Nick Coate was hopeful for his first game as Park’s head coach.

But it didn’t go as planned. In their season opener, the Rangers fell 55-0 at Fergus on Friday night.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Coate said. “We’ve got some distance to cover.”

The Rangers returned just four seniors, and more than half of the players in Park’s lineup were making their first varsity start. Fergus proved to be too physical and disciplined, Coate said.

The Rangers (0-1) started their first three drives within their own 10-yard line, which set their opponent up within Park territory after each punt on those possessions. Full statistics were unavailable.

“We knew they were going to start fast,” Coate said. “Unfortunately they started fast again tonight too.”

The Rangers host Sidney next week.

“They know now what’s expected,” Coate said of his players. “There’s a lot of kids who weren’t ready for the speed of the game. I think they just take it as a learning experience. They weren’t turning on each other. They know what they’re getting into next time.”

Colton Pool can be reached at cpool@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2690. Follow him on Twitter @CPoolReporter.