Rangers pick up first conference win, topping Cosby 38-14

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, September 12, 2023

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By C.Y. Peters
Star Correspondent
The Unaka High School football team clashed with Cosby in their first conference game of the season and came away with a 38-14 win. The anticipation in the air was palpable as the home crowd gathered to witness what would unfold on the gridiron.
Unaka’s quarterback, Brynin Repass, was poised to lead the charge. From the very beginning, he set the tone, completing four precision passes for 63 yards before leaving the game for a shoulder injury and will be out the rest of the season. Conner McKinney also showcased his arm, throwing two passes for 58 yards, adding another dimension to the team’s offense.
However, it was the ground game that truly stole the show. A.J. Greenless, a force to be reckoned with, bulldozed his way through the Cosby defense, rushing 20 times for an astonishing 154 yards and finding the end zone three times. Repass himself wasn’t content with just passing; he carried the ball 15 times for 90 yards and even scored a touchdown. McKinney joined the rushing frenzy, racking up 108 yards on 10 carries and crossing the goal line twice.
The passing game also had its shining moments, with Isiah White catching four passes for 85 yards, showcasing their versatility on offense.
Defensively, Unaka was equally relentless. Conner McKinney led the charge with four tackles, while Jake Taylor, A.J. Greenless, and Brynin Repass each contributed three tackles to keep Cosby’s offense at bay. Marcus Shoemaker said, “We played a sloppy game and still gave ourselves a chance to win; next week, we will have to be more disciplined to be able to beat Jellico.”
After the game, Coach O’Brien Bennett couldn’t hide his enthusiasm. “We got a big region win versus Cosby this week,” he said with a grin. “We wanted our first two games to be really tough opponents to get us ready for a very improved Region 1 slate.”
Bennett, however, wasn’t blind to his team’s room for improvement. “We came out and jumped on them early, but didn’t put them away. Once again, the last 3 minutes of the half cost us two scores.”
With their eyes set on the next challenge, a game against Jellico, Bennett was well aware of the tough task ahead. “We are going to have to find a way to generate some offense against them to have a chance. They have a very tough backfield led by Tray Jefferson, who is an explosive athlete they line up all over the field.”
Bennett concluded with a determined tone, “We will have to avoid the end-of-half slumps that have plagued us in each game so far this season.” With their spirits high and lessons learned, the Rangers look forward to the battles yet to come, ready to conquer their region and continue their journey toward victory.
Jellico is 3-1 this year, but have yet to put up more than 14 points in a game. They beat Lynn Camp Ky 14-8, North Greene 14-7 and won a forfeit over Tri-Cities Christian 1-0.

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