The Cloudland football team continues to control its destiny.
The ‘Landers used over 400 yards of offense to take a 44-20 victory over Region 1-A foe Unaka on Stoney Creek Friday night.
With the win, Cloudland improves to 2-0 in region play and 2-4 overall, while Unaka dropped to 1-6 on the year and finished region play 0-3.
Cloudland, who was under the direction of interim coach Scott Potter for the first time, will take on Jellico in two weeks with the Region 1-A title and a home playoff game on the line.
The Rangers jumped out early.
Daniel Shearl picked up a Cloudland fumble on the game’s opening drive and took it 90 yards for the touchdown to give the Rangers an early 6-0 lead. Cloudland, however, went to work on a drive that lasted over four minutes and was capped when Seth Birchfield broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run. The ‘Landers took an 8-6 advantage into the second quarter after Hunter Blair added the two-point conversion.
After the Rangers were unable to keep a drive alive at midfield, Cloudland scored when Blair ran in from eight yards out. The Rangers moved the ball to midfield but a fumble ended the drive.
That set-up another eight-yard Blair touchdown as Cloudland took a 20-6 midway through the quarter. The ‘Landers got back on the board in the final minute as Triston Lacy scored on an 11-yard run. Cloudland maintained a 28-6 lead at the half.
Unaka started the second half quick.
The Rangers saw Landon Ramsey hit Drew Smith for a 62-yard touchdown to trim the CHS lead. However, Cloudland’s Birchfield answered on the ensuing drive with an eight-yard touchdown.
Senior Logan Benway got into the scoring act on the next Unaka drive as he caught a 25-yard pass from Ramsey and then added the two-point conversion. Lacy answered the call for Cloudland as the senior picked up the kickoff and ran it back 80 yards for the touchdown. Birchfield added the conversion to give CHS a 44-20 lead after the end of the third quarter.
From there, neither team was able to get back on the scoreboard.
Lacey led the way for Cloudland as he had 162 yards on 17 carries. Blair finished with 13 carries and 89 yards, while Birchfield tallied 82 yards on 10 carries.
Benway paced the Unaka ground game as he recorded 82 yards on 16 carries. Ramsey finished 12-of-23 for 181 yards, while Smith and Ramsey had 62 and 42 yards receiving, respectively.
As a team, Cloudland outgained Unaka 410-227.
Unaka will have their bye week next Friday while Cloudland will host Hampton for Homecoming 2019.
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