North’s season got off to a rather shaky start on Friday when Westlake returned an interception for a touchdown on the Rangers’ second offensive play of the game.
The Rangers regrouped and went on to defeat the Demons, 47-16.
“That’s definitely not the way you want to start,” said North coach Shawn Dodd. “I think the guys were pressing a little bit at the beginning. They have high expectations for themselves and they want to be successful. We had to get them to calm down a little bit and we talked to them about that at halftime. They went out and played up to their abilities and didn’t let that stuff get to them.”
North tied the game late in the first quarter on the first of Jake Tanski’s two touchdown runs.
Brett Payne, who carried 18 times for a game-high 142 yards, gave the Rangers a 13-7 lead with a 5-yard touchdown run that capped a seven play, 74-yard drive with 10:05 left in the first half.
Payne went on to score two more touchdowns in the game.
“Our offensive line did great tonight,” Payne said. “I couldn’t have had as much success at all without them. We got out there and did what we had to do. We’re all very excited for this season and plan to continue the success.”
Westlake used a 75-yard touchdown pass to tie the game midway through the second quarter but the Rangers responded when Payne scored his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run on the next possession.
The Demons closed out the first half with a 32-yard field goal to pull to within 20-16 of the Rangers.
North dominated the second half by scoring touchdowns on four of five offensive possessions.
“I was really happy with the way the second half went,” Dodd said. “I thought we definitely did a great job of adjusting in the second half and not giving up big plays.”
The Rangers forced a Westlake punt on the opening drive of the second half then went to work on offense.
Tanksi capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown run and the rout was on.
Evan Pyle’s interception set the Rangers up at their own 31 and Chase Valletto scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left in the third to increase the North lead to 34-16.
Nathan Rummel picked off a pass on the next Westlake drive and returned it to the Demon 21. Payne’s 13-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-2 gave the Rangers a 41-16 lead.
Taylor Valletto closed out the scoring with a 19-yard run with 3:47 left in the game.
The Rangers racked up 450 yards of offense in the game with 317 of them coming via the ground game.
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