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Rangers land first round knockout

DUFUR – Senior Trever Tibbets scored four touchdowns Friday as the third-ranked Rangers made short work of the visiting North Douglas Warriors with a 48-0 OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires first-round playoff victory.

Playing in front of a home crowd, the Rangers responded with a rapid-fire 28-0 scoring explosion in the first quarter that broke the game wide open.

Tibbets scored three of the first quarter touchdowns, including two through the air, as the Rangers jumped out to a 28-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the period.

At the same time, the Rangers were hounding the visitors on defense, allowing North Douglas a minus 3 yards on the ground during the first period.

North Douglas had entered the game with a 6-3 record after finishing fourth in the Skyline League and was ranked 16th by the Oregon School Activities Association.

Leading 8-0 when North Douglas was forced to punt out of the end zone, it took just one play for Dufur quarterback Bailey Keever to find Tibbets open for a 24-yard scoring pass.

The score made it a 14-0 lead with 7:01 left on the first quarter clock.

But the Warriors couldn’t move the ball and turned the ball over on downs at their own 32-yard line on their next possession.

Keever and Tibbets connected again on the first play, with a 32-yard pass that upped the score to 22-0 after Nick Little added the two-point conversion with 5:27 left in the first quarter.

Four plays later, it was Dufur taking over on downs at the North Douglas 36-yard line.

Tibbets then scored again with 2:46 on the clock from 15 yards out.

While Dufur was grinding out 103 yards on the ground and 101 through the air in the first quarter, North Douglas struggled to get a first down.

In the first quarter, the Warriors finished with a minus three yards and finished with just 81 yards on the ground in the entire game.

The Rangers grounded out 300 yards rushing, led by Tibbets’ 50 yards on four carries.

Nick Little carried the ball eight times for 42 yards and three touchdowns and Kurt Nuevo had seven carries for 29 yards.

Little scored twice in the second quarter on runs of 6 and 1, helping Dufur grab a 42-0 lead by halftime.

Tibbets added the final score of the game with 9:16 left in the third quarter on a 16-yard run.

Keever, who connected on seven of his 11 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, also finished with one interception.

According to Dufur coach Jack Henderson, the team got off to a good start Friday and more than just on the scoreboard.

“Trever and Nick both ran the ball well, which means our offensive line blocked well. Bailey (Keever) also threw the ball well,” Henderson said.

The Rangers were not only dominating on the offensive side, Henderson said.

“I thought defensively, overall, this was our most physical game,” the Ranger coach said. “We flew around and put the pads on some people. That is always a good thing to see, so we are really pleased with that.”

For senior running back Nick Little, it was a good win, but the team needs to keep improving if they hope to continue through the playoffs.

“We played pretty well. It is definitely not our best, we still need to get better,” Little said.

He also said the team is ready to meet its next opponent.

The win moves the Rangers into the second round of the state’s 1A football playoffs with a 9-1 record.

They will meet the winner of Saturday’s game between Wallowa and Powers.

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