Rangers suffer Homecoming loss, prepare to face Mountain View

GAZETTE PHOTO / Michelle Tibbetts

The Rangers tackle Glenrock’s Ian Arnold in the Homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 5. Kemmerer lost 49-0 to the Herders. The Rangers face Mountain View on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3:00 p.m.

The Kemmerer Rangers hosted the Glenrock Herders for Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 5. But the game didn’t go the Rangers’ way, and the Herders pulled off a 49–0 win against a Kemmerer team that struggled to make plays and failed to contain a strong Glenrock offense. 

It was a tough way to end Homecoming week for an enthusiastic Kemmerer team that has worked hard for years trying to earn respect as a football program.

Kemmerer now has a 3–3 record on the season. In the 2A West conference, Kemmerer is behind Mountain View (5–1), Greybull (4–2) and Big Piney (4–2).

Friday’s game against Glenrock marked the first time this season that the Rangers didn’t put any points on the board.

“The offensive struggles last week were problematic,” said Rangers head coach Bart Jernigan. “We did not execute to the level that we are accustomed to.”

Jernigan said that Glenrock’s speed and physicality defined the outcome of the game.

“But on the end of things we have control of, we got beat at the point of attack and failed to maintain our other blocks far too often,” Jernigan said. “A lot of it comes down to execution and speed of individual blocking fundamentals.”

The Rangers defense missed tackles and let Glenrock reach the end zone on play after play.

“We are going to have to go back to the basics this week as we prepare for a good team,” Jernigan said. “I am confident that our boys will have what it takes to bounce back offensively.”

The Rangers only had 93 total yards on offense in Friday’s game. Glenrock had 412 total yards on offense.  It was a far cry from the Rangers’ impressive control of the ball and the game clock earlier this season against Lyman and Pinedale.

Glenrock went up 7–0 early in the 1st. Kemmerer had trouble securing a first down and then fumbled the ball for a turnover. Glenrock then scored another touchdown, and another, and the first quarter ended with the Herders up 21–0.

Second quarter action saw more dominating offense from the visiting team, including two more Herder touchdowns on big runs from Glenrock senior runningback Tucker Bopp. Glenrock ran a double-wing offense similar to Kemmerer’s, which only highlighted the difference in execution between the two teams during this game. 

Kemmerer’s junior quarterback Dawson Schramm executed some good plays when he held onto the ball, but otherwise he struggled to complete passes to his teammates. Sophomore wingback AQ Martinez continued to fight through and earn every yard on offense; Martinez had 53 yards on 19 carries in the game.

Senior Donny Proffit had some good runs for the Rangers — he ran for 24 yards on eight carries and helped his team secure one of their precious few first downs in the game against Glenrock.

Toward the end of the first half, the ball came back to Kemmerer because of a Glenrock fumble on a punt return. This was the perfect opportunity for the Rangers to make something happen on offense and try to turn the tide of the game.

But the minimal gains by Kemmerer weren’t enough to move the ball far down the field, and the first half ended with Glenrock up 35–0.

It’s a simple equation: if you have the ball for more time, you have more chances to score — and the Rangers were in possession of the football for very little time. Glenrock scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter on big drives, and the Ranger defense did little to stop the Herders momentum.

Ranger seniors Hayden Walker and Donny Proffit each had three assisted tackles for the Kemmerer defense. Proffit also had two solo tackles. Colter Julian had four solo tackles and helped out on one tackle. Jeydon Boyd had three unassisted tackles and two assisted tackles. Lowell Ellis brought down three solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Anthony Tibbetts and Nano Rickert each had two assisted tackles. Schramm, Josh Thatcher and Quentin Rosas helped out on one tackle each.

By the end of the fourth quarter, both Kemmerer and Glenrock were fielding their second string players. The buzzer ran out and Kemmerer ended the week in another loss, 49–0.

The Rangers face off against a tough No.3 ranked Mountain View team on Friday. The Buffalos are the reigning 2A state champions. The only loss Mountain View picked up this year was against 1A Cokeville in the first game of the season. The Buffalos are practically guaranteed to have another strong playoff performance, while Kemmerer will be lucky to make it far in post-season play.

But Coach Jernigan said preparing his team mentally for tomorrow’s game against Mountain View is no different than any other game this season.

“It is key for us to focus on ourselves, particularly on weeks where the opponent is highly ranked. Keeping our boys focused on where we need to improve and what we need to execute is key in these types of situations,” Jernigan said. “You can do yourself a big disservice by allowing who you play to occupy too much mental real estate.”

The Rangers travel to Mountain View on Friday, Oct. 12, to take on the No. 1 ranked Buffalos at 3:00 p.m.

“I expect our young men to come out hungry and ready to compete,” Jernigan said. “I expect the team to bring a focus on us and how we are playing to the field. I expect that this will be a physical battle against a very good team, but my expectation is that we will be equal to the task.”

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