Rangers shock 1A Vikings with come-from-behind win

Leader news staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 9/16/21

Down but definitely not out.

A Ranger squad depleted by injuries and ineligible players trailed Bellevue Christian 8-0 at the end of the first quarter of Quilcene’s season football …

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Rangers shock 1A Vikings with come-from-behind win

Posted

Down but definitely not out.

A Ranger squad depleted by injuries and ineligible players trailed Bellevue Christian 8-0 at the end of the first quarter of Quilcene’s season football opener.

But a fourth-quarter rally by the Rangers proved too much for Bellevue Christian to overcome as Quilcene escaped Sammamish with an 18-8 in an 11-man game Saturday.

The Rangers has been scheduled to play Crescent High School in their first matchup of the season, but stepped up to play 1A Bellevue Christian after the Crescent game was canceled.

It took until the second quarter for the Rangers to put points on the board.

Quilcene quarterback Nathan Kieffer connected on a 48-yard pass to Isaiah Reimann, who was brought down on the 4-yard line.  

The promising play was soon overshadowed as Quilcene fumbled on first-and-goal and the Vikings recovered.

A subsequent turnover went the Rangers way as Kevin Alejo recovered a Bellevue Christian fumble in the end zone on third down for a touchdown.

Quilcene’s Ashton Johnston then ran the ball in for a 2-point conversion to tie the score 8-8.

The score remained 8-all going into the third, and throughout the scoreless third quarter.  

In the fourth stanza, Ranger backs Alejo and Johnston found room to move behind the blocking of Deakon and Maxx Budnek. 

The Budnek brothers paved the way for a 15-yard touchdown run for Alejo and another 2-point conversion run for Johnston.  

In the last 5 minutes of the game, Quilcene had a long drive that ended with another unfortunate fumble in the red zone.

The Ranger defense then pinned down Bellevue Christian, and Jaxon Taylor forced a safety to push the score to 18-8.  Quilcene caught the kickoff and ran the clock out.

Ranger Coach Trey Beathard said the contest was the first varsity 11-man game for Quilcene in a long time.

Because of injury, illness, and players not having enough practices, Quilcene only had 14 eligible players to take the field. 

Eighth-graders Oliver and Jayden Love were both starters in the game and all eligible players for Quilcene played and contributed, Beathard noted.

Alejo finished with 17 carries for 128 yards.

Johnston added 12 carries for 71 yards, and Kieffer completed three of eight passes for 70 yards

Deakon Budnek had 18 tackles and an incredible eight pancake blocks during the game.

Johnston, Shannon Kutler and Alejo each had eight tackles for the Rangers.

On the defensive end, Dominic Smith had two sacks and pressured the Viking quarterback throughout the game.

Johnston and Maxx Budnek both recovered fumbles, and Isaiah Reimann had an interception.

Quilcene is next scheduled to play the Lummi Nation Blackhawks on Sept. 17.  The Rangers’ game Saturday against Neah Bay was canceled.

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