Rangers Win Inaugural Jon Johnston Memorial Trophy

The Corydon Rangers travelled to Geelong in the third week of Gridiron Victoria Division 1 competition, facing the Buccaneers, with both teams sitting on a 1-1 record. The match made even more meaningful with teams playing for the Jon Johnston Memorial Trophy who played with both Clubs between 2010 & 2015 before his passing last year.

The Rangers with the Jon Johnston Memorial Trophy

The Rangers got off to a quick start in windy conditions, with 2015 league MVP Jordan Beck showcasing a strengthened running game behind some good offensive line work that had been bolstered by the return of Tom Kinloch and the introduction of Hawaiian Jordan Gibson. Beck punched in the first touchdown of the day from 1 yard out midway through the first quarter.

With a 6-0 lead a quarter time, the Rangers looked to continue the strong run game in the second quarter, now running into the wind. Beck would again capitalise on a great offensive play, picking two 8 yard touchdown runs, giving the Rangers a 20-6 lead. Beck would finish the game late in the second quarter with an ankle complaint having collected 101 yards on 13 carries with 3 touchdowns.

Croydon scored again with just 9 second late in the half following a controversial cock stoppage which gave the Rangers one last play to score, in which Quarterback Jamie Stafford found Wide receiver Trevor Osbourne for a 13 yard touchdown reception.

A single score to the Geelong Buccaneers in the third quarter going with the wind was all the pressure they were able to mount. Backup running back Jack Ahern played well in place of Beck, but with QB Stafford sustaining a hamstring injury, the offense lacked the potency shown in the first half.

With the Rangers offensive injuries, the second half turned into a dour defensive struggle. Defensive Linemen Jesse Peters and Pat Klisiewicz repeatedly pressured the Geelong Quarterback, while Liam Fordham and Mark Doyle made tackles on any run that got through the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Chevy Edwards was important again this week, taking one interception, and was in the right place for a second that he was unable to catch.

The Rangers closed out the match 27-12 victors, and now look to next Saturday’s home match against the Melbourne University Royals where they can secure second spot on the Gridiron Victoria table with a win. Game starts at 2pm, Springfield Ave in Croydon.

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