Head coach Bart Jernigan and coach Shawn Rogers speak to the Rangers after the 28-6 win against Lyman on Sept. 7. The Rangers face off against Pinedale on Friday, Sept. 14. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Theresa Davis)
Lyman was no match for a fired-up Kemmerer football team on Friday, Sept. 7, at KHS stadium. The Rangers cruised to a 28-6 victory, earning their first conference win since 2012.
The Rangers offense made it look easy on Friday night. The Rangers had 221 total offensive yards, 166 of which were rushing yards.
Freshman Austin Quin Martinez had two touchdowns and junior Dawson Schramm and senior Josh Thatcher added one touchdown each.
Martinez ran for 98 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown run. Thatcher ran for 63 yards. Thatcher’s highlights also included a 44-yard touchdown run.
Josh Thatcher, Dawson Schramm and Austin Quin Martinez get ready for the Lyman game. Thatcher scored one touchdown, Schramm had a touchdown and Martinez chipped in two touchdowns for the Rangers on Friday. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)
In an email to the Gazette, Rangers head coach Bart Jernigan discussed his team’s performance and how they are continuing to improve in each game.
“Our offensive attack this year actually is a little more varied in how we are distributing the running plays,” Jernigan said. “We have brought a fourth back into the backfield, and that has meant that we are now giving each back a couple less carries per game than we were a year ago.”
Jernigan said he was impressed by his team’s defense against the Lyman Eagles. The Rangers held Lyman to 153 yards in Friday’s game. Kemmerer went into the locker room at halftime up 14-0, and the Eagles didn’t get a chance to put points on the board until the 3rd quarter. But by then, the home team’s defense had already proven they could get the job done.
“Our defense played incredibly aggressive and forced some big takeaways,” Jernigan said. “Coach Rogers had a great plan in place and the players executed it incredibly well. I particularly loved the confidence and execution by our young men on fourth down.”
The Mini Ranger Cheerleaders performed at the football game on Sept. 7. The KHS cheer squad is hosting a mini cheer clinic for young Ranger fans throughout the football season. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)
The Kemmerer seniors continue to give strong defensive performances on the field. Seniors Lowell Ellis and Hayden Walker led the Rangers defense in tackles against the Eagles. Ellis had five assisted tackles and racked up three solo tackles, and Walker did the same. Donny Proffit helped out on four successful tackles and two solo tackles. Jeydon Boyd racked up four tackles in both the unassisted and solo columns. Anthony Tibbetts picked up three unassisted tackles and two solo tackles.
“I also think that our special teams were huge in winning the game for us,” Jernigan said. “They put the offense on short fields and that made a big impact on the game itself.”
With last week’s win, the Rangers’ record improved to 2-0, and the Eagles fell to 0-3.
As of now, the Rangers have the best overall season record in the 2A West conference, thanks in part to a forfeit from Saratoga. But the Rangers are showing that they deserve that record.
The Kemmerer Rangers defensive line gets another stop against Lyman in the 28–6 win on Sept. 7. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)
Kemmerer travels to Pinedale on Friday, Sept. 14, to take on the Wranglers.
The Rangers lost to Pinedale 20-0 last season — but this is football, and any team can be beat on any night. Pinedale lost to 3A Jackson last week 35-10.
“We are looking forward to facing Pinedale,” Jernigan said. “Coach Espland always has his team ready. They bring an option attack that will demand a very disciplined approach from our defense. They are physical and fast, and we will need to match that.”
“We are preparing with a mindset that every play will be a huge opportunity to set ourselves up to win,” Jernigan continued. “We have a couple of schemes that we think will match up favorably and allow our boys to play fast and fly around.”
Jernigan agreed that the crowd of excited Ranger fans at the Lyman game definitely kept the team going.
“The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible Friday. Our team feeds off the energy that the crowd provides,” Jernigan said. “It is a big advantage for us to have our fans show up and be loud. It means a lot to me and the kids.”
Senior Hayden Walker gets the Rangers pumped up for the Lyman game on Sept. 7. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)
“We play for this town. When we say, ‘we are KR,’ we do so with an understanding that we are representatives of this community and its proud heritage,” Jernigan continued. “So, having fans pack the stadium and get into the game is something that helps us connect on a deeper level to this idea. In the end, I think we play better when the atmosphere of the stadium is behind us. We are appreciative of the support that this community has shown and look forward to playing in a way that this community can be proud of.”
The Rangers play at Pinedale on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:00 p.m.
Josh Thatcher runs the ball against Lyman on Sept. 7. (GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts)