Hancock County scalps Unaka

Published 4:06 pm Friday, October 21, 2016


Featuring a punishing ground game the Hancock County Indians crushed the Unaka Rangers 46-0 on Thursday night at Goddard Field in a conference game. The Tribe’s ground attack gashed Unaka for 322 yards in the first half alone with Caleb Baker leading the way with 180 yards on nine rushes. He finished with 187 with Zach Seal contributing 130 ground yards.

The Rangers were without Hunter Bentley, their top running back and were in passing mode all night. Junior quarterback Blake King completed 19-of-41 passes for 148 yards, but had three passes picked off.

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When asked if he felt more pressure with no run game to speak of King said, “Coach wouldn’t put me in if he didn’t think I could handle it. Our young kids are going to get better. It’s a different game from middle school to high school but if they stick with it they will get better. I just try to do what I can and it puts a lot of pressure on me, but that will make me a better player.”

Seal got the Indians on the scoreboard with a 13 yard run to cap Hancock’s first drive – a nine play, 56 yard drive – to give the Tribe a 6-0 lead when the point after kick missed. After forcing a Ranger punt the Indians went on another scoring drive with Seal finishing with a six yard run.

Seal also ran in the two point try for a 14-0 Hancock lead.

In the second period Seth Hipshire scored on a 25 yard scamper and with the failed run Hancock took a 20-0 lead. Hancock ended the next Unaka drive with a sack from QB/LB Trevor Parks and Hipshire scored his second touchdown on a one yard run. Nathaniel Seal’s kick made it a 27-0 Indians lead.

Baker got into the end zone on the next Indians possession on a nine yard plunge to stake Hancock County to a 33-0 halftime advantage.

“It hurts to lose your running back,” said Rangers head coach Steve McKinney. “It takes a lot away from your team. King threw the ball well tonight and our young receivers caught it pretty good. They do a good job running routes and both are freshmen so it bodes well for the future. They have learned a lot from each game this year, but it is sad for the seniors.”

Hancock scored on its first drive of the second half to force a continuous running clock as Seal scored on a 19 yard run for a 39-0 Indians lead. Hipshire finished the scoring for Hancock in the fourth quarter on a 33 yard run.

“We had a couple of disappointing losses the last couple of weeks,” said Indians head coach Brandon Gibbs. “We played hard but had too many mistakes to overcome. Tonight we played mistake free and came in here really hungry. We had a good week of practice and now we get a bye week before we go to the playoffs. I’m so proud of these kids, this is the first Hancock County team to beat Unaka and finish third in the conference.”