BENTON — This time of year, many teams are looking to improve their playoff stock or win conference titles. At Tabor Field Friday night, Benton and Massac County were two teams doing just that in an Ohio Division game that had many ramifications.
The Rangers celebrated Senior Night in style with a dominating 48-12 win over the Patriots. It’s a win that not only moved the Rangers to 7-0 (4-0) on the season, it set up a showdown next week at Murphysboro for all the SIRR Ohio marbles.
Benton set the tone for the first half on the opening possession. The Rangers went 67 yards in five plays, capped by a 20-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Keegan Glover. The extra point put Benton up 7-0.
Late in the first quarter, the Rangers added to their lead on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Glover to Reid Baumgarte which put the Rangers up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Massac County was able to move the football well, aided by several Benton penalties. However, the Patriots couldn’t get it into the end zone.
The Rangers had no such problems, getting their third score of the first half to cap another lengthy drive. This time, Benton marched down the field on a 90-yard drive in just two minutes, capped by the second Glover to Baumgarte touchdown pass of the half. This one covered five yards to put Benton up 21-0. With his 12th touchdown reception of the season, Baumgarte put his name in the Rangers’ record books as the new school record holder for TD catches in a season.
The Rangers added another score late in the half. After intercepting a Patriots’ pass, Benton put together a 7-play, 68 yard drive in 2 minutes with Wyatt Upton plunging in from two yards out giving the Rangers a 27-0 at the half.
The first play of the second half was an explosive play for the Patriots. TreShawn Bagby broke loose for 82 yards and a touchdown on the first play of the third to pull Massac County within 27-6.
Benton answered immediately with 7-yard touchdown run by Landon Bolen to push the Rangers’ lead to 34-6. Benton added two more TD runs before the quarter was over–a 62-yarder from Glover and 5-yarder from Upton for a 48-6 lead and a running clock.
Massac County (2-5, 1-3) tacked on a touchdown in the 4th for the final margin.
The Rangers will travel to Murphysboro next Friday to play for the Ohio Division Championship in a battle of unbeaten conference teams. Massac County will play at West Frankfort to finish out conference play.