Football: North Marion's second-half rally falls short in 28-20 loss to Estacada
North Marion's football team got things rolling coming out of the halftime locker room Friday night, but the gears got locked up in the fourth quarter during a 28-20 homecoming loss to Estacada.
The No. 4-ranked Rangers seemed to have the game in hand 22-6 after QB Nick Keller found David Stamm for a 70-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds of the first half.
But North Marion still had some fight.
The Huskies received the second-half kickoff and saw running back Sam Garcia go 11 yards through the middle for a first down, then another 9-yard spurt that moved the chains again. Garcia took another handoff and rumbled 16 yards before being taken down inside the 5-yard line.
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
The Huskies gave the ball to Garcia again, and he plunged through the middle for a 2-yard touchdown.
North Marion receiver Brady Hansen took an end-around over the goal line for the two-point conversion, and the Huskies were within striking distance.
Estacada's Gabe Martinez returned the ensuing kickoff across midfield, but the Huskies' defense came up big. North Marion linebacker Milo Bilyeu picked off a dump pass in the middle of the field and returned it 60 yards to the end zone. A block in the back penalty on the return erased the score, but the Huskies kept the turnover.
Hansen swung around the right side for a first down, and Garcia went 17 yards through the middle to put the Huskies within scoring range. Again, the hand off went to Garcia, who churned through a pile at the 5-yard line to find the end zone.
The two-point try to tie the game was stuffed by the Estacada defensive line in the middle of the field, keeping the Rangers clinging to a 22-20 lead.
Estacada gave itself some breathing room when Keller found a seam through the middle for a 21-yard touchdown that put the Rangers up 28-20 with 4:38 to play.
A personal foul against the Rangers on the ensuing kickoff allowed North Marion to begin its final drive at midfield. Hansen converted a third-and-9, then caught a short pass over the left side from quarterback Griffin Henry to push the ball inside the 40-yard line.
The Huskies attempted a run into the middle on third-and-6 only to see the ball pop out with only a pack of white shirts at the bottom of the pile. Rangers rookie lineman Jackson Turner emerged with the ball.
"I saw the ball out of the corner of my eye and dropped down to pick it up," Turner said.
Estacada would pick up one first down, allowing the Rangers to run out the rest of the clock with a series of kneel downs.
Garcia finished the game with 140 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while Hansen chipped in 43 yards and a score on five attempts.
North Marion (3-3, 0-2 Special District 2) plays at No. 3 Gladstone at 7 p.m. Thursday.