Cisco next for unbeaten No. 6 KC

JEREMY GARZA
Staff Writer

After three straight weeks of facing ranked teams, the KC Rangers need a break.

It won’t happen this week, thanks to an upstart Cisco team.

KC will visit Cisco on Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest–the first of three straight road games for the Rangers.

KC is 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in the latest NJCAA poll. Cisco, after an 0-3 start, knocked off Trinity Valley (19-17) last week to move to 1-1 in Southwest Junior College Football Conference action.

“Anytime you come off a win and you know you’ve been sitting in a tough state of being 0-3, you’re searching for answers. And I think them (Cisco) being home for the first time it was one of those huge victories for Cisco,” said KC head coach J.J. Eckert. “I think it was one of those games they were fighting their tails off to try and win one. Ultimately, they found a way to get it done. So, when you look at it, it’s a tough football game. In this conference, there are no weeks off. You have to play your best football every week.”

Both teams have defeated Trinity Valley this season.

In week three, KC opened conference play at Trinity Valley and earned a 34-16 win in a game that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.

Cisco utilizes a two-quarterback system with Ross Hudson and Caleb Smith calling the signals. Those two have thrown for a combined 677 yards.

The Rangers will counter with Tanner Tausch under center. Tausch, who was not the starter at the beginning of the season, has managed to earn the spot and has been dominant at times. For the year, he has completed 55 of 81 passes for 724 yards and seven touchdowns.

Tausch is most comfortable with wide receiver Ed’Marques Batties. Last week Batties found the end zone two times on similar fade routes. Batties has had a total of five touchdowns–at least one in each game so far this season– and has compiled 428 yards on 28 catches.

Defensively, KC has had some major help from just about every position. A dozen KC players have recorded at least 10 tackles, led by linebacker Charles Woods (35) and defensive end Cooper Washington (23 tackles, 4 sacks).

A key for KC has been the ability to force turnovers, which has helped flip field position.

KC will not play at home again until Oct. 20 when the Rangers host Southwest Prep for homecoming.

Note: Saturday’s game will be aired on KXAL 105.3 and will also be streamed online at www.kxal.org.

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