Rangers nab first bowl bid since ’07

JEREMY GARZA
Staff Writer

The KC Ranger football team will be heading to a bowl game for the first time since 2007. This will be the 19th bowl appearance in KC’s history.

The No. 11-ranked Rangers accepted a bid to the inaugural Brazos Valley Bowl in College Station to play No. 13 Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers. Game time is set for noon Saturday, Dec. 1,  at Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field in College Station.

Kyle Field is known as The Home of the 12th Man and has a seating capacity of 82,589–the 13th largest stadium in the NCAA.

“We drove through there going to Blinn and thought how awesome would it be to play at that place,” said head Coach J.J. Eckert.  “Amazingly it’s all worked itself out.”

Northwest Mississippi finished the season 8-2, making it to the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges conference playoffs. Similar to KC‘s 42-14 loss to Navarro in the semifinals, NMCC fell short 43-17 in their semifinal game.

“I’ve had a chance to look at some video,” Eckert said. “Offensively they are a varied multi-formation team. They have a big athletic quarterback who is 6’5.

That quarterback is sophomore Domonique Harris who threw well over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season. The Rangers scored 284 points this season,  averaging 425 total offensive yards.

“We didn’t get here by luck,” said KC cornerback James Jones. “We got here from hard work and dedication.”

The Rangers will need that hard work leading up to the bowl game during practice hours since KC will have been off the playing field for nearly an entire month.

KC is led by linebacker Charles Woods who was named defensive Most Valuable Player of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, tallying 128 recorded tackles on the season. James Jones, First Team Defense, has also been a huge factor on defense, getting 59 tackles, three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown.

“We’ve got to get used to putting that helmet back on,” Eckert said. “I’m sure there’s times when you go to a bowl game at any level that it‘s almost like, ah we’ve got to go to a bowl game, but these guys are excited.”

For many of the KC players it will be their last game wearing the Ranger jersey,  and for others it maybe their last collegiate football game ever.

“The feeling is ecstatic,” Jones said. “Even though we lost the play off game, we overcame adversity to get the opportunity to play in this bowl game.”

The game will be regionally televised on CW-8 from Bryan-College Station and also streamed online at www.iHigh.com.

The KC Rangers will face the NW Rangers for a third time in postseason, with the teams splitting the last two meetings in 1965 and 1989 at the Shrine Bowl.

General admission tickets are $5 while 18-and-under are free and college students are free with I.D.

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