By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editors
ELIZABETHTON Johnson Countys inability to cash in on a scoring opportunity late in the first half left them behind the eight ball in their money game with Unaka on Thursday. The youthful Longhorns gave a valiant effort before falling 22-6 at Lynn Goddard Field to the undefeated Rangers.
The Horns trailed 16-0 in the first quarter but had a chance to whittle that in half just before the first half ended.
Trey Snyder hit a streaking Zack Peake down field with a 40-yard completion putting them within 10 yards of pay dirt. But on the next play they fumbled the football allowing the Rangers to run out the final 1:13 after Tyler Burkes recovery.
Were a young team that didnt quit, even when we had the deck stacked against us a little bit, said head coach Matt Bray. Thats hard to do when youre inexperienced like we are. We had a shot to score before the half ended that would have given us some momentum but we didnt. I still feel like weve got a good shot at getting to the championship game if we can hold it together. Weve just got to keep working hard.
Unakas big play ability was another Achilles heel for the Longhorns.
They used a 20-yard touchdown pass by John Boy Ramsey to Carlos Aleman to take an 8-0 lead on their first possession. Garrett Stiltners 69-yard run with 1:49 allowed them to stretch their advantage at 16-0.
The Horns managed to provide a few highlights as well.
Ethans Snyders big hit on Stiltner produced a fumble that was recovered by Destiny Cole.
Tyler Norris registered five of his game-high eight tackles in the first half.
Their lone score came in the third quarter after Trey Snyders 24-yard run gave them first and goal at the one. Norris plunged in from there cutting the deficit at 16-6.
Johnson County kids are fighters and these kids fought back, added Bray. Tonight our kids gave it all they had but we werent the best team.
It was anybodys game until early in the fourth quarter when Bryson Street delivered the dagger which helped seal the win for Unaka.
He blocked a punt, then recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown that eliminated any chance of a Johnson County comeback.
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