Southwestern Sneaks by No. 13 Rangers in Season Opener

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Southwestern Sneaks by No. 13 Rangers in Season Opener

Jared JacksonALVA – No. 13 Northwestern Oklahoma State University dropped its season opener on the gridiron at Ranger Field to Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Thursday, falling just shy, 31-28.

The Rangers struck first with a one-yard run from Jared Jackson, capping a 12-play 80-yard drive during the first play of the second quarter.

SWOSU evened the score at 7-7 with 41 seconds before half, as quarterback Dustin Stenta found Eric Charles on a five-yard touchdown pass, ending the Bulldogs longest drive of the night of 15 plays.

The Bulldogs scored two more times, both in the third quarter, before the Rangers got back on the board. Their second score came on a quarterback keeper, followed by a 45-yard interception return.

With the Rangers trailing 21-7, Jared Jackson scored his second touchdown on the night on another five-yard rush midway through the third quarter.

Southwestern added another touchdown to go ahead 28-14 with a 15-yard quarterback keeper and tacked on three more points on a 28-yard field goal with 13:11 in the fourth quarter.

Ranger quarterback Kyle Jech converted to Kent McDonald for a 18-yard touchdown with 9:05 remaining in the game, pulling NWOSU within 10 points. The duo repeated for a touchdown with just 30 seconds left, this time on a 15-yard pass, but an ensuing onside kick failed for the Rangers first loss of the season.

Jackson led all rushers with 115 yards on 22 carries. Jech completed 16-of-31 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Kent McDonald had two touchdowns and 111 yards on seven passes. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Chris Jones and Brayley Running led the way with six tackles each. Michael Harmon, Michael Ray and Marvin Desir each had five tackles. The Rangers only interception came from Ray.

Northwestern racked up 367 yards, while Southwestern finished with 432.

Northwestern (0-1) will hit the road for the next three weeks. The Rangers will begin the three game swing on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Pueblo, Colo. against Colorado State University-Pueblo. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.