Rangers carve up Cougars 51-7

Moore, Eggleston shine in blowout over New Braunfels Canyon

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Rangers carve up Cougars 51-7

QB Luke Gombert leads the huddle during a game against Schertz Clemens. Gombert threw for three touchdowns this week in a win against New Braunfels Canyon.

QB Luke Gombert leads the huddle during a game against Schertz Clemens. Gombert threw for three touchdowns this week in a win against New Braunfels Canyon.

Kristen Stevens

QB Luke Gombert leads the huddle during a game against Schertz Clemens. Gombert threw for three touchdowns this week in a win against New Braunfels Canyon.

Kristen Stevens

Kristen Stevens

QB Luke Gombert leads the huddle during a game against Schertz Clemens. Gombert threw for three touchdowns this week in a win against New Braunfels Canyon.

Jackson Posey, Sports Editor

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MaxPreps reported the final score to be 97-0. And while it wasn’t quite to that extreme, it wasn’t far off from reality.

Today wasn’t “just a game” for the Rangers. They arrived at the “Comal Bowl” firing on all cylinders and didn’t slow down until well after the end of the fourth quarter.

The game started with a bang. Canyon received the opening kickoff, but three plays later, they gained just one yard and were forced to punt. Unfortunately for the Cougars, there was a rather large, athletic man by the name of Trey Moore. And that large, athletic man blew right through that line and blocked the heck out of that punt.

“When I see an opening, I do whatever I can to get my hands on the ball,” the junior said. “When I do, I immediately search for the ball and try to turn it into points. We put so much (effort) into special teams, so it feels great to have big plays (while) we’re on it.”

Moore’s teammate Cullen Betsey nearly recovered the ball for what would’ve been a touchdown, but it bounced through the end zone for a safety instead. This proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Rangers, who capitalized with a 25-yard toss to a wide-open Chandler Cole for a score. A 9-0 lead had formed just 35 seconds into the game, a lead that would only grow.

The defense had plenty of moments. Mason Livingston, for one, caught one interception, and nearly snagged two more, including on Canyon’s lone touchdown, an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Luke Greebon.

But it was Moore who stole the show. He blocked the Cougars’ next punt on a play where he was blatantly held by a blocker, then proceeded to scare the punter into rushed punts of 35 and 24 yards on his next two attempts, both of which saw the junior pass rusher make himself very acquainted with the backfield.

Moore wasn’t just limited to special teams dominance; however – he was a force to be reckoned with for the entire game. He claimed two pass deflections (including a near-interception), a tackle for loss, in addition to his multiple punt blocks, and that doesn’t even take into account the numerous other tackles and hurries he made.

“Any impact I [can] make for our team is great,” the junior said. “It’s hard to say (which was my favorite.”

As humble as he was about his own achievements, Moore’s praise for his coaches and teammates was effusive.

“Our defense works very hard when it comes to the game planning and then going out to execute game time,” the defensive lineman said. “Every week our defense continues to improve, and I believe the sky’s the limit when it comes to what we can accomplish.”

The defense, though, wasn’t the lone success story. The offense thoroughly outclassed the Cougars at every turn, and it showed: the Rangers scored 50+ against Canyon for the second straight season. Luke Gombert was the biggest beneficiary of Canyon’s Swiss cheese of a defense; he completed five of 10 passes for 85 yards and three touchdowns, and just one of the scores – a 22-yard toss to Maverick Freeland skinny post – was defended at all. 

Gombert happily slung the ball around as a game manager, but he also played what might have been the most important role on the team: he handed the ball off to the running backs. The running backs combined for 465 yards and four touchdowns in 28 touches, an average of 16.6 yards per carry. Jacob Forton (14/174/2) was his explosive, reliable self, picking up multiple 40-plus yard runs to go with his multitude of broken tackles. Greg Eggleston, too, made a big impact: the senior turned his 10 carries into 223 yards and a touchdown, including a 58-yard near-score to close out the first half and an 84-yarder that made it to the house.

Will Strachan completed his lone pass for three yards, giving him a solid I’m-too-good-for-JV-but-can’t-start-yet vibe. He’s 5/6 for 25 yards so far this season in limited playing time, so next year’s squad coud average a two-foot depth of target. 

On the bright side, Strachan performed admirably at handing the ball off. Running back Gabe Hoskins (2/62/1) was the main target; in fact, he seems like the back of the future. After Forton and Eggleston graduate, it’ll be his show.

Passing-wise, Gombert did spread the ball around well, completing passes to Cole (2/33/1), Freeland (2/38/1), and Eric Titzman (1/14/1). But, as with the ground game, much of the credit went to the offensive line. Gombert was really only pressured twice, and one of those was his own bobbled snap. And although they don’t get a ton of recognition in these columns, the hog mollies are really what keep this well-oiled machine rolling. So to Devin Smith, Nathan Moczygemba, Taylor Brooks, Ryan Benca and Donny Bell: a tip of the cap.

Judson (5-0) looms large, but the Rangers have a bye week and homecoming matchup against East Central (4-1) before heading to Converse. With momentum heading into a bye week, anything can happen.

“The big win gives us a lot of momentum to take into the bye week to recover and come out even better,” the junior said.

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