By: Joe Quinn
— Special to the Valley News
— The game was undecided until the final minutes of the fourth quarter after the go-ahead TD. The Santa Rosa Rangers moved the ball quickly downfield but stalled at the Rough Rider 30-yard line. Both teams started out slowly, perhaps held back by penalty calls against both sides and with little gains to show for either team. The second quarter saw no change until the Rangers, with possession at midfield, moved quickly downfield to a third and goal at the Rough Rider 6-yard line.
From there, an Adam Pinard short pass in the flank to Daniel Marlow produced the first score of the afternoon. Marlow was hit hard at the 1-yard mark but forced his way in as he fell over the goal line. Sydney Geske’s conversion was good, and the teams went into the half with the Rangers up 7-0.
That was all the scoring until 5:35 was left in the fourth quarter when CMI’s John Castelan broke loose from his own 28-yard line and, after frustrating several tacklers, went untouched from there for the first Rough Rider TD. The conversion failed and the one-point lead by Santa Rosa looked good given only five minutes were left in the game. However, CMI did get the ball back quickly and moved to a 4th down at the Ranger seven. The attempted field goal, although it had the distance, was wide right and once again the Santa Rosa lead stood up.
But it was not to be as Santa Rosa, on their next series, fumbled the ball to the Rough Riders at their own 30. Again, Castelan rose to the occasion and with less than three minutes left in the game scored on another nice run. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Rangers were now down 12-7.
Despite quick gains by Santa Rosa, including a nice run by Jeremiah Park to the CMI 30, the drive stalled, and the Rangers turned it over on downs. The Rough Riders would take a knee as time ran out. The Rangers season ended at 4-4 and 2-3 in the South Valley League. CMI, although at 3-5 overall, improved to 3-2 in the South Valley standings and will look to advance through to the playoffs.
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