Powell, Huskies upend youthful Rangers

Published 12:34 am Saturday, August 20, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden  Ray Combs (#20) shakes off a pair of Huskies for the Rangers' lone touchdown of the game.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Ray Combs (#20) shakes off a pair of Huskies for the Rangers’ lone touchdown of the game.


The Huskes’ bite proved to be more vicious than their bark.

Led by a four-touchdown performance from running back Jacques Powell, the North Greene opened up the year with a 50-8 victory over Unaka Friday night in Baileyton to open up the 2016 season.

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Undermanned and loaded down with a bevy of first-year players, Rangers head coach Steve “Pink” McKinney said it was a humbling experience but liked some of the fight he saw from his guys.

“The score didn’t really indicate what we could do as a team,” McKinney said. “But coach (Scotty) Verran was very gracious to us by taking out his starters there in the second half but that was a learning experience for us. We have several kids out there tonight who have never played under the lights before.

“Our kids fight hard,” he added. “We have around 22 to 23 kids. We don’t have a lot of subs so a lot of our guys are going both ways. Scotty has some great skill players, but hopefully this will be good experience for our guys for the rest of season.”

North Greene jumped out early with a three-play, 65-yard drive opening drive capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Stroud to Matt Page. Following a quick three-and-out by Unaka, Powell rumbled for his first touchdown of the evening from 35 yards out.

But the Rangers showed the ‘Creeker Pride’ on the following possession with receiver Ray Combs taking a short pass from Blake King 70 yards to paydirt to put Unaka on the board.

“They had that quick drive there to open the game,” McKinney said. “They stopped us on our first drive, scored again, and we could have quit. But we were able to go down the field and get a score. It says a lot about the guys, they don’t give up and are putting in a lot of effort each night at practice.”

Powell went on to rush for over 150 yards and tacked on the remainder of his scores in the first half.

Compton put the final staple on the contest, rushing from 57 yards out on a punt return near the end of the second quarter. Stroud’s PAT gave the game it’s final score tally with an abbreviated second half due to the score and problems throughout the evening with the scoreboard.

Unaka did make a little noise in the second half with King connecting with Devon Jarrett on a drive-extending four down in the third quarter. Combs and Zach Taylor also came up with four tackles for losses in the second half to stall any Greene County momentum.

The Rangers will host the Cosby Eagles next Friday to begin a four-game home stretch in Stoney Creek. Kickoff will be set at 7:30 p.m.