STORY BY: JORDAN MESEROLE
– BRYAN – The Rudder Rangers take the field Friday night in Bryan with the hopes of one thing – sending the seniors off on a positive note.
The Rangers (1-7-1. 0-5) will face the Elgin Wildcats (5-4, 1-4) at Merrill Green Stadium in the final game of the regular season for both of the District 16-4A foes.
The game will also be “senior night” for the Rangers, which will feature the first class of seniors to go through all four years at the high school. Rudder will see 36 seniors graduate from the team, many of whom are starters on this year’s squad.
The Rangers’ defense will have the task of containing Elgin sophomore quarterback Te’Rel Simmons, who had passed for more than 100 yards in all but one game this season, and has found the endzone at least once a game. Simmons has 1,360 passing yards and 19 touchdowns for the season. Simmons has also be a touch tackle out of the pocket, rushing for 939 yards and another six scores. In the backfield with Simmons will be junior running back Abraham Zepeda, who has picked up the majority of rushing duties in the absence of senior back Charlestin Matthews. Zepeda had a111 rushing yards and a touchdown in last week’s victory over Bastrop.
One of the seniors the Rangers will be sad to see go is senior quarterback Jamarcus Davenport. Davenport’s passing game has improved as of lately, including his 95 passing yards and touchdown in last week’s loss to Pflugerville Connally. Davenport has 521 passing yards and five touchdowns on the season. Sharing offensive duties will be junior running back Tre Guyton, who is average 94 rushing yards per game and one score per game.
Other offensive standouts that are seniors for Rudder this season include the majority of the Rangers’ receiving core: Sheldon Johnson, Trent Mitchell, and Will Martin, who have been the main targets for Davenport this season.
On the defensive side, linebackers A’Shanian Smith and Kody Burton have been major standouts, racking up 61 and 62 tackles respectively. Both are seniors. The defensive line will graduate two major players as well, Skylar Perez and Ryan Doty, who both have double digits and recorded a sack each.
Despite any players the Rangers will lose for next season, one thing does remain the focus for Friday night’s game: ending the season with a victory.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.