Rangers fall to Patriots on the road in opening of 2011Published 12:39am Saturday, August 27, 2011
By: Wes Johnson / Troy Messenger
Pike Liberal Arts thrashed Lyman Ward Military Academy 41-12 to open up their pigskin campaign last night in Troy.
“We saw a lot of good things,” head coach Steven Kilcrease said.
“I thought we played with a lot more intensity than we did last week and I was proud of our guys.”
There was one damper that came with the Patriot victory, though.
Dustin Newman was carried off the field via stretcher after receiving a violent hit on a kick-off return early in the first quarter.
“Right now our mind is on Dustin and praying that he gets well.” Kilcrease said.
Nevertheless, the Patriot attack was in full force tonight as Pike Lib. dominated the ranger defense on the ground with 297 rushing yards.
“We feel like we can run the football and we did a good job with that tonight,” Kilcrease said.
“We’re mixing in some different things and we know we’ve got to be able to throw the football and get better, but I thought we did some good things there. We’ve just got to keep working, come back on Monday and continue to work.”
Senior running back Nick McLaughlin carried the load the majority of the game, rushing for 174 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
The Patriots opened up the scoring early with a quick opening drive that saw Quarterback Josh Starling end the drive with a 13-yard rushing touchdown that only took 3:17 off the clock for the Patriots to be up 7-0 early.
Starling, who has been nursing an ankle injury, looked to be back in full health, as he went 3-6 for 57 passing yards, along with 31 rushing yards.
After a quick three and out by Lyman Ward, the Patriots would cruise down the field, this time with McLaughlin scoring the rushing touchdown from four yards away.
The Rangers would swiftly hand the Patriots the ball back after a fumble on a kickoff return would see McLaughlin throw to Jacob Watkins to make the score 20-0 (The extra point was blocked).
Another three and out would see the Patriots put another score on the board, this time it was Kyle Boswell barreling into the endzone for a hard fought touchdown after him and Tatum Barnes would share the majority of the snaps this drive, making the score 27-0.
Lyman Ward’s 3rd straight three and out saw the Patriots strike just before the end of the half when Starling would hook up with Watkins for his second receiving touchdown of the night and Starling’s first passing touchdown to put the Patriots in command at 34-0.
Moments later, a blunder in the special teams unit saw Pike Lib. give up their first touchdown of the season when the Rangers returned a kickoff back for 82 yards just before the halftime interval to make it 34-6(the point after was missed).
“The two most important plays in a football game are punt team and kickoff team, they’ll get you beat faster than anything. But we’ll come back Monday and fix those mistakes.”
The Patriots gave up another touchdown when Starling threw an interception midway through the 3rd quarter that was returned for a touchdown to make the score 34-12 after the rangers failed on a two-point conversion.
The final score of the game came near the end of the third quarter when McLaughlin bumped and bruised his way into the endzone on a 15 yard run to make the score 41-12.