Ranger football falls hard
Forest Lake loses 48-0 to Stillwater
Ranger football had a rough week while visiting Stillwater, losing 48-0 at the Ponies’ homecoming celebration.
Similar to last week against White Bear Lake, Forest Lake couldn’t put a stop to the No. 9 (Class 6A) squad in the first half, when Stillwater scored 34 of its 48 points. As Coach Billy Kirch predicted last week, Stillwater had a strong offense, rushing for 221 yards with 41 passing yards on the night, as opposed to Forest Lake’s 53 rushing yards and 84 passing yards.
“When your offensive line is that big, you have potential to do big things,” Kirch said. “We did get our fair share of stops, but a team that runs with that kind of power just wears on you. It was only a matter of time before they let loose.”
Another recurring theme hurting the Rangers was the field position given up to the Ponies. Kirch said his team kept giving Stillwater a short field to play with, and couldn’t make the stops on the punt returns. After a 20-point first quarter for the hosts, the Rangers had dug a deep hole.
“We played well at times,” Kirch said. “But we just couldn’t string together enough stops in a row to make an impact.”
Things again looked grim during the Rangers’ fifth offensive drive when senior quarterback Trent Rabel went down on a hard hit from behind, leaving the game for half a quarter with a back injury. Until his return, sophomore Brandon Rogers stepped up to take over the offense, completing two of five passes for seven yards on the day. Rabel completed six of 13 passes for 77 yards the remainder of the game.
A bright spot came in the second quarter for Forest Lake, with junior Randy Rehbein intercepting a Stillwater pass. The Rangers couldn’t convert, but still held the Ponies to a 48-yard field goal attempt which they missed to keep the score at a standstill.
After half, Stillwater struck again, scoring 14 more in the third and completing the scoring for the game.
“We played a really good team on a really good night for them,” Kirch said. “It’s hats off to Stillwater.”
Next, the Rangers will face Roseville on 7 p.m. Friday for Forest Lake’s homecoming football game. Kirch said he hopes his players will keep playing with a positive attitude and come back fighting in front of the home crowd.
“We keep telling the kids to believe in their abilities and in the guys next to them,” Kirch said. “And to keep asking yourself, ‘What can I do to make my team better?’”