Hardin, Eagles outduel Rangers in shootout

102 points, 1,022 yards of total offense and 50 first downs later, Rye Cove was able to run away from the Unaka Rangers 60-42, in a game that had a little bit of everything. There were no punts and Rye Cove was able to win the turnover battle by forcing Unaka to commit two turnovers, both interceptions as Rye Cove did not commit a single turnover on the night. Both teams played a fairly clean game as each team only had forty penalty yards a piece. The Eagles never trailed in the contest and kept the score at a double digit margin the whole second half.

Rye Cove took a 40-28 lead in to the locker room at the half. A 77 yard run from Hardin put the Eagles ahead 46-28 with a little under 9 minutes remaining in the third. Benway would answer with a short touchdown run but two more Hardin touchdown runs made the score 60-36 late in the fourth quarter. Benway would score one more time before the end of regulation to give him touchdown number 3 on the night.

Mason Hardin led the charge for the Eagles as he ran for 255 yards on 30 carries with four rushing touchdowns. Hardin also threw for 60 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Darnell was also a big playmaker for the Eagles as he ran for 154 yards on 17 carries. Darnell ran for two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass. Unaka quarterback Landon Ramsey completed 12 of 23 passes for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ramsey also threw to crucial interceptions, one for a pick six. Ranger tailback Logan Benway rushed for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns in the losing effort.

Rye Cove improved to 3-4 overall and are set to host a 2-5 Twin Valley Panthers team this Friday at the Eagles nest. Rye Cove is still looking for their first victory over a team from Virginia as their wins have came against Jenkins, Ky, Hancock County, Tn and Unaka, Tn. Unaka falls to 1-7 on the year as they are set to travel to Hampton high school this Friday to take on the 6-2 Bulldogs.


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