Rangers drop home opener to Jellico

Published 12:11 am Saturday, September 15, 2018

Despite a big game from Unaka quarter John Ramsey and receiver Devon Jarrett, the Rangers couldn’t top Jellico at Lynn Goddard Field during Friday night’s home opener and Region 1A game.
Ramsey tossed for 295 yards on 13-20 attempts while connecting on 3 passing touchdowns, during Friday’s 44-34 loss. Ramsey also had a rushing touchdown. Jarrett had 8 catches for 221 yards while pulling in two touchdown receptions.
“We are banged up, and we don’t have hardly anybody,” said Ramsey. “Our guys fought and we couldn’t ask nothing more of them. They gave 110 percent. Talent isn’t there sometimes, but you can’t hang your head on that.”
The Rangers didn’t take long to get the scoring started as they scored on the first drive of the game. In three plays from their own 32, Unaka found paydirt with Ramsey hitting Jarrett on a 38-yard touchdown toss. The 2-point conversion came up short, and Unaka held a 6-0 lead early.
The Blue Devils quickly returned the favor, marching down the field in five plays that saw quarterback Noah Smith running in from 6 yards out tying thing up at 6-6 with 7:16 left in the first quarter.
Unaka scored even quicker on their next possession with Ramsey finding Jarrett again. This time it was a deep throw for a 62-yard touchdown play. Another 2-point conversion fail would it make 12-6 halfway through the first quarter.
The teams ended the first quarter both going four and out. After a lengthy drive towards the back end of the opening quarter, the Blue Devils scored early in the second as Noah Albertini, who was a thorn in the Rangers’ side all evening, ran in a 1-yard touchdown. Jellico’s Keaton Jones ran in the 2-point, giving the Devils a 14-12 lead.
After a failed possession from the Rangers, Jellico’s Smith found teammate Ethan Davenport on a 34-yard passing touchdown. The Rangers followed up with a 1-yard rushing TD from Ramsey, and with Logan Benway running in the 2-point conversion, the game was tied at 20-20 late in the second half.
The Blue Devils struck with just seconds left in the half as Smith hit Andrew Buttram on a fade route from 10-yards out. The touchdown gave Jellico a 26-20 lead heading into intermission.
Jellico opened the third with a 26-yard rushing TD from Albertini following an eight-play drive. Benway tightened the score to 32-26 as he rushed in from 11 yards out.
An 80-yard kickoff return by Albertini and a 4-yard TD carry from Smith gave Jellico a 44-26 lead early in the fourth.
The Rangers scored one last time as Ramsey found Benway on a 3-yard touchdown pass that was followed up with Benway running in the 2-point conversion.
With time running out, Rangers Daniel Shearl made a highlight reel interception to give Unaka a chance at a comeback victory. However, Unaka’s final drive came up short.
“We can’t fault their effort,” said Unaka head coach O’Brien Bennett. “We had way too many missed tackles and way too many miss assignments. We had way too many missed opportunities. We are not where we can win games when we miss opportunities.”
The Rangers (1-3, 0-2) will be at Sullivan North next week.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox