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By Brennan Riker
Special to The Post Dispatch
The Southland Eagles will hit the road in Week 9 to take on the Patton Springs Rangers, another team that will hope to stay out of the bottom of District 7. The Rangers finished third in the district last season, missing out on the playoffs for another consecutive season, and extending their own playoff drought that has lasted for over a decade.
The Rangers went 4-6 last season, but they only had three true wins due to Southland forfeiting all of their district contests. Patton Springs did beat Guthrie 52-26, but they still were not able to get past Motley County and Jayton to get into the playoffs. The Rangers have failed to produce consistent football, only putting together nine playoff appearances in their school’s history. The Rangers have the potential to show more promise this season as they return four starters on both sides of the ball.
“They will be a good team with a good amount of speed,” Head Coach Dusty Grantham said. “Like us, depth will be a question because of numbers I think, but it should be a fun game. We are excited to get to play them this year.”
Like Southland’s matchup against Guthrie, this game will be another fairly even match between two teams who are projected at the very bottom of the district. If Southland is not able to get past the district powerhouses that are Jayton and Motley County, beating not only Guthrie but Patton Springs will give this up-and-coming program a chance to prove themselves after enduring a season where they did not get to do so. Although a third place finish in district play would not give the Eagles playoff berth, it would still be a huge comeback from last season, and it would also instill confidence within the program for the next few upcoming seasons.
This matchup will take place on Oct. 22 with kickoff at 7:30 pm at Ralph Marshall Field in Afton.