Unicoi outpaces Unaka, 64-30

Published 10:59 pm Sunday, October 8, 2017

In a matchup that saw 13 touchdowns scored, the Unicoi Blue Devils scored early and often to top the visiting Unaka Rangers, 64-30.
On the opening kickoff, the Blue Devils returned the ball deep to the Rangers 6-yard line from where Unicoi’s Bret Strother ran in a touchdown on the first play of the game. Blue Devils’ Martin Porras booted in the point-after attempt, giving Unicoi an early 7-0 lead.
Unaka’s second possession of the game saw the Rangers get into the red zone after a deep pass from Ranger QB John Ramsey connected with Unaka’s Devon Jarrett for a 37-yard play. However, the Rangers couldn’t capitalize turning the ball over on downs.
The Blue Devils took advantage of the turnover as they drove to the Ranger 6 once again after five plays. Strother finished off the possession with a 6-yard TD carry to give Unicoi a 13-0 lead with 3:18 left in the first.
With 37.9 left in the opening quarter, Unicoi QB Brock Thompson hit teammate Troy Podvin on a 46-yard passing TD. With the PAT good, Unicoi moved its lead to 20-0.
The Blue Devils continued to roll in the second quarter as they posted three unanswered touchdowns with Unicoi’s Kody Lewis running in a 9-yarder, Thompson connecting with Unicoi’s Austin O’Dell on 10-yard TD pass, and Blue Devil Bradley Edwards returning a Unaka fumble for a TD. At the half, Unicoi held a sizable 42-0 lead.
The Blue Devils found the end zone first in the third quarter with Lewis getting into the end zone on a 9-yard run, propelling his team to a 49-0 lead.
Unaka answered on its following drive with Ramsey hitting Jarrett on a 23-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed and Unaka cut into Unicoi’s lead 49-6 with 3:14 left in the third.
The fourth quarter was a scoring fest as the teams combined for five touchdowns.
It was again Unicoi getting on the scoreboard first. Blue Devil Tanner VanHoy rushed in 25-yards out before the PAT giving Unicoi a 50-point lead, 56-6.
However, the Rangers quickly answered with Ramsey finding Unaka’s Blake Isaacs on a short route before Isaacs rolled to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown.
On Unicoi’s ensuing possession, a big tackle from Unaka lineman Matthew Barnett forced a fumble that was recovered by Unaka’s Garrett Stiltner. The turnover resulted in a 26-yard TD run from Unaka’s Longan Benway. Stiltner made easy work of the 2-point conversion run cutting into Unicoi’s lead 56-22.
The Blue Devils scored one last time as Diego Diaz ran in from 47 yards out.
The final TD of the contest came as Unaka’s Isaacs returned a kickoff roughly 75 yards to paydirt. Unaka QB WIll Sexton connected with Nick Powers on the 2-point conversion pass.
The Rangers will be on the road next Friday as they travel to Hancock County.
For a more in-depth report with more photos, stats, and quotes pick up Tuesday’s edition of Gridiron Weekly.

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