Vista Ridge coach Rodney Vincent considers this week’s matchup against Westwood the final dress rehearsal.
The Rangers wrap up the pre-district season Friday night at Gupton Stadium at 7:30 p.m. against Westwood. They will look to snap a three-game losing streak and pick up their first win against the Warriors.
“Early in the week, we need to be district ready in the way we go about our business,” Vincent said. “We treat it like that so when we get to our first district ball game, it’s one more time we’ve looked to make sure that we’ve got everything heading in the right direction that we want to be going.”
Vista Ridge opened the season with a 20-14 win against San Antonio Southwest and fell to Dripping Springs 47-21 at home in the second week of the season, allowing 329 yards on the ground in the loss.
The Rangers lost to Bowie 52-31 last Friday night after having a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown just before halftime. The Bulldogs then scored quickly to start the second half and Vista Ridge could never recover.
Vincent said there were aspects of the game that showed they were headed in the right direction, but he was surprised and a little disappointed with that stretch that ended up costing them the game.
“It’s still timing and technique type stuff that we’ve got to make sure we’ve got right going into district,” he said. “I was proud of the way we operated offensively and a little bit defensively in the first half. You don’t get do-overs in district play and you’ve got to be ready to go.”
Quarterback Jacob Taute and Jamil Pittman drive the Vista Ridge offense. The senior quarterback has 529 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 116 yards and one score on the ground, while Pittman leads both the rushing (175 yards, three touchdowns) and passing (195 yards) attacks.
Defensively, four players have at least 20 tackles on the season, led by Darien Carter with 36.
They will have their hands full against the high-powered Westwood passing attack. Westwood quarterback Will Jennings has thrown for almost 900 yards and four touchdowns in three games so far, averaging nearly 300 yards per game.
Vincent pointed out three areas for the Rangers to improve on in the game against Westwood. He wants to eliminate the pre-snap penalties, continue to improve on the things they focused on early in the year, and not allow big plays on special teams.
The Rangers have a couple players that are district ready, but there are still a few pieces that need to catch up to the rest of the team in order for them to push for a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.
“The thing that pleases me the most is we’ve got kids that are locked in and learning when they make mistakes,” Vincent said. “It matters to them. If you’ve got that, you’ve got a chance to be good.”