By ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
ELIZABETHTON — When something works, keep doing it until your opponent stops it.
On Friday night at Goddard Field, South Greene found a weakness on the right side of the Unaka defense and piled up yards by the bushels in toppling Unaka 40-0 in Mountain East Conference action.
Tailback Preston Shuffler rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns while senior quarterback Hunter Waddell added 129 yards and a touchdown as the Rebels offense continued to show significant improvement.
The Rebels (3-0 MEC, 3-4 overall) began to roll on their second possession, moving from the Unaka 39-yard line in three plays as Waddell found sophomore wideout Justin Casteel on an 18-yard scoring strike to give South Greene a 7-0 lead following the point-after by Austin Cedillo.
“We stared slowly and came out a little sluggish,” said Rebels head coach Shawn Jones. “We found our groove a little bit after than and came out much better in the second half. We go as Waddell goes, when number 14 goes we play much better. In the first half he made some mistakes not getting rid of the ball when we wanted to, but they were double-teaming Lightfoot and that’s probably why.
“We made a point to run the ball in the second half and now we’ve got to go home and prepare for a good Cloudland team next week.”
The SG defense held the Rangers to just 98 yards of total offense, with 50 coming in the passing game. Unaka senior quarterback Eli Rasnick completed just 2 of 15 passes and was the victim of several drops.
“Number 14 makes them go,” said Rangers head coach Steve McKinney. “We had a number of dropped balls and we have to learn to fight our way through adversity. We’ll go back to the drawing board and see what we can do.”
The Rebels scored again on their next possession as Shuffler capped a six-play drive with a 40-yard burst around, you guessed it, Unaka’s right end, to make it a 14-0 game midway through the second period.
SG made it 20-0 at the half as Waddell capped an eight-play, 69-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge.
“The line did a real good job opening holes over there,” Waddell said. “We had the option of, if the space was open hand it off, if not take it outside. It worked all night for us. This is a very big win. To us it’s a playoff game and we are taking them one at a time, and playing like it’s a playoff game.”
The Rebels scored on their first possession of the second half, with Waddell once again testing the left side of his offensive line and he faked a hand off to Shuffler inside and found green grass for 69 yards to set up a 2-yard touchdown by Shuffler to make it a 26-0 contest and the rout was on.
Senior flanker Tim Lightfoot rushed for 59 yards, including a third-period touchdown, and caught four passes for an additional 42 yards.
After a Unaka punt was muffed near midfield, South Greene struck again after recovering the loose ball. Senior Nolan Gilliam scored from five yards out for the final tally of the night.