MUSKOGEE, Okla. (10-15-11) – Northwestern Oklahoma State University football suffered their first conference loss of the year, tripping up on the road at Bacone College, 35-28.
The loss drops the No. 23 Rangers to 3-4 on the season and 2-1 in Central States Football League action. Up next for the Rangers is a matchup with longtime conference rival Langston at Ranger Field on Oct. 22.
Northwestern took a quick lead in the game against the Bacone College Warriors, on a keeper by starting quarterback Keith Barefield Jr. Making his first career start as a quarterback for the Rangers, Barefield found Kent McDonald on a 41-yard connection to set up the first score of the game.
Barefield was 8-for-21 passing for 138 yards. He also added a touchdown through the air, finding Andrew King during the third quarter from 28-yards out with seconds remaining in the first half, cutting a Bacone lead to 23-21.
The senior quarterback also added another rushing touchdown on the ground with a 1:21 on the clock in the second quarter. He totaled 16-yards on eight carriers in the game.
The Warriors came out in the second half and all but shut down the Rangers offense, capitalizing on Northwestern mistakes, adding 12 more points to the board on a touchdown, safety and field goal.
Kyle Jech, who didn’t start the game do to an injury, took the field late in the third quarter and gave the Ranger offense a spark. With 7:19 to go in the game, Jech completed 6-of-7 passes, including a three-yard toss to McDonald for a touchdown, to cut the lead to seven.
Jech and the Rangers got one final opportunity with 1:23 remaining, but were unable to move the ball, turning the ball over to the Warriors on downs in their final possession.
On the touchdown drive led by Jech, the Rangers suffered a couple of penalties. Due to moving the back a couple of times, Jech threw for 105 of his 109 yards on the drive.
McDonald was the leading receiver for Northwestern with 95 yards on five grabs.
A defense that has stepped up in the previous two victories for the Rangers, the ‘Black Cloud’ struggled in Muskogee, giving up a total of 457 yards total, including 279 on the ground.
The defense did force two Warrior turnovers with Chris Jones knocked a ball away from a Bacone ball carrier and an interception by Zenario Shuler. Shuler also recorded the only Northwestern sack for a 12-yard loss.
Saturday’s loss was the Rangers first failed attempt to give head coach Keith Barefield his 100th victory as a head coach at the NAIA level.
Sat, October 15, 2011
by Eric Scott