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Minor speed bump: Rangers lose first game of 2012 season
Lone Star has had no problem with early-season struggles, winning its first four games in 2012.
However, that streak came to an end Friday against Anna, as the Rangers dropped a 33-28 contest for their first loss of the season.
“It wasn’t one of our better games,” said Phil Fuller, Lone Star head coach. “We just made too many mistakes.”
Lone Star (4-1) was without the services of starting running back Ramon Harris, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
The absence of Harris put added pressure on quarterback Will Campbell, who completed 28-of-44 pass attempts for 314 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
“It wasn’t [Campbell’s] best game,” Fuller said. “As the game evolved, they were dropping eight back into coverage which made it a lot more difficult on him.”
For Anna, it was running back Malik Berry setting the tone in the early going. Berry began the game’s scoring with a 3-yard run to give his team a 6-0 lead.
Filling in for Harris was Lone Star running back Jordan Jones, who gave the Rangers their first lead of the game after breaking free for an 11-yard touchdown run in the first. The score was one of three touchdowns by Jones, who finished the game with 77 yards on 16 carries.
“[Jones] is a good running back,” Fuller said. “He did a good job of stepping up filling in for Harris.”
Berry answered Jones with a pair of long touchdowns runs to give Anna a two-score lead. Berry’s first big run came on a 58-yard scamper late in the first before adding a 45-yard touchdown to start the second quarter.
“We just weren’t as sharp as we need to be,” Fuller said.
Berry rushed for a game-high 175 yards and four touchdowns, averaging nearly eight yards per carry. The speedster also added the dagger in the fourth quarter, scoring from 3 yards away to give Anna a late two-touchdown lead that would prove too much for Lone Star to overcome.
“We need to get a little more physical up front on both sides of the ball,” Fuller said. “Everybody can get better.”
The loss set up a Thursday night home game against Sanger from FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco. However, results were not available as of press time.
“[Sanger] is a pretty good football team with a good football tradition,” Fuller said. “They will be a challenge for us on both sides.”
The contest was the final non-district action of the season for Lone Star, who was expecting Harris to return to the field for the first time in three weeks.
“Hopefully he can play,” Fuller said. “Ankle sprains can be really nagging injuries.”
Following Thursday’s action against Sanger, the Rangers will prepare for the start of 10-3A action with an Oct. 11 game against Aubrey. Fuller said the team has built added confidence after a quick start to the season.
“You have to believe you’re going to win before you can actually win,” he said. “Success breeds confidence.”