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Rangers, Warriors to lock horns on Warrior Hill

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Both Happy Valley and Unaka returned to the win column last week with Unaka defeating Jellico 24-14 behind a huge rushing game from senior RB Daniel Shearl and the Warriors got seven touchdowns in a 49-0 whitewashing of Cosby.
The two county foes will lock horns on Friday night on Warrior Hill in a non-conference clash.
Unaka (2-1 overall) rode the strong running of Shearl who galloped for 321 yards on 32 carries and the Rangers will certainly look to establish him once again behind a veteran offensive line.
The Warriors (2-2 overall) got touchdown runs from Matthew Bahn, Landon Babb, Andrew Little, Gabe Nickles, and Pedro Colunga as well as two touchdown tosses from senior quarterback Eli Ayers as HV put it’s best offensive effort of the season on display last week.
“Happy Valley does things right over there,” Unaka head coach O’Brien Bennett said. “Coach Jarrett and his staff are always going to be prepared and disciplined and they won’t make a lot of mistakes.
“We took advantage of some mistakes last week but I don’t think they will make those kinds of mistakes. I hope they oblige us but I doubt it.”
Rangers sophomore quarterback Landon Ramsey passed for 65 yards on five completions and did not throw an interception. The Rangers defense rushed Jellico senior quarterback Joseph Paul into a horrendous eight-for-30 passing night with four interceptions.
The only glaring error on the part of Unaka was 11 penalties for 135 yards and that was an issue coach Bennett addressed saying, “We don’t have a lot of margin for error to make mistakes of our own.
“We have to cut down the penalties and we can’t give them any gifts because they are good enough to beat us without giving them anything.”
The Warriors defense was solid as a rock against the Eagles pitching a shutout and several three-and-out series.
The Rangers front line, for it’s part, opened enough holes for Shearl to have 15 runs of 10 yards or better including a 53-yard gallop and seniors Austin Fair, Nathaniel Oaks, Colby Jones, Jordan Day and juniors Cody Drew and Logan Taylor will all rotate in to keep the line fresh.
The Warriors boast a solid line as well with junior Cameron Cochran and Mason Hicks and Peyton Primeau and others leading the way for Bahn and Little and offering up protection for Ayers in the passing game.
“We have a lot of good schools in this county that have strong traditions,” Bennett said. “We just want to prove that we belong at the table along with them by playing good, solid football and showing that we belong at the table.”
Game time is 7:30 pm.