Vista Ridge Avenges Last Season’s Playoff Loss
Updated: November 14, 2015
photo: Steve Thomas
Rangers to Face Lockhart in Area Round
For the second-consecutive year, the Cedar Park Vista Ridge Rangers squared off against the Austin LBJ Jaguars in the 5A Division 1 Bi-District round. Unlike last year, however, this would not be the beginning of a Cinderella run through playoffs for the Jaguars. Instead, the Rangers used a heavy dose of their ground game and fended off several late rally attempts by LBJ to win 44-27.
Early-on, Vista Ridge was in complete control of the game. The Rangers jumped out to a 13-0 lead courtesy of touchdown runs by senior running back Jeremiah Chambers and senior quarterback Matt Snow. The defense, meanwhile, limited the Jaguars’ offense to just seven yards on their first two drives.
A 36-yard field goal gave the Rangers a 16-0 lead midway through the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, LBJ took advantage of great field position starting at their own 47-yard line to finally get on the scoreboard. After losing a net total of three yards on their first two plays, sophomore quarterback Aaron Green connected with junior wide receiver Allie Green for thirty yards. Three plays later, junior running back Khalil Thomas scored on a one-yard touchdown. A missed extra point made the score 16-6 in favor of the Rangers.
Vista Ridge responded with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Snow to senior tight end Cody Williams to make the score 23-6 going into halftime.
To open the second half, LBJ used a seven-play 63-yard drive culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Khalil Thomas to cut the Vista Ridge lead to 23-13.
The Jaguars cut the deficit to 23-20 as junior defensive back Alaric Frederick recovered a muffed kick off return in the end zone. Although LBJ’s defense forced Vista Ridge to go three-and-out on the next drive, the Jaguar’s offense could not take advantage of the stop.
The Jaguars then went three-and-out netting a loss of four yards on the drive. After starting their following drive on their own 46-yard line, the Rangers gashed the Jaguars defense with their run game culminating in a three-yard touchdown run by Snow to take a 30-20 lead.
After starting the drive at the Vista Ridge 46-yard line, LBJ responded with a touchdown of their own courtesy of a 15-yard pass from Aaron Green to Frederick to cut the deficit to 30-27. That was as close as the Jaguars got, however.
Vista Ridge took advantage of a late-hit penalty and wore down the LBJ defense with their ground game to increase their lead to 37-27 on a one-yard touchdown run by Snow.
After forcing LBJ to go three-and-out on their ensuing drive, the Rangers added another touchdown on a seven-yard run by senior running back Isaiah Vilaire to take a 44-27 lead. Although LBJ then managed to move the ball into Vista Ridge territory, senior defensive back Tyler Harris sealed the game for Vista Ridge with an interception to preserve the 44-27 win.
With the win, Vista Ridge advances to the Area Round to face Lockhart next Friday night. The Lions come into the game at 8-3 overall having defeated San Antonio Highlands 34-16 in the Bi-District round.
by Steve Thomas