Rangers tripped by North Greene


Photo by Dave Boyd
Brent Huskins and Andrew Richardson (22) of Unaka pressure NG quarterback Dusty Neal.

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com
The North Greene Huskies continue to have a good showing in the first half of season, as they upended Unaka in a 24-7 final at Goddard Field on Friday night.
Coming off of last week's loss to Hurley, Unaka was trying to rebound, but the Huskies went to the air and took the wind out the Rangers' sails.
"It was a major step up from last week, even though our execution is still not there," said Unaka coach Mike Ensor. "What kills me is we're blowing stuff that we rep in practice. When we step out on the field we just don't execute it."
North Greene scored on its first possession on an eight-play drive of 64 yards.
A 37-yard run from Cody Parks set up a six-yard run from fullback David Lynch to give the Huskies a 6-0 lead with 6:25 left in the first period.
Unaka was successful in stopping North Greene on its next possession, after a couple of nice tackles came from Travis Pasquale and Charles Guinn.
The Rangers struggled in moving the ball, as senior fullback Joey Parlier suffered with an upset stomach during the night.
"I don't know what to do with Joey right now. He was sick the whole ball game, and what I can tell it's self-imposed nerves," said Ensor. "He's putting too much pressure on himself, and maybe we need to move him a couple of weeks until he can get settled back into playing again."
Unaka was forced to punt on its first three series with the ball, and with Parlier out, things did not go well for the Ranger offense.
"We've been real proud of our defense. In all three games they've played really well, and only given up a couple of touchdowns," said North Greene coach Tim Bailey.
The Rangers were making the stops on defense, with Pasquale, Brent Huskins and Kasey Garland all stuffing the run attack.
"It was a better effort than last week, but we're still making mental mistakes by jumping offsides and making stupid penalties," said Garland. "A lot of us left it laying on the field, and you can't ask for nothing better than that."
North Greene decided to go to the air, finding success with sophomore quarterback Dusty Neal, who completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Ormsbee.
"They knew we were going to run it, and we only threw it six times last week, which was by design," said Bailey. "They kindly shut our run down, so we dug a little deeper in the bag and pulled out a few pass plays, and Dusty Neal stepped up for us."
The Huskies led 12-0 with 8:51 left in the second quarter, and the Rangers showed few signs of being able to come back.
A drive from Unaka with the half winding down was the first time in the ball game that the Rangers were able to put together more than one first down in a series. The drive started from the Ranger 22-yard line, but ended once they got around the opponent's 20.
Facing a fourth-and-3, the pitch back to Guinn went nowhere, as two Husky defenders were all over the play before it developed.
"We had a few good drives, and then we just stopped," said offensive lineman Travis Pasquale. "Nobody's fighting or playing with pride, and come Monday we're going to come out and work hard trying to do whatever it takes to get better."
North Greene came out in the second half going to the air, with Neal completing five out of six passes, which ended with an 11-yard pass to Corey Cutshall for the opening score.
Unaka obtained excellent field position with a return on the ensuing kick-off, as Guinn went 53 yards, nearly breaking his way for a touchdown.
Brandon Irick made his one completion of the night with a toss to Richardson, but the Rangers were unable to capitalize after starting from the Huskies 32 yard-line.
North Greene attempted to strike through the air again on the next possession, but a great defensive play from Guinn turned into an interception at the 35, handing the ball back to the Rangers.
Another blown opportunity for Unaka to put points on the board happened when a fumbled snap by Irick inside the 10 turned the ball back to North Greene.
"It was a positive by not turning the ball over as much, but we still turned it over a few times," said tight end Brent Huskins. "All we can do now is come out this week and work our butts off and hopefully come up with a win next week."
Unaka was able to restrict the Husky offense until late in the fourth quarter, when a series of runs set up a one-yard plunge from Jamie Williams.
On their last possession, the Rangers were able to put together a scoring drive which began with a good return from Irick.
Cody Hurley got the call at quarterback, and after several nice runs, he finished the drive off with a one-yard surge into the end-zone.
"He's worked a lot, and we'll probably play him at least one series in the JV game Monday," said Ensor. "We're working three quarterbacks right now, and we'll probably play him a series or two in case something was to happen."