Rangers run roughshod over Lions

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

  On your mark, get set, and go! This might be the best way to describe the Rangers' season. Their quick out of the gate start has propelled them to 3-0 on the year.
  Unaka captured their third victory on Friday, knocking off King's Academy in a 44-30 final at Goddard Field.
  "We did everything that we wanted to do," said Unaka coach Mike Ensor. "Our first-string offense scored on every possession. They never scored on our first defense, and our first offense scored everytime so we pretty much did what we wanted to do."
  The Rangers blasted to a 31-0 lead before giving up a score right before halftime.
  A 45-yard run from Charles Lee Guinn set the pace for Unaka with 10:52 left in the first quarter.
  Talent and courage was displayed for a third straight game when Daniel McInturff faced the den of the Lions' defense.
  Daniel slayed the Lions on a pass from John Zimmerman which went for 24 yards down the left side of the end zone.
  McInturff has already five touchdown catches in the first three games, unheard of in recent years at Unaka.
  Unaka's defense establish superiority in the opening drive for the Lions. They forced King's to go three and out with Brent Huskins making a hit on quarterback Brett Weaver on third down.
  "What you want to do in every ball game is jump out quick which makes it easier," said Huskins. "Our backs ran the ball well, the line blocked good, and John did a good job at quarterback with the receivers catching the ball.
  "Our first two wins were big because we had the heartbreak loss to Hurley and Twin Springs (whom Unaka faces this week) was another big loss for us still in the back of our minds."
  Zimmerman and McInturff hooked up again to start the second period, as a 16-yard throw over the middle resulted in a score.
  Whether through the air or on the ground, the Rangers guys up front were taking care of business by delivering the blocks and giving the quarterback time to find the open receiver.
  "Our first team has been unstoppable, I think we will go 10-0 this season," boldly stated lineman Joe Estep. "I think we need to keep working hard this year and we'll come back next year too."
  Guinn captured his second touchdown on the evening, after breaking loose and slipping some tackles with 6:52 left in the half.
  His 33-yard scamper marked the fifth touchdown of the season for the junior tailback. Guinn, who has gained over 100 yards in all three games this season, finished with 137 yards on the night.
  "The line has been unreal these first three games, for they're real good up front," said Guinn. "They've been making the block and I've been hitting the holes.
  "Our next game we're looking for a little payback and we're going to work hard. All I can say is Twin Springs better bring it because we are."
  After taking a 25-0 lead, the Rangers put in the second team which struck to score the last Unaka touchdown of the half.
  A pass from Michael Carpenter to Mason Cotter in the end-zone boosted the margin to 31 points with 3:35 left.
  "We got some young players some playing time, we got our young quarterback some reps and he threw a touchdown, and got some young guys in and out in crucial situations," said Ensor. "We accomplished everything we wanted to, plus we let them have a good ball game too."
  King's Academy appeared to on the verge of giving up, but a 51-yard pass from Weaver to Andrew Holt brought back some life to the Lions.
  "We were happy with some individual things we did, and they could have put some more points up there, but what I say about the coach is he's a class actfor he didn't run it up on us," said King's Academy coach Larry Watson. "I appreciate that. We're a rebuilding team and they're rebuilding and doing a good job, and this is a good rivalry and would like to continue it on."
  After stopping a long time consuming drive to start the third period, the Rangers posted another score from freshman tailback Jeff Wilson.
  Wilson had eight carries for 123 yards, as a block from teammate Brandon Medina sprung him for an 18-yard run down the right side.
  "Our line blocked real good, and they opended up the holes where we could run it," said Wilson. "I'm not for sure who made the block, but whoever it was opened up the hole great. We just ran on them all night because of the blocks."
  King's Academy came back to answer the score with an eleven yard run from Tyler McDaniel in the final play of the third period.
  The Lions continued to cut into the deficit with another pass from Weaver to Holt which went for 40 yards.
  The momentum of King's Academy was stifled on the ensuing kickoff, when Medina took the return for 88 yards and scored, pushing the lead to 44-22 with 5:19 left to play.
  The last score of the night came off a turnover from Unaka when a pass from Eric McNeal resulted in a 60-yard interception return from Andy Scalf.
  The Rangers will travel to Twin Springs, Va. next week where they'll try to avenge last year's one-point loss which was decided on the last snap of the contest.
  "We've got a tough test coming up this week," said Ensor. "It's a tough ball team with Volunteer transfer Chuckie Lindholm. That says enough within itself. They're big and strong with some speed a lot like us so it should be a good ball game."