After making it to the state semifinals a year ago, Vista Ridge managed to make the playoffs again this season but didn’t last very long once the postseason began.
The Rangers lost a close 41-38 game in the first round of the playoffs last Thursday night on the road against San Antonio Churchill. They finished the season at 3-8 overall after a fourth-place finish in District 25-6A and have made the playoffs in four of the last five years.
Junior Jacob Taute led the team through the air and on the ground, passing for 1,766 yards and 13 touchdowns and carrying the ball 101 times for 369 yards and eight scores. Aiden Florez had 342 yards and two touchdowns and Jamil Pittman had 327 and two touchdowns this season.
Samuel Waldum led the receiving corps, catching 39 passes for 492 yards and five touchdowns. Ryan Landrum caught 38 passes for 549 yards and two touchdowns and Pittman had 488 receiving yards and two scores.
Defensively, three players had more than 100 tackles, led by senior Blake Harrison with 126. Caleb Welch was second with 109 tackles and Kevin Bastow finished with 106.
Noah Hughes led the secondary with four interceptions and a fumble recovery and Lawrence Asiedu had four interceptions.
In the playoff game against Churchill, Vista Ridge took a 21-14 lead after the first quarter, highlighted by a 75-yard kick return by Samuel Waldum on the Rangers’ opening kickoff. They continued their first-half dominance in the second quarter and went into the break leading 31-24.
Churchill scored the first 10 points of the second half before Taute found Pittman for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Rangers their final lead. The Chargers scored with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and got some help, including a missed interception and a fumble negated by an offsides call, to hang on for the win.