Rangers look to ground Eagles

Published 10:50 am Friday, August 26, 2016



Coming off a lopsided road loss at North Greene, the Unaka Rangers (0-1) look to some home cooking to help get them on track as Cosby comes to call on Friday night at Goddard Field.

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The Rangers fell 38-14 at Cosby last season, but have a larger number of players to call upon this season and the coaches feel they have solidified the quarterback position with junior Blake King taking over as the number one.

“Blake has done a good job back there,” Rangers head coach Steve McKinney said. “The kids respect him and follow him. Last year we went kind of back and forth but we feel that the best man stepped up and we like him there.”

King offers athleticism and a strong arm and with a season under his belt has a better command of the offense. He has a pair of tailbacks in junior Hunter Bentley and senior Ray Combs as well as senior fullback Austin Taylor in the backfield.

At the receiver positions are sophomore Devon Jarrett, junior Hunter Rice and a group of youngsters in sophomores Logan Godsey, Ben Whaley, Matthew Powers and junior Roby Bach. The tight ends are K.J. Arnold and Bryson Street.

This is Cosby’s season opener and McKinney stated they have changed their offense up a bit saying, “They are more of an I formation team from what I have seen on film. They are more of a power offense than a spread you out team. They have good speed at receiver and a running back that runs hard and they have two or three real good linemen.”

Cosby’s quarterback is junior Andrew Lillard with senior John Dobbs at the tailback spot. Junior Darien Johnson is also in the mix in the Eagles backfield and he possesses speed and elusiveness as well as pass catching ability.

Senior Joseph Freshour is the Eagles deep threat at wide receiver along with juniors Ty Way and Isaiah Benjamin seeing time at receiver.

Eagles head coach Kevin Hall said of his two juniors who are primarily basketball players in an interview with NET Tennessee said, “Ty will play tight end. He was one of the better basketball players last year and is very athletic. He is a very coachable, hard working kid. Isaiah is a great athlete that will play wide receiver and defensive back. He has turned into a good rout runner over the summer and we are glad to have him.”

As is always the case turnovers and penalties must be kept to a minimum if the Rangers are to keep this game within reach and allow the offense to operate at it’s best. If they can do that Unaka should have a puncher’s chance to knock off a 2A team.

“Defensively we want to slow them down,” McKinney said. “I think we can do that because we have some real leadership here in Austin, Jacob Rash and Combs. We have some better numbers than we have had and we should be able to rest some guys that play both ways.”

Game time is 7:30 pm