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Unaka to host Twin Springs in a non-conference clash

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN

STAR CORRESPONDENT

The Unaka Rangers should have a slight advantage on Twin Springs when the Titans come to Goddard Field on Friday night as they had a week off to prepare. Since the Rangers 54-22 loss to Cloudland, they enjoyed a bye week to get ready.

Junior quarterback Landon Ramsey passed for 157 yards and three touchdowns – giving him five scoring tosses on the young season – but the Rangers could not contain the Highlander run game forcing the team to throw.

Unaka (1-1 overall) takes on a team coming off a 41-16 loss to Holston, Va. but opened the season with a 14-6 win over Northwoods.

Balance should be the focus for Unaka as they opened with a 42-0 victory at North Greene in a game where the Rangers had a pair of 100-plus yard runners.

“We were not mentally prepared for the physicality Cloudland brought,” Rangers head coach O’Brien Bennett said. “So with the bye week, which came at a good time, we worked on ourselves getting better and being mentally tough.

“Teams are going to make plays, we have to be prepared for that and not let one bad play become a whole series of bad plays. When that snowball rolls downhill it just gains momentum and that is what we worked on this week.”

Twins Springs has some weapons and they usually run 60/40 as a run to pass ratio. Running backs Ryan Horne and Kyler Ford is usually the focus of the offense especially when they run the Wildcat.

“They are two tough runners,” Bennett said. “Horne is their main back and he gets the bulk of the carries. He runs real hard and we are going to have to meet him in the hole with force. He has a quick first step and when they are not in Wildcat they will throw to both backs.”

Twins Springs boasts a big front line as well with OT Kye Hale, G Levi Quillen, and DT/OT Jayden Collins.

“They run well behind that big line and Ford as well as Horne are capable of big plays,” Bennett said. “They catch the ball well on screens and can make extra yardage and Robbie Moore can just flat out fly, so they have some weapons.”

The Rangers will hope to match those weapons by unleashing weapons of their own in RB’s Jamol Blamo and Takoda Freeman as well as senior WR Devin Ramsey who always seems to make big, exciting plays.

Game time is 7:30 pm.