Unaka battles Pickett County to 28-22 loss; Ramsey breaks school record

Published 4:49 pm Monday, November 5, 2018

They may have lost, but according to Unaka head coach O’Brien Bennett, Saturday’s game against Pickett County at Grace Christian meant more than what happened on the gridiron.

“Our kids had a great experience playing in the CAREacter Star Charity Classic,” said Bennett about Saturday’s contest that Pickett won, 28-22. “I told our kids after the game that, although we came out on the short end, we were able to work toward something that’s even bigger than football. We raised money to help with chemically addicted babies in the NICU at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Because of their work this week and effort during the game, someone’s child will live a better life. They may walk past that kid on the street one day and never know that was the one that their effort saved.

“That’s why I love the game,” added Bennett. “It teaches kids to sacrifice “self” in pursuit of serving something greater than one’s self. A self-serving life ends up very small and full of regret. This team accomplished something today that is greater than the score of the game.”

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The Rangers’ participation in Saturday’s benefit game continues a trend of community service by the players from Stoney Creek, who have put in hours of service locally.

“This group of seniors has worked and accomplished things that transcend their record the last two years,” said Bennett. “Their service to the community and their play on the field has laid a foundation that will be here long after they leave. The fact that Stoney Creek kids will get to grow up and wear the ‘U’ at all on a Friday night is due in no small part to this group of kids’ efforts.

“Today we were on the short end of the scoreboard,” added Bennett. “But I think they will look back and remember having a great experience and know they left here today and ended their career at Unaka with a victory bigger than what is shown in a box score or on a stat sheet.”

Ramsey sets a school record

Unaka senior quarter John Ramsey made a big accomplishment during his final game as a Ranger.

Ramsey threw for 295 yards Saturday giving him the Unaka single-season passing record of 2,182 yards. The senior slinger had 21 total touchdowns in 2018 (11 passing, 10 rushing). Saturday’s performance allowed Ramsey to finish with a school record of 5,128 career passing yards. Ramsey finished his run at Unaka with 57 touchdowns.

Game Stats

John Boy Ramsey:  295 yards passing

Logan Benway: 80 yards from scrimmage 2 TD

Bryson Street: 2 catches 68 yards 1 TD

Devin Ramsey: 3 catches 94 yards

NickBowers: 2 2-point conversions

Garrett Stiltner: 13 Tackles, 4 Tackles for Loss, 2 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

Bryce Street: 11 Tackles

Nick Bowers: 11 Tackles

Season Stats

Garrett Stiltner: 13 tackles for loss

Bryson Street: 120 total tackles

Daniel Shearl (freshman): 6 INT 6 PBU

Devin Ramsey (freshman): 4 INT 8 PBU

Logan Benway: 905 scrimmage yards, 8 TDs, 5 2-point conversions

Devon Jarrett: 785 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Devin Ramsey: 502 receiving yards

How Saturday’s game played out

The Pickett County Bobcats struck first in the opening quarter, with Pickett County’s Parker Gore scoring on a 94-yard catch-and-run.

The Rangers got on board in the second period as Ramsey hit Street on a 9-yard TD toss. Gore would pull in another TD pass for the Bobcats, sending the teams to the locker room, with Pickett leading 14-6.

A 13-yard rushing TD by Benway came before a 2-point conversion pass from Ramsey to Bowers, allowing the Ranger to tie the game up at 14-14 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.

Pickett County would make good on another TD pass to move ahead 21-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

After trading punts, the Bobcats moved their score on out to 28-14 in the fourth. A deep 60-yard pass from Ramsey to Street would set the Rangers up on the 10 before Benway rushed into the end zone from there. A 2-point conversion run from Bowers allowed the Rangers to make it a 28-22 game.

A 65-yard pass to Devin Ramsey from John Ramsey would get the Rangers on the 10-yard line again. The Bobcats, however, pulled in a game-clinching interception to stop the Rangers.

Comment on the game

“We gave up too many big plays,” said Bennett. “Our defense put themselves in good shape, making plays in the backfield, and creating third-and-long situations, but we were unable to finish and get off the field on third down. A lot of credit goes to Pickett County’s kids for making plays in those situations. Offensively, we had several good drives stall in the red zone on a dropped pass, a missed block, or on a misfired ball. Those are plays that we are used to making and we just didn’t make them consistently enough this afternoon to win. I don’t think we came out with the sense of urgency that is needed to get a good start out of the gate. That’s something we will have to work on in the future with regards to our travel pre-game routine as we get ready for playoff football next season.”