Rangers heading to coal country Friday night

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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The Unaka Rangers are coming off one of the most hard-fought contests they have played this season as they held off the Class 2A Happy Valley Warriors last Friday by a narrow 8-6 decision for their first win over the cross-county rival since 1996.

Their reward this week is loading the Carter County buses and traveling over hill and dale as well as two state lines on their way to the land of coal as the Rangers take on Harlan Greene Dragons in Harlan, Kentucky Friday night.

The Greene Dragons are coming off back-to-back defeats to Middlesboro (44-6) and Sayre (42-0) and are 2-3 on the season. Unaka is off to a 3-2 start.

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Coach O’Brien Bennett is hoping that his team can keep the momentum rolling after their big win and will be counting on the Ramsey Brothers plus a large supporting cast to get the job done.

Quarterback Landon Ramsey is coming off a 200-yard passing night against the Warriors while his brother, Devin, is the main target and dangerous from anywhere on the field.

Jamol Blamo is also starting to hit full stride for Unaka at the right time rushing close to 350 yards over his last two games. Landon also has targets Caleb Lydick and Takoda Freeman in his arsenal which is starting to create a lot of matchup problems for the opposition.

On the defensive side of the football, the Rangers are getting a balanced defensive effort as Drew Smith recorded seven tackles in Unaka’s game against the Warriors. Devin Ramsey, Freeman, and Johnny Douglas also bring excellent ball hunting skills to the defensive unit as Freeman and Douglas had interceptions last week to thwart any offensive effort by the Warriors.

Isaiah White had an interception also while Nathan Painter added five stops with Brayden Powell and Blamo adding four tackles apiece.

The Green Dragons are prone to give up points as they have allowed 155 points through five games – a 31-point per game average. They have scored 90 points offensively – an 18-point per game output.

Unaka, meanwhile, has scored 158 points on the season while allowing opponents 108 with half of those coming against Cloudland.

The kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm.