Rangers fall at Jellico

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, September 16, 2017

Despite taking an early lead Friday night, Unaka’s first win eluded them as the Jellico Blue Devils sped to a 42-24 Region 1-A win.
After forcing the Devils to go three-and-out, Unaka’s first snap of the game would go over Rangers quarterback John Ramsey’s head and out of the end zone for a safety. The Blue Devils capitalized on their following possession with Jellico QB Jaden Gibson keeping to the end zone for 34-yards. The 2-point conversion failed, and the Devils led 8-0 with 8:30 left to go in the first quarter.
Unaka shook off the setback and drove 50 yards on 10 plays during their next drive which was capped off by a 6-yard TD carry by Rangers Garrett Stiltner. The TD cut Jellico’s lead to 8-6 with 4:36 left in the first.
The Rangers cut the Blue Devils’ following drive short as Unaka’s Nick Bowers laid a hit on Gibson that resulted in a fumble which was recovered by Rangers Isaac Hill. The turnover would lead to an 11-yard TD pass from Ramsey to Hill. After the failed conversion, Unaka led 12-8.
Holding Jellico to a punt again, Unaka turned over the ball as a pass from Ramsey was intercepted by Devils Noah Smith.
An unsportsman-like call against Unaka pushed Jellico to the 13-yard line, before Gibson scramble in for a TD. Gibson found Jellico’s Nick Rickman on the 2-point conversion, relinquishing the lead to the Devils, 16-12.
With 4:17 left in the first half, Jellico’s Kenny Elliot ran in an 8-yard touchdown giving Jellico a 22-12 lead at halftime.
The only touchdown in the third quarter came on a 20-yard run by Elliot to move Jellico’s lead to 28-12 heading into the fourth.
Elliot opened up the fourth with a 10-yard TD run giving the Devils a 34-12 gap with 8:12 left in the contest.
Unaka would answer on the following drive as the Rangers passing game started clicking. On first-and-10, Ramsey connected with Isaacs on a 20-yard TD pass. The prior play, Isaacs drug a slew of Devils roughly 9 yards after the catch to set the Rangers up in the red zone. The touchdown pass narrowed Jellico’s lead to 34-18.
Rangers Hill recovered the onsides kick. However, the following drive ended with Jellico’s Noah Albertini scoring on a fumble recovery.
Unaka had one more spark of life as Ramsey connected a bomb pass to Rangers Taylor Reid for a 32-yard pass play, getting Unaka to the Jellico 19. The drive ended with Ramsey hitting Taylor again on a 15-yard TD pass.
Next week, the Rangers will host Sullivan North.
For a more in-depth story with photos and box score pick up Tuesday’s edition of Gridiron Weekly in the Elizabethton Star.

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