From 2007-2017 the Midland Greenwood Rangers averaged six wins a season. The past two years, however, they are an impressive 23-3, including a 13-0 mark this season, and on the precipice of reaching the state semifinals.
“It’ll mean a lot [to win a state title] because it would be a wonderful feeling knowing how hard I’ve worked for it.” running back Trey Cross said.
This past Friday they steamrolled fellow previously unbeaten Estacado 41-14. They move on to the regional final where they get another shot at Iowa Park. The last time they both played was last year’s third round of the playoffs where Iowa Park got their way 35-14. The Rangers look for 2019 to be theirs.
Of the eight teams remaining in the 4A D2 playoffs, Greenwood is one of two unbeaten teams. Greenwood also has the highest points per game (47.7) the highest point differential (+469) and the second-fewest points allowed per game (11.6) among the eight teams remaining.
“Our keys to success have been just doing our jobs play in and play out and not taking any plays off,” senior defender and kicker Derek Rimer said. “The bond we also share as teammates keeps us close as a family, and helps us to play for one another.”
Derek Rimer has been a critical reason why the Rangers defense has been so dominant every game this season. His secondary unit is averaging more than one interception a game and they haven’t allowed a single opponent this season to score more than 17 points.
“We’ve been able to play good defense because we’ve stayed really base and been good at what we do,” Rimer said
Rimer personally has 25 tackles, with five interceptions and a forced fumble this season for the Rangers.
“Just knowing my job on each play and knowing where we are vulnerable and just playing my game,” Rimer says is the reason for his success.
Greenwood also possesses the ability to run the ball better than almost anyone in the state. The Rangers average more than 300 yards a game on the ground alone.
The main feature back of the Greenwood Rangers rushing attacks is junior Trey Cross. Cross has been a first down and touchdown factory for the Rangers this season. In 13 games he’s rushed for 2,543 yards on more than 11 yards a carry and 31 touchdowns.
“Keep working and make things happen to make my team happy,” Cross said on his success.
Greenwoods latest victim was previously unbeaten Estacado. In the 41-14 win Cross carried the ball for 178 yards and four touchdowns.
“The key to our success is to work hard in practice and improve on things,” Cross said. “Keep a level head and take it one game at a time and keep our momentum going.”
What about a player who can do both? Run the ball and play defense, look no further than senior Ryan Snodgrass.
“Just being poised and not being complacent! We knew at the beginning of the year that we could be good so every day we come ready to work,” Snodgrass said.
The three keys to success for the Greenwood defense?
“We adjust, adapt and we’re physical.”
Snodgrass has been ridiculous all season for the Rangers. Over 800 yards on the ground with another 400 receiving for a total of 11 touchdowns. On defense, he has 50 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
“I just do everything I can for the team and I know everything else will place itself together,” Snodgrass said. “These guys are my brothers and they push me to be the best I can be!”
Greenwood has been one of the more impressive programs not just in 4A but in all of Texas this season. Last season, their run ended at 10-3 and a regional semifinals loss to Iowa Park. They have a shot at revenge this Friday at Abilene’s Anthony Field.
“You can expect a lot of hard work and a positive attitude from us,” Cross said. “We have a goal and we try our hardest to reach it.”
If you’re looking for a team as close to as dominant as the Rangers have been this season look no further than the Iowa Park Hawks. They’re just a tick off of the Rangers pace in points per game and points allowed with 40 and 16 respectively. Along with that, the Hawks are winning games by an average of 23 points a game.
“Just expect more of the same, our goal is to be really sound and fundamental on both sides of the ball. and continue to play for one another,” Rimer said.
Both programs this season have their highest win totals of the decade. One will continue their magical season with a berth into the 4A D2 state semifinals. The other will have a disappointing end to an otherwise great season.
“No matter up or down in a game we will not give up and we are going to give it all we got,” Snodgrass said.