The Rangers hold off a comeback attempt from the pesky Valiants in Friday's season opener

ESTACADA NEWS: MATT RAWLINGS - Logan Stamm breaks away from Valley Catholic defenders for the 25-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Estacada's 28-21 win on Friday.

4A Football

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Valley Catholic

The Estacada defense had their ups and downs for a lot of the contest. But late in the game, when it really mattered, they came through.

Valley Catholic, who was down by seven, drove into Estacada territory with less than two minutes left in the game. But the Rangers got a huge fourth down stop to force the Valiants to tun the ball over on downs. From there, Estacada was able to run out the clock to secure the 28-21 victory on Friday night in their first game of the season.

"We made big plays when he needed them. That's really what it came down to," Estacada head coach Andy Mott said. "We shot ourselves in the foot a few times, but overall I thought we executed really well and our defense came up huge."

Even though they are a run-heavy team, the Rangers found success early in the passing game. Facing a third-and-10 from their own 48-yard line on their opening drive, Estacada quarterback Nick Keller faked the hand off up the middle and found a wide open Kaden Settle who took it all they down to the 11-yard line for a 41-yard gain.

On the next play, Keller kept the ball on an option and found the end zone from 11 yards out. He also ran in the two-point conversion to put the Rangers up 8-0.

After Estacada's touchdown on the opening drive, Valley Catholic's Trey Eberhart returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for the score.

The Valliants added a 75-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run by quarterback Daniel Pruitt, giving Valley Catholic a 14-8 lead with 7:38 remaining in the second quarter.

The Rangers quickly marched into Valley Catholic territory. A 43-yard touchdown run by Sam Garrsion tied the game up at 14-14.

Look for extended coverage in the Sept. 6 print edition.

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