Rangers harbor hopes for first win of season

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR CORRESPONDENT

   It might be the last legitimate chance Unaka has to score a victory on the season, as they take on North Greene at home this Friday.
   The Rangers have struggled on the season without being able to capture a win, but their spirits are still in high hopes of downing the Huskies.
   "I still think they've got a little spring to their step," said Unaka coach Mickey Taylor, "and it's homecoming so they think they have a chance to be competitive with them for we've had a pretty good week of practice."
   Unaka's chances for a playoff berth are virtually impossible, but its players continue giving effort, and are still having fun, which is a goal for any team competing.
   "As bad as things have gone us, the guys are still working hard and enjoying themselves, so I feel really good about it," said Taylor.
   Taylor says the Rangers will be playing without Jamin Baggett again this week, so Brandon Irick or possibly Jeremy Cook will take the position at quarterback.
   With Unaka not having a high powered offense or big play makers on its squad, it must rely on consuming the clock on long distance drives without committing turnovers.
   "We move it well at times and sometimes we haven't, but I'm more worried about stopping them. They threw the ball nearly 60 times the past two weeks," said Taylor.
   Taylor says they plan to put some pressure on the quarterback, and not let North Greene play pass and catch.
   Coming off a big win over West Greene last week, the Huskies feel as this might give them a boost heading into this week.
   "It should be a good ball game," said North Greene coach Tim Bailey. "Both teams need the win, and I feel if we play like we did last week, we can win."
   The Huskies offense has struggled with the issue of turnovers this season, which could be a key to a possible Unaka victory.
   "We need a big game from our quarterback Dustin Collins, whether it be running or passing," says Bailey.
   Defensively, North Greene needs Cody Parks and Justin Evans to step up big, if they plan on shutting down the Rangers' ground attack.
   "We've really had trouble in stopping the run this season for most of our lineman consist of freshmen and sophomores," said Bailey.
   This should be an excellent game between two teams, who are trying to gain some respect in the Region 1-A Conference.