The Dufur Ranger defense shut down a potent Arlington football team for four quarters and did just enough on offense to secure a 14-6 victory in Big Sky Conference action Thursday in Arlington.
With a minute left on the clock, the Honkers had possession of the ball looking to score the tying points, and were faced with a fourth down from their own 30-yard line and lined up in a punt formation.
Arlington ran a fake, but the Ranger defense snuffed it in the backfield to force a loss of downs.
Dufur quarterback Derek Frakes lined the offense up for some kneel downs and the Rangers captured a 14-6 road victory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“This was our best total-team defensive effort in a long time,” Henderson said. “Our defensive ends, TJ Kennedy and Ben Anderson, did a great job containing the perimeter. Our tackles, Zach Christianson and Ian Cleveland, did a great job as well. Kurt Nuevo, Curtis Crawford and Tabor McLaughlin all did a great job of defending the pass.”
Both teams fought to a scoreless tie after one quarter, but the Rangers struck first in the second quarter on a 65-yard halfback pass from Hagen Pence to Curtis Crawford to make it 6-0.
Kurt Nuevo added the conversion and the Rangers were ahead 8-0 at halftime.
Arlington (4-1 overall, 3-1 league) inched closer with a touchdown, but failed on its conversion, so Dufur held a slim two-point lead with one quarter left to play.
In the final period, Pence hit the end zone on a 15-yard scamper to run the Ranger advantage to 14-6, keeping the contest within one score.
Arlington and Dufur could not add points to the scoreboard, giving way to the final defensive stand.
On the ground, Pence led the Rangers with 123 yards on 13 carries, Nuevo added 57 on 14 carries and Frakes rushed four times for 21 yards.
From the pocket, Frakes completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards, and Pence was good for one completion on three attempts for 65 yards and a score.
Pence had one five-yard catch, and Crawford, an all-league end, had a team-high six grabs for 100 yards.
“Hagen Pence was dominant running the ball. Curtis Crawford made several key catches,” Henderson said of his offensive standouts. “Freshman Derek Frakes got his first start at quarterback and did a nice job of executing throughout the game.”
No. 3-ranked Dufur (4-2, 1-2 league) hosts South Wasco at 7 p.m. Friday.