STORY BY: JORDAN MESEROLE
BRENHAM — The Rudder Ranger defense did all it could to keep Friday’s game against the Brenham Cubs a close matchup, but offensive woes stalled out Rudder’s chances as Brenham rolled to a 35-14 win.
The Rangers (2-6, 2-4 District 18-4A) defense showed early on in the game they weren’t going to be intimidated by the district leading Cubs (6-1, 5-0), as Rudder defensive back Dennis Rhodes picked off a pass attempt by Brenham quarterback Walter Thomas with just 10:35 left in the first quarter.
Three plays later on the ensuing offensive drive, and the Rangers jumped on to the scoreboard first as senior running back Tre Guyton dove in from one-yard out giving them the early 7-0 lead.
Brenham immediately responded on the next drive however, tying up the score at 7-7 with 4:56 left in the first quarter as junior running back Darrion Johnson dashed 15 yards up the middle of the field for the touchdown.
After a quick three and out and the next possession, Rudder punter Hayden Baron blasted a 49 yard punt, pinning the Cubs back at their own 4-yard line. One play later, a mishandled snap by Brenham quarterback Robert Stark resulted in another turnover as Rudder junior defensive end Chance Jones came out of the pile with the ball.
It only took Guyton one rush attempt to take the ball the final three yards into the end zone, giving Rudder back the 14-7 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter. It would be the last time the Rangers would find the end zone however.
The Cubs would tie up the game mid-way through the second quarter on a one-yard rushing touchdown by Johnson, and then take the lead for good with 3:18 left before halftime on a 14-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Tyler Watts. Brenham featured a run heavy offense, only attempting four passes on the night compared to 49 handoffs divided between five different running backs and racking up 264 total rushing yards. Johnson finished the night as one of the top performers for the Cubs, racking up 104 yards on the ground plus four touchdowns, and was complimented by senior running back Kalagino Leakes who accumulated 130 yards of his own.
The Brenham defense effectively shut down the Rudder offense, and especially Guyton, who was held to less than 100 rushing yards in a game for the first time this season. Guyton was only able to muster 22 rushing yards along with his two touchdowns. The Rangers only gained 94 total yards for the night, was forced to punt nine times and went three-and-out four times.
The Rangers return home next Friday for a matchup against Willis. Kick is set for 7:30 at Merrill Green Stadium.