Unaka run game pounds out win over Devils, 24-14
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
Senior running back Daniel Shearl rushed for 316 yards on 32 carries with four touchdowns as Unaka took a 24-14 conference victory over Jellico on Friday night at Goddard Field. Shearl scored on runs of 13, 1, and 12 and added a 70-yard interception return.
“Without my line doing the work they did I get zero yards,” Shearl said. “I did it for them. They opened the holes for me and I owe it to them and they are truly family.”
Unaka cornerback T.J. Thomas picked off Jellico senior quarterback Joseph Paul and the Rangers took over at the 42-yard line.
Shearl had runs of 19 and a touchdown run of 13 yards as Unaka (2-1, 2-0 conference) grabbed a 6-0 lead with the failed two-point try.
The Rangers forced a turnover on downs but were unable to generate much offense and were forced to punt. On Jellico’s next possession Shearl picked off Paul and raced 70 yards down the visiting sideline for the touchdown and a 12-0 Rangers lead.
Once again the two-point try was unsuccessful and the Blue Devils made good on their next possession traveling 73 yards on seven plays with Carter Bolton scoring on an 11-yard run. Paul ran in the deuce for a 12-8 score.
A penalty plagued first half saw a total of 17 flags – nine on Unaka and eight on Jellico – making for a long first half.
For the Rangers, Shearl rushed for 108 first-half yards on eight carries while Bolton carried eight times for 87 yards. Paul attempted 18 first-half passes completing five for 70 yards.
Shearl scored once again to open the third period on a one-yard run to cap a seven-play 44-yard drive and stake Unaka to an 18-8 lead. Shearl’s 12-yard run gave Unaka a 24-8 lead before Jellico drove 35 yards on two plays with Paul connecting with Kade Evans on a 20-yard scoring pass to make it 24-14.
The Rangers forced Paul into four interceptions and he finished eight-for-30 for 103 yards and one touchdown.
“We wanted to treat this like a business meeting,” Rangers head coach O’Brien Bennett said. “We wanted to make sure we focused on us and not a lot of other things.
“We didn’t do it as well as we could, we lost our cool at times and had too many personal foul penalties. That can be fixed and we will fix it.
“We got ate up with them but I don’t think that reflects who we are. We are 2-0 in the conference which is where we want to be and we want to make history and have a home playoff game her in November.”
Jellico 0 8 0 6 – 14
Unaka 12 0 6 6 – 24
U – Shearl 13 run (run failed) 8:06
U – Shearl 70 int return (pass failed) :40.0
J – Bolton 11 run (Paul run) 10:42
U – Shearl 1 run (run failed) 8:51
U – Shearl 12 run (run failed)7:02
J – Evans 20 pass from Paul (pass failed) 6:38
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