Unaka falls to North Greene

Published 11:17 pm Friday, August 21, 2015



Unaka got behind early and things rolled downhill from there on Friday night at Goddard Field.

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North Greene rushed for 227 yards and four touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Tyler Stroud passed for another as the Huskies built a 26-6 halftime lead over Unaka. As a result, North Greene earned a 53-20 opening game win over the Rangers.

Stroud rushed for 124 of his 184 total yards in the opening half with two touchdowns and Elijah Sauls added 73 more in the first half with a scoring run as well.

For the game NG tallied 521 yards of total offense with Sauls finishing with 134 yards on 17 carries.

The Huskies (1-0) took advantage of three Ranger turnovers in the first half with freshman quarterback John “Boy” Ramsey, and sophomore quarterback Blake King each getting picked off once each and senior tailback Micah Hunt fumbling once.

North Greene forced a Ranger punt and took possession at the 11-yard line after a penalty. From there the Huskies marched 89 yards in 10 plays with Stroud taking the ball 11 yards for the touchdown and a 6-0 NG lead.

On his first pass attempt, Ramsey was intercepted by Sauls, with no return but NG took control at the three yard line. The Huskies went on a 16-play drive that saw Josh Estepp take the ball into the end zone from 15 yards out. Stroud hit Russell Dawson for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 lead.

Hunt lost the handle on a second and three play and Wes Dotson recovered for NG at the Unaka 35 yard line. On the first play, Stroud threw deep toward Dawson where two Rangers defenders converged. Dawson caught the deflected ball in the end zone to stake the Huskies to a 20-0 advantage.

King was intercepted by Spencer Cutshall on Unaka’s next possession and six plays later Sauls ran it in from the four yard line for a 26-0 lead.

In a penalty-filled first half, Unaka managed to get off seven plays in the last 26 seconds of the half and Hunt ran four yards for the score with 2.6 ticks remaining to make it a 26-6 halftime score.

“We need to cut down on our needless penalties,” Huskies head coach Scotty Verran said. “Our passing game is getting better. Where this game was won was in the summer, in the weight room. Our offensive line was just stronger than their line and it showed.”

In the third period the Huskies scored three times, the first coming on a 63-yard pass from Stroud to Dawson. The next came after a three and out from Unaka and was a one yard run from Dawson that capped a seven play drive.

NG finished off the period with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Spencer Cutshall to give the Huskies a 46-6 advantage. On the ensuing kickoff, Cody Compton was injured and was taken by ambulance to the hospital for observation.

Unaka then scored on a 43-yard scamper from Hunt who finished with 89 yards rushing and two scores. NG matched that with a 23-yard run by Estepp for his second tally of the game.

King capped the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Guinn with just over a minute left.

“North Greene has got kids 18 years old and we have a couple of 15-year-olds on our line,” Rangers head coach Steve McKinney said. “They just wore us down with that big number 74 (Jacob Isham) but we had some bright spots. We just have to get better and come out ready to go against Cosby next week.”