AP NEWS

Rangers get much-needed victory

October 13, 2018

Smithson Valley entered October without a win — a scary situation for a program accustomed to striking fear in opponents.

Not even midway through the month, though, the Rangers are right back where they want to be and feeling as good as ever about their chances for another stellar season.

Smithson Valley (2-3, 2-1 District 26-6A) won its second in a row Friday night and put itself in favorable position to make a ninth consecutive playoff appearance. The Rangers raced out to a big lead at East Central and coasted to a 30-13 win that left them in a tie for second place in district heading into next week’s home game against first-place Judson.

“Everything’s still in front of us,” Smithson Valley quarterback Levi Williams said. “We’re just trying to win out the rest of the season — that’s the main goal — and then win in the playoffs and hopefully win a state championship.”

Williams, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior who has committed to the University of Houston, accounted for all four Smithson Valley touchdowns and 215 total yards. He threw three first-half TD passes — to Austin Howell, Ethan Sill and Eric Titzman — and rushed for a score in the second half.

Williams left the game early in the third quarter after taking a hard hit by East Central’s Justin Gutierrez. The quarterback said he sustained a minor knee injury and remained on the sideline as a precaution with the game in hand.

The Rangers finished with 285 rushing yards on 48 attempts, with Williams, Marc Franco and Jacob Forton gaining at least 72 apiece. They ran primarily to the left side in the first half while jumping out to a 20-0 lead.

“It was working,” Smithson Valley coach Larry Hill said. “I’m not a real deep thinker, so let’s don’t overanalyze it. Let’s just keep doing it.”

East Central (4-2, 2-1), pushing for its first playoff berth since 2015, had its offense working at times. Deangelo Rosemond rushed for a game-high 108 yards, most of which came on a 76-yard TD run in the second quarter, while quarterback Austin Trainer completed 15 of 22 passes for 130 yards and a fourth-quarter score to Adrian Zapata.

But the Hornets did not make the most of their scoring opportunities, botching a field-goal attempt to start the second quarter and turning the ball over on downs twice in the second half.

On the first turnover on downs, Trainer faked a punt and completed a pass to a wide-open Charles Oglesby, but he was stopped 2 yards short of the first-down marker on an open-field tackle by Smithson Valley’s Tom Zeug. Early in the fourth quarter, Trey Witcher sacked Trainer on fourth-and-5 from the Rangers’ 35-yard line.

“If we get those plays, the ballgame’s different,” Trainer said. “But we shouldn’t be put into that situation. We’ve got to get our first downs. It’s the offense’s job, and we didn’t execute right.”

AP RADIO
Update hourly