West Ranch earns second shutout, 35-0, at St. Paul

West Ranch Wildcats running back Ty DePerno (27) runs through Antelope defenders during a non-league game against the Antelope Valley Antelopes at Valencia High School football field on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Chris Torres/The Signal

The West Ranch Wildcats (4-0) picked up their second shutout of the season, beating St. Paul (2-2) on the road Friday, 35-0, in a rain-soaked contest. 

Senior quarterback Ryan Staub tossed three touchdowns, all to different receivers. One went to senior Maverick Diaz for his fifth of the year, one to senior Isaac Ellis for his second of the year, and another went to junior Jack Samuelson for his first of the year. 

“With the rain and everything, I was a little concerned, but [Staub] had a lot of poise in there, threw some good balls,” West Ranch head coach Chris Varner said in a phone interview with The Signal. 

Diaz also had a passing touchdown in the game, tossing it out to senior Chaz Hilst. That’s the second time those two have hooked up for a touchdown this season, though previously it was Hilst to Diaz in the Wildcats’ season-opening win over St. Francis. 

West Ranch’s other score came on a rushing touchdown from senior Tyler DePerno, his third on the season. 

With Staub’s three touchdowns, he now has 17 on the year to go along with one on the ground heading into Foothill League play next week. 

More importantly for Varner, though, was the shutout, and after four games, his team has only given up 48 points, 41 of those coming against St. Francis. And the Wildcats aren’t just stopping opponents, but forcing them to turn it over, picking up four takeaways Friday to bring their count on the season up to nine. 

“We had some problems at the St. Francis game. We fixed a couple things,” Varner said. “So defense is playing aggressive, very opportunistic. Proud of the progress we’re making. But, you know, it’s all about what we’re gonna do these next six games that matter.” 

West Ranch opens Foothill League play next Friday, hosting Canyon (2-2) at College of the Canyons. 

“We’ve been pretty fortunate in terms of injuries all around, some bumps and bruises and stuff, nothing major,” Varner said. ”So, knock on wood, that continues and we just stay grinding.” 

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