The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale hangs tough early but falls to Rangers on the gridiron


October 4, 2017

Jaryd Cline

Freshman receiver/defensive back Nick McKune bursts upfield while returning a kick during Friday's game against Naches.

Heading into last Friday's South Central Athletic Conference West matchup with Naches, Goldendale head football coach Alan Hale said he thought the Rangers were the second best team on the west side behind the Zillah Leopards, who had beaten the Timberwolves the previous week.

You wouldn't have known it though by the Timberwolves played early in the first quarter against the Rangers. Goldendale was able to move the ball offensively, and made plays on the defensive side as well, but Naches was just too overwhelming throughout 48 minutes of its 41-0 win over the Timberwolves.

Right after Goldendale received the opening kickoff, senior running back Cort Ladiges rumbled for 40 yards on the game's second play. Moments later, sophomore quarterback Corbin Bland gained 20 yards on the ground to move the ball deeper into Rangers territory.

However, the Timberwolves weren't able to move the chains on a fourth and three play at the Naches' 12 yard line, turning the ball over to the Rangers for their first possession.

The road team was hit by a brick wall on its first play after Joseph Randall and Austin McKune dropped the Naches ballcarrier for a loss of two to set the tone for a fired-up Goldendale defense.

After a Naches first down on a QB run, the Goldendale defense held firm the next few plays. On a fourth and short, Bland sniffed out a receiver screen and dropped the runner just behind the first-down line to give the ball back to the Wolves.

Goldendale got tricky on offense and picked up a chunk of yards when receiver Justin Wells took the handoff and ran to the right side. Instead of running, he looked to pass and hit freshman Nick McKune in stride for a big gain that again put Goldendale in Naches' territory.

However, they couldn't find the endzone and gave it back to the Rangers, who began to find an offensive rhythm.

Randall was in the backfield again and nearly had a sack, dragging the quarterback down just after he released the ball that went nowhere near a receiver. The intentional grounding penalty put Naches deep in its own territory, but they were able to drive the field and put up points with under two minutes in the first quarter.

Wells came up big with his second interception in as many games, nearly returning the ball to the house, but a penalty on the return moved the ball way back to Goldendale's 30.

However, a Goldendale interception gave it right back and the Rangers started to roll. They scored three more touchdowns in the quarter and went on top 27-0 at the half.

The Timberwolves continued to battle in the second half despite the deficit.

Playing in his first game of the year, freshman Lucas Black emerged as a playmaker at the running back position. He gained 24 yards on his first run of the season in the third, and ran hard, fast and eluded a handful of Naches' defenders with shifty jukes and cuts throughout the rest of the game.

Junior John David Pomerinke's sack helped force a Naches punt late in the fourth, but it was too late in the game for Goldendale to put together another drive.

Goldendale is on the road on Friday for another SCAC West game with La Salle, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. in Union Gap.


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