Unaka falls in heartbreaker to Hancock, 30-28

Published 11:34 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

Despite a miraculous touchdown pass from Unaka in the final stages of the game, Hancock County barely escaped Stoney Creek with a 30-28 Region 1-A win Friday night.
On fourth-and-long on their own 40, the Rangers, trailing 30-22 with time running out, were looking for anything to get on the board. And Unaka’s Reid Taylor answered the call. Rangers QB Will Sexton pitched Taylor the ball. Taylor dropped backed to pass but found himself being chased by a Hancock defender. While on the run, Taylor made a deep pass to the left sideline that found Unaka’s Devon Jarrett in stride. Jarrett was off to paydirt for a 60-yard touchdown pass bringing Unaka within two points. However, the 2-point conversion failed, and Hancock ran the clock out on the following drive.
In the fourth, the Rangers got within eight points of Hancock on a lengthy drive that saw Unaka’s Garrett Stiltner power in from 4-yards out. The 2-point conversion was good as Rangers back up QB Sexton, in for John Ramsey who suffered an injury in the fourth, fired a pass into the end zone that was tipped up and caught just before it hit the ground by Unaka senior Roby Bach. With 9:01 left in the fourth, the Rangers were down 30-22 to Hancock.
Hancock got on the board first Friday night as Indians’ Seth Hipshire powered into the end zone from 2-yards out. Hancocks Logan Sellers pushed in the 2-point conversion to give the Indians a 7-0 lead with 2:37 left in the first quarter.
On the following drive, Ramsey would connect with Unaka receiver Blake Isaacs on a 25-yard pass play to put the Rangers on the Indians’ 9-yard line. Unaka would make it to the five before a penalty pushed them back to the 10. On third-and-10, Ramsey would pitch the ball to Taylor who found Isaacs on a 10-yard passing touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed, and Hancock held an 8-6 lead with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second, Hancock’s Sellers rushed for a 46-yard touchdown before running in the 2-point conversion to give the Indians a 16-6 lead with 10:27 left in the half.
The Rangers answered on the following drive as Ramsey passed to Isaacs for a 44-yard touchdown. Ramsey would also find Bach on the 2-point conversion to narrow Hancock’s lead to 16-14 with 9:14 left in the second quarter.
The final touchdown of the half came from Hancock’s Hipshire on a 5-yard run, and with the 2-point conversion good the Indians led 24-14.
The Indians took a 30-14 lead with 45.7 seconds left in the third on a 1-yard plunge from Hipshire. The Unaka defense would make a crucial stop on the 2-point conversion.
For a more in-depth story with stats, photos, and comments from Unaka head coach O’Brien Bennett pick up the Elizabethton Star’s Gridiron Weekly which will be out this Tuesday.

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