Lone Star Gridiron

George Ranch Headed to a Title Game

photo: Glenn McCarthy

Darius Anderson Carries Load for Richmond George Ranch

Richmond George Ranch

Broderick Thompson -Darius Anderson

NRG-  This Richmond George Ranch Longhorns team was too much for the Cedar Park Vista Ridge Rangers.  Too much offense, too much defense and too much Darius Anderson.  The star running back was flat out sensational in the 42-23 victory. Carrying his team to the state championship game next weekend in the same venue against Mansfield Lake Ridge, the Missouri Tiger commit churned out 277 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries (15.4 ypc), including a 76 yarder that was called back.

Anderson said this about his performance on the night, “We had a big game today, I just wanted to be a leader for my team, its our first time here and we don't have a lot of experience.  I just want to step up and be a leader.”

Coach Ricky Tullos said this about his stellar running back, “He’s phenomenal!  He’s special, I don't know if there’s any out there better?  I’m blessed every day that he puts on the maroon #1 and plays for the Longhorns.  He’s just a fantastic kid”

In the early going it was a fist fight, both teams showing off their formidable offenses and striking quickly.  Vista Ridge struck first. Their first drive ended with a 49 yard Matt Snow to Ryan Landrum and a 7-0 Rangers lead.

The Longhorns answered right back when junior Alex Fontenot found a giant hole and blew past the whole Vista Ridge defense for a 50 yard run down the left sideline to tie the game 7-7.

Vista Ridge then looked to have the Longhorns in a hole with a punt to their 6.  An offside pushed George Ranch back 3 yards to their own 3.  That's when Anderson showed he can generally pick his team up, put them on his back and crawl out of any hole.  On 1st and 13 he broke off a 42 yarder that put the Rangers on their heels.  That Longhorn drive ultimately came up short with a missed field goal.

Vista Ridge quickly fought back with a nine play drive, aided by a huge Isaiah Vilaire 37 run.  Matt Snow plowed in from 3 yards out to cap it off.  Vista Ridge once again led, this time 14-7.

George Ranch scored the next 21 points and showed why they are undefeated and closing in on their first state title.  First, Anderson crushed a 75 yard jet on the second play of the next drive down the left sideline to tie the game, 14-14.

After a bad pitch from Ranger QB Matt Snow to Bryce Doll lost 11 yards, Vista Ridge was flagged for twelve men on the field.  The penalty forced Vista Ridge to move back 5 more yards before they punted.

After the punt Longhorn QB Antonio Jackson found Quintin Morris for 62 yards as he eluded both a defender at the beginning and ending of his catch and run. The score gave George Ranch their first lead, 21-14.

Their quick strike offense was on display once again after Longhorn Linebacker Brent Ugo made a 12 yard tackle for loss on 2nd down forcing yet another Vista Ridge punt.  Jackson found receiver Joshua Scruggs for 49 yards down to the Ranger 18.  The Ranger defense looked to be in disarray as Jackson hit an obscenely wide open Daniel Boehm to go up 28-14 with 20 seconds left before half.

Vista Ridge got the ball at their own 36.  Snow immediately saw a streaking Cody Williams down the middle of the field for 47 yards.  Diago Chiaramonte nailed a 34 yard field goal to end the half, 28-17 Longhorns.

The Longhorns received the ball to start the 2nd half.  Darius Anderson broke a beautiful 76 yard run but it was called because of a personal foul.  That George Ranch drive stalled and they ended up turning it over on downs.  Matt Snow had 3 straight incompletions and Vista Ridge was forced to punt.

Darius Anderson then had the play of the night, and maybe the whole season, when he broke 5 tackles sprinting past the remaining Ranger pursuers for another 75-plus run.  This one had no penalties as the Longhorns extended their lead 35-17 with 2:24 left in the third.

Antonio Jackson had an insurance touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter and the Longhorns had their only punt late in the game.

Mikial Onu intercepted Snow late in the game in the red zone to ice the win before Vilaire scored on a 29 yard run with seconds left to play

Coach Tullos told his Longhorns after the game they were 7 days away from playing for a state championship and getting it done.  He also said this about the win and being one step away from a title, “It’s an unbelievable feeling!  I’m just so proud of our kids, our school, our community, to have a chance to bring home a state championship to Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, its a dream come true.”

He finished with this about his workhorse tailback, “He gets better and better every day.  Nothing surprises me, I’ve come to the point where it doesn't surprise me where he makes runs that he makes, or plays that he does.  Again I’m glad he represents George Ranch”

by Glenn McCarthy

Players of the game

Offense- running back Darius Anderson
Defense- linebacker Brent Ugo and cornerback Mikial Onu
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Richmond George Ranch 7 21 7 7  - 42
Cedar Park Vista Ridge 7 10 0 6  - 23

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