Rangers produce winning formula

By Marvin Birchfield

   It was the ground attack, straight ahead, take 'em out, style of play that marched the Unaka Rangers down the field past the North Greene in a 20-8 final at Goddard Field on Friday night.
   The Huskies (0-4, 1-7) simply ran out of time, as the Rangers (1-3, 1-7) controlled the time of possession and field position throughout the contest to avoid a winless season.
   "I'm glad to see it finally pay off for these guys for they've worked hard all year, and they deserved this one," said Unaka coach Mickey Taylor.
   The Rangers drove down the field on their first possession looking as if they were going to score, but could manage to only get it inside the 10 before being stopped.
   Unaka went for it on fourth down from five yards away, but a bobbled handoff caused a fumble by Jeremy Cook, with Robert Moorman recovering for the Huskies.
   When the Rangers got the ball back, they were not to be stopped as they put together a nine-play, 59-yard drive to capture their first lead upon the season during the second quarter.
   From 13 yards out, Joey Parlier took the ball out to the right side and on in for the score.
   Brandon Irick added the two-point conversion off a run up the middle.
   North Greene answered with a drive of their own, being capped off with the flea flicker from Dustin Collins to Thomas Ormsbee, back to Collins on a seven-yard touchdown pass.
   Jamie Williams carried in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 with 4:35 left in the second period.
   North Greene got the ball back before the half to attempt another score, but was denied by the Ranger defense.
   It was Robert Sexton who batted the ball down from scrimmage, followed by a knock away from Cook in the secondary, as Collins tried to go to Ormsbee on a third down and long.
   The Rangers had put themselves in excellent position to win for the first time this year, as they had not fallen behind like in previous games that they had played.
   In the second half, the Ranger defense would take its toll on the Huskies offense by creating four turnovers and scoring off of two of them.
   On North Greene's first possession, the quarterback felt the pressure as Andrew Richardson got a handful of Husky and managed to strip the ball, with Ricky Estep making the recovery.
   From there Unaka had it first-and-goal from the five, but couldn't punch it in as they went four plays and out.
   The Rangers came up with another big turnover in the third, when Collins completed the shuffle pass to Ormsbee, who coughed up the ball. Richardson was there to pick it up and take it down to their own 17 yard line.
   Then Irick found a wide-open Brent Huskins to complete a 14-yard touchdown pass, and give the Rangers the lead at 14-8 with 6:02 left in the third quarter.
   North Greene experienced more fumbling problems again as this time Collins didn't receive the snap from center, with Huskins making the recovery for Unaka.
   The Rangers took advantage of the turnover. Unaka marched down the field, then Parlier crossed the goal from eight yards out.
   "Our line did a good job tonight in blocking, and creating the holes for our backs to run through," said Coach Taylor.
   In the last quarter, both teams had long time-consuming drives that used up almost all the clock, as North Greene got the ball back with under a minute to go, and attempt one last effort in scoring.
   After two pass attempts, Cook came up with a pick to end the game and start the Ranger celebration.
   "Unaka came out to play tonight and got the job done," said North Greene coach Tim Bailey. "We didn't have a good week of practice and weren't ready to play."
   Unaka will travel to Chuckey Doak next week as they try to take their newfound momentum and score their second victory on the season.