Rangers look to bounce back from a tough loss

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 30, 2019

STONEY CREEK- If everybody is working for the weekend, Unaka was working for Monday. Monday finally brought a conclusion to the Rangers long-awaited season opener following a lightning suspension on Friday night. The game ended with the Rangers on the wrong side of a 32-20 scoreline.
But, the time for mourning the loss was short as the Rangers had a quick week to prepare for their home opener versus the Cosby Eagles. This change required some changes to the normal routine.
The biggest difference was being on an abbreviated preparation and recovery schedule,” coach O’Brien Bennett said about the odd week. “We had to come home from a big disappointment Monday and immediately begin film preparation and game-planning for Cosby.”
Cosby is coming off a thrilling overtime victory over Hancock County on Friday night and Unaka will have to make the most of their little prep time.
“Most of our preparation this week will be mental, really emphasizing the what, why, and how of what we do as we only have three days of recovery time,” Bennett stated. “We are working in helmets on dummies this week to ensure we recover physically and are fresh and ready to play fast Friday.”
The Rangers do have something to build off though as they played quite well versus North Greene and barring a few mistakes the Rangers had a chance to win.
“We had two turnovers Friday and a bad snap over the punter’s head. Two of the three miscues led to touchdowns on a short field,” Bennett explained as he wasn’t too pleased with his teams mishandling of the ball. “Monday we had three turnovers that led to two more TDs. We gave up a long TD pass into double coverage on a 4th and 21.”
What felt like an opportunity to start on the right foot is being corrected this week.
“This week, we have been talking about who we really are. We didn’t play our game. We didn’t do things the way we do them. We didn’t take care of the ‘details’ that make all the difference,” Bennett said. “We weren’t ourselves.
“We told the kids they are what they continually do, and that wasn’t us. That wasn’t the way we act, practice, or compete. It was an anomaly.
“This week, we have to remember who we are, what we have continually done, and the way and character with which we do things and not slip into negativity or complacency when things get tough,” Bennett finished on how his team could leave the past behind a turnover a new leaf in week two.
The big key this week is making sure the big men on the defensive front make it a rough Friday night for the opposition quarterback.
“Drew Smith, Jordan Day, Nick Bowers, and Ryan Peters have to have a great night to keep their QB contained,” Bennett commented as the Rangers have to keep a lid on Eagle’s quarterback Hunter Workman. “Their QB is a one-man highlight reel, and keeping him contained will have to be a priority.”
On the other side of the ball, everyone needs to take a step up moving forward.
“Offensively, look for Landon Ramsey, Logan Benway, Daniel Shearl, Devin Ramsey, and Austin Drew to continue to make plays,” Bennett said on his skill players but didn’t leave out the big hogs up front either.
“We have a lot of confidence in our guys up front – Logan Taylor, Aaron Tipton, Nathaniel Oaks, Cody Drew, Colby Jones, and Jordan Day to open up holes in the run game and give our QBs time to work.”
Kickoff in Stoney Creek is at 7 pm on Friday as Unaka will look to get the ball rolling for their home opener.

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