalty on the play against Big Piney. Kemmerer got another try at the two-point conversion, but couldn’t quite stick it, bringing the score at the end of the third quarter to 14-12 with the Punchers in the lead.
In the first play of the fourth quarter, Big Piney took advantage of some Ranger defensive confusion to run in another touchdown — bringing the score to 20-12 with the Punchers in the lead.
Some of the Rangers defensive linemen lost a little bit of the fire they showed earlier in the game, but not junior Donny Proffit. He had some great defensive stops to keep Big Piney back.
Tibbetts continued to make great offensive moves and break some Big Piney tackles, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit, especially with another Puncher touchdown with about five minutes left in the game.
The final score was 34-12 in favor of the Big Piney Punchers, but this game showed that dismal weather and a tough game can’t dampen the Kemmerer Ranger spirit, especially during Homecoming week.
Stay tuned for what Rangers head coach Bart Jernigan had to say about the game, and how the Rangers will prepare for the Greybull game on Friday, Sept. 29.