Stretching after a two hour bus ride to Ranger, 6’1, 300 lb. OL/DL Caleb Curl swung a large mallet in the south end zone of O.C. Warden Stadium bubbly telling any other player or manager who would listen, “I love football, man. I do. I love football!” Curl’s love of the game helped him and the other Frost Polar Bears (2-0) to 53-8 victory over Ranger (1-1).
The mallet did not belong to Curl, though. Frost Coach Coy Barker noted, “My Defensive Coordinator, Randy Fulton, gives it to the player with consistent good play and hard hits.” It was the possession of RB/LB Preston Lane. If Curl wants to have it beyond stretching his arms, he’ll have to win it from Lane.
That won’t be easy. Lane had 17 tackles including 2 sacks and 2 others for loss, a quarterback pressure, caused a fumble, made an interception, and blocked a punt.
Lane will have competition to keep the mallet. Curl had eight tackles including a sack and another for a loss. LB Colton Ward and LB Brandon Folmar both wrapped up eight tackles and a sack. Meanwhile, DB Devin Gruben had 6 tackles, a sack, and a pass break-up.
Barker happily gleamed, “Preston really played well. He is really coming on for us…Yea, special teams once again! It took awhile to get the running game going but we finally did."
When Ranger attempted a punt on their first possession facing 4th down and 25 at their own 20-yard line, Lane blitzed from outside linebacker and stretched out blocking the attempt with his chest. Austin Anderson recovered the ball at the Ranger 2-yard line. On the next play, Ramon Manrriquez ran into the end zone untouched giving Frost a 7-0 lead.
After Anderson hauled in a 41-yard touchdown reception from Antoni Alvarado, in the second quarter, Frost's special teams scored again. Manrriquez juked to the inside, then popped outside, found his blocks, and hit the afterburner down the right sideline for a 77-yard punt return touchdown. As the first half closed, Manrriquez kicked a 42-yard field goal giving the Bears a 24-8 lead.
The Bulldogs held Frost to only 42-yards total offense in the first half – including being (-13) rushing and giving up 3 sacks. Nevertheless, the running game hit its stride in the second half. The Bears ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns down the stretch.
The Bears’ explanation point came in the fourth quarter after Samuel Munoz, for second week in a row, recovered an opponent’s fumble on a kickoff. On the next play Manrriquez ran student-body right behind blocks for Colton Ward, Alex Cabrera, and Curl for a 46-yard touchdown.
Frost 53, Ranger 8
Frost 14 10 8 21 -- 53
Ranger 0 8 0 0 -- 8
First Downs 18 9
Rush-Yards 27-208 43-75
Pass Yards 78 25
C-A-I 3-11-1 4-13-1
Fumble-Lost 0-0 5-2
Punts-Avg. 2-36 3-21
Penalties-Yards 11-145 13-135
F – Ramon Manrriquez 2 run (Manrriquez kick), 7:10
F – Austin Anderson 41 pass from Antoni Alvarado (Manrriquez kick), 0:49
F – Manrriquez 77 punt return (Manrriquez kick), 7:54
R – Hayden Morgan 15 pass from Jerred Williams (Williams run), 4:25
F – Manrriquez 42 field goal, 0:00
F – Brandon Folmar 10 run (Folmar run), 7:50
F – Manrriquez 30 run (Manrriquez kick), 10:42
F – Folmar 5 run (Manrriquez kick), 6:50
F – Manrriquez 46 run (kick blocked), 6:41
Rushing: Frost: Manrriquez 10-119, Folmar 9-82, Preston Lane 3-30, Anderson 1-4, Alvarado 4-(-27). Ranger: John Sanchez 27-84, Williams 9-(-14), Demontre Greene 4-0, Mitchell Needham 3-5.
Passing: Frost: Alvarado 3-10-1-78, Anderson 0-1-0-0. Ranger: Williams 4-13-1-25.
Receiving: Frost: Lane 2-37, Anderson 1-41. Ranger: Morgan 2-19, Michael Lewis 1-4, Duante Greene 1-2.