Twin Springs sends Rangers home with a 44-32 Loss

Published 11:08 pm Friday, September 9, 2022

By C.Y. Peters
Star Correspondent
Nickelsville, Va. – Up in the mountains past Hooverville and beyond Kelsey Creek, down in the Valley is Twin Springs School. The road there is long and winding with only bears and deer to look at on your route.  At 7 pm on Friday night, it was kick-off and minutes after Unaka received the ball for their first possession. That’s when the yellow flags began to fly.  I always heard of home cookin’, but in Virginia, it was better than my grandma’s fried chicken.  Every time in the first half the Rangers made a play for a big gain, here come the yellow.  A total of nine times in the first while Twin Springs was penalized for zero yards.
Ryan Horne would be unstoppable for the Titans in the first half scoring twice while leading his team to a 20-12 halftime lead. His first score would come with 5:36 in the first.  Unaka had received the ball and after three penalties turned the ball over, one of those was a 28-yard pass to Jamol Blamo for what would have been a first down.
The Rangers would tie the score in only 17-seconds on a 57-yard pass to Blamo for a score.  Colton Kilgore would give the Titans the lead with .43 seconds left in the first on a 12-yard pass play.  Unaka started on the 38 and a couple of Landon Ramsey runs and a couple of pass completions, Takota Freeman tied the score at 12 with 7:04 left in the first half.
Brandon Powell, Jacob Wilson and Marcus Shomaker were making big tackles on defense.  Horne scored his second touchdown on a pass play with 7:04 before half also running the PAT for a 20-12 lead.   On the Rangers next possession, they picked up their fifth, sixth and seventh penalties of the game.  Both teams punted one time in the first half.
The Titans received the ball to start the third after a couple of first downs and were forced to punt.  Unaka started their first possession on the 22. A pitch to Josh Mann up the left side picked up 25 yards.  Ramsey would add 26-yards on a run the next play.  Blamo would cap off a 78-yard drive for the final 30-yard and a touchdown, his second on the night.  The PAT failed and the Rangers trailed 20-18.
The first fumble of the game came on the Titans next possession.  Joe-z Blamo recovered on the Titans 48.  After a failed pass play, Blamo went up the middle for 30-yards and on the next play, a pass to Freeman for his second T.D. and a Ranger lead.  The PAT was good and Unaka led 26-20.
Behind for the first time, Twin Springs moved the ball down the field on three yellow flags against the Rangers moving the ball to the one.  Quarterback Abel Dingus pushed his way for the score and Horne broke tackles for the extra two points to regain the lead 28-20.
Unaka’s Ramsey would break tackles and pick up 30-yards on 4th down but an offensive face mask penalty would bring the ball halfway back,  their 12th of the game. That would end the third with the Titans leading 28-26.
The fourth started as Ramsey went back to pass and what was clearly a pass was called a fumble with Twin Springs recovering.  On the first play another Ranger flag went for 15 yards for the Titans moving them across mid-field. They would move the ball down to the 20 and on third and one Horne went up the middle for another touchdown and he also added the two-point conversion for a 36-26 lead with 6:30 to play in the game.
The Rangers got the ball on the 48 and a good return by Ramsey.  On the first play, guess what?  a penalty moved the Rangers back to the 43.  Blamo’s run picks up 20 yards moving the ball across the 50, down to the 36. A pass to Joe-z picks up a first down at the 21 with time down to four minutes.  When Ramsey is caught in the backfield, it looks like a loss, he shuttle passes to Ryan Peters who raced to the end zone for a score bringing Unaka within four 36-32 with 3:54 left in the game.
Unaka’s on-side kick failed although they marked the ball on the 50.  Twin Springs Horne would pick up a couple of first downs before high stepping up the middle for another touchdown and secure the win for the Titans 44-32.

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