Rangers stun Lions, 72-26

Posted 10/21/21

It was halftime of the Rangers’ Saturday night football game against Sound Christian Academy and Quilcene Coach Trey Beathard was sounding like a Charlie Brown highlight reel.

“Good …

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Rangers stun Lions, 72-26

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It was halftime of the Rangers’ Saturday night football game against Sound Christian Academy and Quilcene Coach Trey Beathard was sounding like a Charlie Brown highlight reel.

“Good grief!” an obviously exasperated Beathard called out again and again.

Missed assignments, blown coverage, some selfish play.

Bishop Budnek stepped in after the coach was finished to add his own appeal with exclamation points.

“I know I’m not out there playing,” the sidelined senior told his teammates before he offered his own critique.

What he was seeing, he said, was not Quilcene football. And they certainly did look like a championship-caliber team.

Anyone arriving at halftime may have thought the commentary was coming from a team facing the start of the second half looking up from the bottom of a very deep hole.

Actually, no: The Rangers were comfortably in front, ahead 44-14.

Quilcene had led 14-8 after the first quarter and broke the game open in the second, outscoring the Lions 30-6.

The trouble was teamwork. The Rangers weren’t out to run up the score, or pad their own stats.

Instead, they were supposed to be sticking to the plan, making the adjustments needed to get ready for post-season play.

It was tough stuff to hear, but Beathard said later — after two quarters of fast focus and a total-team attitude adjustment — that the players weren’t really to blame.

“I just get aggravated sometimes when I’m trying to make what I consider a simple adjustment,” the coach said of his first-half frustration.

“It’s my fault,” Beathard said. “If the kids don’t know what to do, who do you think whose fault it is? It’s coach’s.”

Quilcene cruised to a lopsided finish the game, 72-26, for the Rangers’s second win in four days.

Earlier, on the road against Crescent, Quilcene claimed a 38-16 victory over the Loggers.

“I feel like that game we played during the week is going to help us a lot in the long run,” Beathard said. “I just do.”

“Crescent: They’re good and they’re physical and they always play super hard. That’s a good preparation for us.”

The quality of play, both internal and external, is important for the weeks ahead, he said.

“We’re hoping to get better and better for the playoffs,” Beathard explained.

Quilcene faced a team Saturday that was ready for them, he added.

“These guys were better prepared than us, to be honest with you,” the coach said.

“But our kids are bigger and older and stronger. And so we had better players.

“I’m not trying to be a smart aleck,” Beathard quickly added. “They’re pretty young if you look at that program. They’ve got a lot of young kids. I thought they did a good job.”

Quilcene had nine players score points against the Lions; three with two touchdowns each.

Kevin Alejo finished with two touchdowns and two point-after conversions for 16. 

Shannon Kutler and Ashton Johnston both made it into the end zone for two TDs.

Nathan Kieffer and James Miller each added another TD, while two of the  youngest players — eighth-graders Jayden Love and Aiden Cate  — scored a touchdown each.

“I do feel good that every kid that was suited up and healthy played Thursday and played tonight. So I feel good about that,” Beathard said.

“I’m terrible at so many things in coaching, but not every game. When we lost a close game to Lummi, not every kid played.”

“Football practice is hard, and the games are the fun time,” the coach explained. “And if you don’t get in, it’s harder to practice during the week. I do my best to play every kid.”

Kieffer finished the game with 23 passing yards on 2-of-4 attempts on a rain-soaked night.

The Rangers amassed 452 rushing yards during the game, with Kutler running 165 yards on six carries, and Love cracking the century mark with 108 yards on nine carries.

Quilcene finished with 58 total tackles, 30 of them solo.

Smith, Alejo, and Kutler had five solo tackles each, while freshman Maxx Budnek added another four.

Alejo also had a fumble recovery, and Love, an interception.

Earlier, against the Loggers, Kutler and Johnston paced the offense with two touchdowns each, while Alejo added the Rangers’ fifth.

Next up, the Rangers return home for a Saturday game against Neah Bay.

It’s the eighth time one of Beathard’s teams has played the Red Devils.

The teams didn’t play each other last year, but the year before, Neah Bay beat Quilcene on their home field.

It was a bit of payback from the year before, when the Rangers beat Neah Bay in their house.

“If you beat Neah Bay at any athletic event, you’ve accomplished something. Boys, girls, whatever,” Beathard said. “They’re competitive and good at everything.”

“I expect it to be a close game,” he said.

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