Rangers blast Ottawa Hills 58-14 to improve to 3-0 on the season


Seniors Elijah Gurley, Sam Marthens and Michael Peliotes were tenacious pass rushers in Friday night’s win over Ottawa Hills 58-14. With the Bengal offense primarily being a passing one, FHC knew they had to come in and play with confidence.

“Coach [Robbins, defensive line coach] has been working with our d-line a ton with pass rush,” Elijah said. “We made it a big focal point for our d-line all week that we were going to get in there to make some plays. I think across the board we had pressure, even when some of our second string guys came in the game.”

The defensive line’s pressure forced Ottawa Hills into three interceptions and a fumble. Two of those INTs being returned for Ranger touchdowns. Senior Jace Thornton ran one back for 27 yards, just 39 seconds after the offense opened up the game with a touchdown. Junior Tate Hallock had the other defensive touchdown tonight, with a 40 yard INT return for a touchdown.

Head coach Tim Rogers gave his front five credit for making life in the pocket non-existent for Ottawa Hills.

“They did a good job answering the bell,” Rogers said. “They did a nice job getting in there and making their quarterback run all over the place.”

With just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter, Ottawa Hills was pinned in their own territory, with a third down and 15 from the six-yard line. After a snap over the head of their quarterback, Michael came flying in from the right side to push him through the back of the end zone making it 16-0.

Sam, along with seniors Trace Shirmers, Christian Balanda and Will Kuiper all had outstanding games, with a few sacks and numerous tackles for losses. Will came up with the lone fumble recovery of the Rangers performance.

Despite the constant pressure, the quarterback from Ottawa Hills was very elusive and escaped the pocket time after time. It made it hard for secondary players, like senior Jerqueres Beck to get a solid read.

“He played well, but we have to play better in our secondary,” Jerqueres said. “It was hard because he was really shifty and quick with his movements. We always had to have [his ability to run] in the back of our minds when we were covering downfield.”

Offensive for FHC again disappointed by the high standards set by this coaching staff. With a couple turnovers, it made for a somewhat sour taste in the offenses mouth. Nonetheless, it was a good opportunity for FHC to spread the ball and get some new faces in the end zone.

Junior and second string running back Noah Stout had a goal line touchdown late in the first quarter.

“I took advantage of some really good blocking from the linemen and wide receivers,” Noah said. “It’s not often that we play a team like this where we can get some subs in, so it was good to get experience and a lot of playing time.”

Senior Kyle Basch and juniors Cam Deines and Luke Majick also had rushing touchdowns in the Rangers big win.

The score said 58-14, but the Rangers and their coaching staff are still waiting on all parts to come together and click. The “perfect game” is the overall goal, but in the meantime, there is plenty to improve upon.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times,” Rogers said. “We gave up some big passes in the secondary, we had some miss-tackles, so there is still a lot. This is a tough game and we haven’t played the perfect game yet. So we’ll find things to work on.”