Clutch defensive scores help Mountain Range prevail over Rangeview

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Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 9/19/18

Rangeview High School had hoped that a brisk, comfortable Thursday night at their District Stadium would lead to their first win of the season on their Homecoming Night. But despite outgaining …

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Clutch defensive scores help Mountain Range prevail over Rangeview

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Posted

Rangeview High School had hoped that a brisk, comfortable Thursday night at their District Stadium would lead to their first win of the season on their Homecoming Night.

But despite outgaining Mountain Range (3-1, 2-1 in conference) offensively, a pick-6 and scoop-and-score fumble recovery by seniors Caleb McClure and Darian Borden proved the difference Sept. 13 in the 20-14 affair.

“Our defense this whole year has been playing lights out. They find a way each and every week, and it’s unbelievable what they did tonight,” Mountain Range Coach Todd Riccio said. “That scoop-and-score for six was a huge momentum swing, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The 60-yard Borden TD return came after a 9-play drive from Rangeview (0-4, 0-3 in conference) that had collected multiple first downs and 40 yards. With the contest being 13-8 MR at the time while 5:31 remained, the stiff-arm and sprint to the end zone capped an outstanding night for a defense that made big play after big play.

“We have some seniors in some key spots, but we also have some young kids in some key spots too, so we’re just growing and trying to still figure out how to play complimentary football while playing together as a team. Tonight, that was a hell of a team win.”

Part of this complimentary football is the excellent special teams work that Mountain Range showcased in pinning Rangeview in difficult field position. The Raiders dealt with a long field all night, and these long, drawn-out drives allowed vital turnovers to sway the game in Mustangs favor.

Despite the victory, Rangeview dominated play count (28-21) and yardage (206-122) in the second half. The bend-don’t-break MR defense combined with a solid offensive running game controlled the game flow for sophomore quarterback Clayton Do. Do scored the lone offensive touchdown on a 1-yard scamper on the teams’ first drive, but only attempted four passes in the second half thanks to consistency from his two backfield mates: senior Demarques Ortega and junior Justin Hixson.

Ortega’s team-leading 12 carries for 69 yards (30-yard high), and Hixson’s four carries for 53 yards resulted in every yard from scrimmage for MR in the third and fourth quarters.

Unfortunately for the home team, what is forgotten this night is the remarkable play of the Rangeview defense. Their stifling interior attack and phenomenal secondary play weren’t enough to overcome the offenses three turnovers.

“It’s a hell of a start for our guys. All of the credit goes to the kids. They are working their butts off, buying into what we are trying to do in the classroom, out of the classroom, practice and everything else. It’s fun to watch their development, and it’s fun to see them start believing, start buying in every game.”

Mountain Range will host Denver East Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. while Rangeview looks for win No.1 against Adams City at Aurora Public Schools Stadium Sept. 20.

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