Johnson County rolls past Junior Rangers

By C.Y. Peters

STAR Correspondent

   MOUNTAIN CITY -- All fired-up about being in the championship game in two week against Happy valley, Johnson County really showed the Unaka Rangers why they are in that game, whipping the Jr. Rangers 44-6 on Thursday night at Paul H. McEwen Stadium.
   Thomas Moore rushed three times for 100 yards and two touchdowns for the Longhorns, while quarterback Jeffrey Brinker scored on an 86-yard run.
   Nathan Paisley, who carried the ball eight times, had 119 total yards and three scores. Andrew Sexton picked up 31 yards on three carries. All and all, the Longhorns carried the ball 19 times for 308 yards and six touchdowns on the night.
   Unaka's Kyle Wilson was the star for the Rangers, catching eight passes for 149 yards and the team's only score.
   The Rangers passed 15 times, completing 11 for 180 yards. Noah Cole was the Jr. Rangers' leading rusher, carrying the ball 24 times for 110 yards.
   The Rangers held their own in the first quarter by holding the Longhorns to only one score and keeping the ball almost the entire period on runs up the middle. They picked up three first downs on their first possession.
   It looked like the Rangers would tie the score after pushing the ball to the Longhorn 14, but on the first play of the second quarter Ernie Hodge picked off a pass and ran it back to the 26.
   From there, Paisley ran around left end on a 46-yard run, which was called back for a holding penalty. On the next play "Big" Al Hartman busted through the front line of the Longhorns and threw Brinker for a loss back to the 14.
   Then, Brinker faked a hand off and sprinted around the left side and raced 86 yards for the 'Horns' second score. Moore added the extra two and a 14-0 lead.
   The Longhorns kicked the ball onside and it was recovered by Brinker. Sexton picked up 17 yards on a carry before Paisley ran a sweep down the left side for six.
   The Rangers couldn't move the ball after the kickoff, and Johnson County took over on the 50. On the first play, Moore ran 50 yards for the score but the score was taken back off the board for a clipping penalty on the 'Horns.
   The next play Brinker dropped back to pass and hit a wide-open Paisley for a 55-yard touchdown. Brinker rushed up the middle for the extra two, making it a 28-0 game.
   The Rangers received the ball to start the third, and after four plays, gave the ball over to the 'Horns on downs. Moore picked up his second score on a 46-yard run on the first play for the 'Horns.
   Ernie Hodge added the PATs and Johnson County led 36-0. The Rangers held the ball most of the third and the start of the fourth. With 6:42 left in the game, Paisley ran a 20-yard run for the Longhorns' final score.
   Unaka's only score came on a 60-yard touchdown pass when back-up quarterback Matt Rasnick hit Wilson across the middle and he outran the entire Longhorn defense for the score.
   The Rangers got the ball back and pushed down the field to the 16, but a pass to the end zone was picked off and the Longhorns ran out the clock.
   Coach Delza Noble said: "I'm proud of these men. Moore ran the ball well, and Brinker and Paisley ran the ball well. It was our last game at home and we were glad to win our last game at home. We've got to get ready for Happy Valley in the championship game."
   Wilson made play after play on defense for the Jr. Rangers on the night.