Regular season ends as Roosevelt falls to SV 24-13

By Ida Castillo

Times Guardian Staff Writer

Smithson Valley Rangers finish out the season 8-2, 6-1 in District 26-5A, with a 24-13 victory over Roosevelt Rough Riders Friday, November 5.

The Rangers now plan for the opening of Class 5A Division II playoffs against San Marcos Rattlers (7-3, 4-2 in 25-5A) Friday at Ranger Stadium.

Facing his big brother, Glenn Hill, for this last season game, Coach Larry Hill knew the game would be a challenge.

"They are certainly playoff material," said Hill of his brother's Rough Riders. "He had his team ready to win."

The contest got off to a slow start as Roosevelt returned the opening kick but struggled to gain yardage against Ranger defense. A field goal attempt by Alex Medina proved unsuccessful. The Rangers were unable to score on their first possession of the ball but later Trey Rios recovered a Rough Rider fumble and ran 15 yards. With 2:57 left in the first quarter, David Sweet finished off the run with a 31-yard field goal.

Rough Rider Marcus Still scored the first run for Roosevelt in the middle of the second quarter. With a successful kick by Alex Medina, Roosevelt was in the lead, 3-7. Later Roosevelt's Andrew Garcia knocked the ball from Ranger Zack Bailey's grasp with a hard hit. Still recovered the ball and ran 75 yards into the end zone. Rangers block the extra point but Rough Riders held the lead, 3-13 with 3:45 left in the second quarter. Rangers bounced back after 40 more minutes of play with a 35-yard pass from Bailey to Cody Beyer, then with an 18-yard run by Bailey into the end zone, leaving the score at 10-13 at halftime.

Third quarter showed little to no production for both teams. Smithson Valley struggled to hold Roosevelt, yet at the same time Roosevelt struggled with penalties and incomplete passes. The score was left unchanged by the end of the quarter.

Ranger defense successfully held and even pushed back the Rough Riders during Roosevelt's first possession of the ball in the last quarter. With a punt return by Andrew Sendejo and 27 yards of continuous charges, Cody McKinney was able to run in a three yards to score the Rangers' third touchdown giving them a 17-13 lead. The Rangers took over the ball again with a huge punt block at just under six minutes leading to the game's final score by Bailey. With the extra point by Sweet, Smithson Valley finishes out the remaining four minutes of play on top, 24-13.

"The main thing is we did what we had to do to win," said Hill.

The Rangers can now focus on post-season activities starting with the San Marcos Rattlers. The Rangers and the Rattlers are certainly not strangers. These teams have met in both 2000 and 2001 Class 4A playoffs. Smithson Valley was victorious in both events yet Hill is not one to underestimate.

"Coach Bush has done a great job," said Hill. "We've had some big time struggles with them before, both in season and playoffs. This week will be no different. We have our work cut out for us to see if we can stop them."

Smithson Valley will host San Marcos at Ranger Stadium at 7:30, Friday, November 12. Tickets can be purchased at SVHS Wednesday, November 10 through Friday, November 12 at 2 p.m. or at the gate on game night.

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