Roscoe hoping for rebound at Ranger

Roscoe will go to Ranger this Friday with high hopes of getting on a late-season push to make the playoffs.After back-to-back losses to Cross Plains and Albany the past two weeks, the Plowboys (2-4 overall and 1-2 in District 7-1A, Div. II) are starting a two-week per-iod in which they appear to have an excellent chance of picking up a pair of wins.First is a trip to Ranger, which is 1-5 overall and still winless (0-3) in district, fol-lowed by a home game a week from Friday against Gorman (1-5), which got its first win by beating Ranger 36-30 this past week. After that, things will get tougher as Roscoe hosts Hamlin (5-1, 3-0) and ends the season at Roby (3-3, 2-1).“We just have to take it one game at a time,” said Roscoe first-year head coach Jake Freeman. “Ranger is next on the schedule, so our focus is totally on them.“Another loss would hurt tremendously, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the end of our chances. With an eight-team district, anything can happen.”Albany’s 44-0 win over Roscoe last week gave the team a two-game losing streak after starting district with a win over Baird (0-3, 0-6). Roscoe’s two wins have been at home, and Free-man — despite his team’s lopsided loss to Albany — said he was encouraged by their effort this past Friday at Plowboys Field. “We played a great first quarter (Roscoe trailed just 7-0) with one of the best teams in the state,” he said, referring to Albany’s No. 9 ranking in Class 1A. The Lions (3-0, 6-0) erupted for 23 second-quarter points, but “even when we fell behind we played extremely hard all the way to the final whistle,” Freeman said. “Albany did exactly what we thought they would do. They are a very physical, disciplined football team who you can not make mis-takes against. They didn’t do anything fancy, they just did it well.”Roscoe completed 16 of 28 passes in the game, but had only 93 yards through the air and managed just six first downs, one of them by penalty. The Plowboys were just 1-for-9 on third down and failed to get inside the red zone as Albany recorded its fourth shutout this sea-son in six games, including three straight vs. its district opponents. “Their speed and pursuit on defense makes them tough to score on,” Freeman said. “They have a relentless pursuit to the football and do a great job limiting big plays.”While Albany and Hamlin are clearly the district’s top two teams, Freeman said the No. 3 berth into the Class 1A playoffs is still wide open. Roby has the early edge after its 29-7 win over Cross Plains, giving the Lions the tiebreaker over the Buffaloes though both are 2-1 in district play. “Roby got a big win. But we know what we have to do and we will take it one week at a time,” Freeman said.“Ranger is a young foot-ball team and they have a new coach. They run the Slot-T offense and play extremely hard. They want to run the ball but they also have the capability to be efficient passing the ball.“Of course our number one goal this week is to win. Also, I want to see us exe-cute better in all three pha-ses of the game,” Freeman continued. “After this week, I just want us to continue to improve and I believe that we still have a chance to achieve our goal.”