On a blustery and windy afternoon at Ranger Field with temperatures in the 30’s, Northwestern rallied for 17 unanswered fourth quarter points to upset the NAIA’s No. 8 ranked Langston Lions. With the victory, Northwestern improved to 3-2 on the season, while the Lions fell to 5-2 and to 1-1 in the Central States Football League.
The Rangers struck first with 4:17 left in the first quarter as Kory Williams scored on a 39-yard handoff from quarterback Kyle Jech.
Two minutes before halftime, A.J. Gibson booted a 27-yard field goal to give the Rangers a 10-0 advantage heading into the break.
Langston came out and scored a touchdown in the third quarter and a second one during the beginning of the fourth quarter to take a 14-10 lead. After a Ranger fumble, Langston’s Christian Torres picked up the loose ball and ran in for a 26-yard fumble return to extend the lead to 21-10.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jech capped a four-play, 51-yard drive with a 32-yard pass deep into the end zone to Korey Williams. With the Rangers within four points, Northwestern scored on its next possession after Ryan Hester recovered a fumble on the Langston 29.
Nine plays later, Jech connected on his second passing touchdown, this time to Keith Barefield Jr. for a two-yard score. Northwestern regained the lead at 24-21 at the 6:47 mark.
Northwestern got some insurance as Langston lot another fumble that was forced and recovered by Lantz Mathers, just after two Lion plays.
A.J. Gibson added his second field goal with a 27-yarder, giving the Rangers a 27-21 lead with 3:25 left.
The Rangers forced the Lions to turn the ball on downs, as Langston didn’t gain a yard on its last offensive opportunity. Northwestern got a first down in three plays, then kneeled down for the last play to take the upset over No. 8 Langston.
Northwestern picked up 283 yards, with 201 on the ground. Nate Guillory ran 29 times for 118 yards, while Williams rushed four times for 78 yards. The Rangers passed for 82 yards on 23 attempts. Kent McDonald hauled in four passes for 25 yards and Williams added 27 yards on three catches. Jech completed 13-of-23 passes for 82 yards and two scores.
The Rangers defense upheld Langston to 235 total yards. Richard Gunnels led Northwestern’s tacklers with four solo stops and four assists. Nate Barbee picked up seven tackles, including three tackles for loss of 26 yards. Rocky Lee had six tackles, while Mathers and Justin Fulmer each had five tackles.
Northwestern will head to Rolla, Mo. on October 17 for a 1 p.m. start against Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Sat, October 10, 2009
by Ryan Hintergardt