Jr. Rangers roll past Warriors


STAR Correspondent

  Coming into Tuesday night's game, the Happy Valley Warriors were hoping to upset the Unaka Rangers after shocking the Cloudland Highlanders last week in six overtimes.
  With Dustin Carden getting back under center, since his injury, the Rangers whipped the Warriors 22-0 Tuesday night at Warrior Hill.
  "They're basically a more physical ball team than us," said Warriors coach Josh Wandell. "They are more physical than us, they outmanned us and they outcoached us tonight. We came unprepared to play."
  The last date the Rangers saw action was two weeks ago, with Johnson County. Last week's game with the 'Landers was postponed, due to inclement weather.
  Unaka took the opening kick and moved the ball to its own 34. Cody Vanover threw Carden back four yards on the game's first play of scrimmage.
  Carden later picked up back-to-back runs of seven and eight to reset the chains. Jeff Peters added a 35-yard pick-up on the next play.
  Later, Carden and Adam Colbaugh each made solid runs to set up a Peters' 3-yard plunge, for a score. Carden added the conversion run for a 8-0 score.
  Happy Valley's first possession saw Bradley McVey collect 21 yards and give the Warriors a first down, but the drive ended on a 5-yard penalty and a Matt Gouge incomplete pass.
  The Rangers added some more points on the board. Peters added his second score of the game for a 25-yard bust. He followed with a conversion run to make it 16-0, favoring the Rangers.
  "We beat a good team tonight, and we just have to prepare ourselves tommorrow for Johnson County on Thursday," said Rangers coach Matt Wilson. "Dustin got back tonight. The doctors told him if he felt good enough to play he could play, but he said he still had a little more pain."
  McVey and Franky Covarrubias each traded interceptions for the teams on back-to-back plays. Chris Richardson later picked off a pass of his own, for the Warriors to finalize the first half, 16-0.
  Carden capped off the final score with a 3-yard TD dive late in the fourth quarter.
  Peters added 125 yards on the ground, with Carden adding 48. Colbaugh and Jessie Cowden each chipped in with 21.
  McVey had 41 yards and tallied eight tackles to lead the Warriors in both categories. Nick Whitehead received a 6-yard pass from Gouge.
  Warrior tailback Garrett Dykes, who has battled injuries all year, may call it quits for the year. Dykes took a hard-shot in the knee and was told that it could be a ligament or menscus injury. He has already suffered a broken wrist this year.
  "Garrett will likely be done," Wandell said. "He has played only one game 100 pecent healthy this year. I just really hate that for an eigth-grader, because he's a great kid and he brings so much to the field."
  Kelly Rapert and Peters each chipped in five tackles for the Rangers.
  "Dustin and Jeff just beat us tonight by theirselves," Wandell said. "When Dustin gets outside he's gone and we can't bring Jeff down. I was hoping last week's win against Cloudland would carry over this week, but it didn't."
  Said Wilson: "We have to travel to Johnson County Thursday, and we have to come prepared."
  Happy Valley will head to Hampton next Thursday to take on the 'Dogs. The Warriors fall to 3-5, while the Rangers improve 3-2.