Rangers bring ’Hawks back to earth in runaway win

Posted 10/26/22

The Lummi Blackhawks missed their ferry and ended up an hour late for their 1B football matchup Saturday with the Rangers. 

Turns out, when they finally got to Quilcene, it was Miller …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Rangers bring ’Hawks back to earth in runaway win


The Lummi Blackhawks missed their ferry and ended up an hour late for their 1B football matchup Saturday with the Rangers. 

Turns out, when they finally got to Quilcene, it was Miller Time.

Senior James Miller had a breakout game against the Blackhawks, scoring five touchdowns and rushing for 199 yards in the Rangers’ 68-22 hammering of the ’Hawks.

Miller’s impressive output on offense included a pick-six and a score on a kickoff return. And on the other side of the ball, Miller had three solo tackles.

But there were plenty of standout stars on the Ranger roster.

Freshman fill-in quarterback Oliver Hopkins finished with 3-of-3 passing for 76 yards, including a touchdown toss for 40 yards to Deakon Budnek.

Mason Iverson also ran eight times for 79 yards as the Rangers piled up 355 yards of rushing offense.

And Andrew Perez-Lopez scored two more touchdowns for the Rangers, with Iverson and Dominic Smith adding the other two TDs in the lopsided matchup.

“I thought a lot of kids played well,” said Quilcene Coach Trey Beathard.

“I do think we’re getting a little better,” he added.

Beathard credited the combined play of Miller, Budnek, Smith, and Iverson.

“Today, we have two seniors and two juniors; this is the first time this year that all four of them have been able to play in the same game. And we’re better when that happens,” Beathard said.

The Rangers opened with a quick-strike scoring drive that put Quilcene on the scoreboard 61 seconds in the game.

Miller scampered 12 yards to the 37-yard line of the Blackhawks, with Hopkins throwing a touchdown-scoring strike on the next play to Deakon Budnek.

Iverson punched in the two-point conversion and Quilcene was up 8-0.

A Blackhawks’ drive fizzled on a fourth-and-inches gamble that resulted in a two-yard loss that gave the Rangers possession on the Lummi 32-yard line.

A 20-yard carry by Miller put Quilcene on the 12-yard line, and the Rangers rolled to 14-0 with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

The points came fast and furious in the remaining minutes of the quarter.

Miller ran for his second touchdown of
the game and Quilcene led 20-0 with 4:52 to play, then Lummi answered with a kickoff return at 4:46 by Richard Wilson, with a two-point conversion to make it 22-8.

A long gain by Perez-Lopez carried Quilcene to the Lummi 12-yard line, and Miller carried it in for another touchdown to end the Rangers’ 63-second scoring drive. The Rangers led 30-8 after the two-point conversion.

The Ranger domination was so complete that the Quilcene faithful on the sidelines of the game turned at times to off-field distractions. 

Some fans listened to the Seattle Mariners’ surprising and improbable comeback win against the Toronto Blue Jays in Major  League Baseball on their smartphones. Two of the Ranger cheerleaders turned their eyes skyward to watch a pair of hang gliders soaring nearby. “If you fall, there’s nothing you can do. You’re totally dead,” one said to the other.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks were coming back down to earth. Hard.

Miller’s fourth TD came with a little less than 3:30 off the clock in the second quarter, as the Rangers moved to 36-8 after the two-point try came up short. 

The ensuing Lummi drive was stopped by an interception by Deakon Budnek with a pick at the Rangers’ 25-yard line.

The fourth looked a lot like the first as the Rangers’ Perez-Lopez scored at 10:20 for the 50-16 advantage.

The Blackhawks put their final touchdown on the board with 6:31 remaining as Lummi wide receiver Jerome Toby pulled in a pass to make it 52-22.

Miller’s touchdown return followed and the Rangers found themselves at 60-22 just 20 seconds after the Lummi TD.

Quilcene’s final touchdown came soon, however, on a quarterback keeper with 3:52 left.

The Quilcene defense combined for 40 tackles, with Maxx Budnek leading the pack with nine (eight solo, one assist) while Deakon Budnek had seven solo tackles.

Perez-Lopez and Smith had four solo tackles each, while Tyler Beukes and Taylor Boling added three solo tackles (Boling also had one assist for four tackles total).

Watching the game from the far sidelines Saturday was injured Quilcene quarterback Jayden Love, who is out for the season with a broken leg. His family had set up a mattress in the bed of a pickup truck and backed it up to the athletic field fence for Love to watch the game from the 10-yard line.

Some of the Quilcene players stopped by with well-wishes.

“He’s a nice kid and we miss having him at practice every day. Just a great kid,” Beathard said.

There’s no relaxing for Quilcene in the coming weeks, though.

A tough test, immediately ahead for the Rangers, and another soon to follow. Quilcene’s homecoming game is Saturday, and with it, comes a Darrington logging team that is buzz-saw sharp.

“Darrington, we play them next week, and they were 5-0 until Neah Bay just crushed them like they’ve crushed everybody last night,” Beathard said.

“You can’t accidentally be 5-1. I watched them play last week at Lummi and they were just extremely well-coached. Their kids are doing a really nice job.” 

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us,” the Quilcene coach said.

Still, the Rangers (3-3 overall, 2-0 in conference) has already seen some of the best the league has to offer.

“Most of the teams we’ve played have been pretty darn good. I know everybody says that,” Beathard said. “But we’ve played some pretty good teams. Since we’ve played Entiat, they’ve won by like 50 or 60 points their next couple of games. Mossyrock is still undefeated. Naselle has only one loss, and that’s to Neah Bay.” 

“So we’ve played some pretty good people, to be honest with you. 

“I’m thinking we’re getting a little better, and if we can just keep getting a little bit better, then maybe we give Neah Bay a game in a couple of weeks. Because no one has,” Beathard said.

The matchup with Neah Bay is a road game scheduled for Friday, Oct. 21.

“That’s a bit of a goal for us,” Beathard said of the Rangers’ hope to field a competitive squad against the Red Devils. “But we’ve got to get a win next week first, obviously.”

Beathard said he expects a close game against the Loggers.

“We played Darrington a few years ago and they’ve got some kids that are good. They’ve got some bigger backs that are pretty fast. I was impressed with them when I watched them last week, to be honest with you.”