Montanaro scores 3 TDs as Green Dragons blank Unaka


Jon Dickenson

Harlan quarterback Donovan Montanaro worked his way into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns Friday in the Green Dragons’ 36-0 rout of Unaka, Tenn.

Junior quarterback Donovan Montanaro scored three touchdowns and the Harlan defense recorded its first shutout in exactly a year as the Green Dragons avenged a home loss from last year with a 36-0 win Friday at Unaka, Tenn.
Senior running back Jayden Ward had two touchdown runs and added a two-point conversion for the Dragons. Dylan Middleton, also a senior, had a pair of two-point conversions.
A pair of Rangers penalties allowed the Dragons to put together their first scoring drive starting from their own 39. Five plays later, Montanaro scored on a 6-yard keeper at the 8:38 mark of the second quarter. Middleton added the two-point conversion.
Following an interception by Montanaro, it didn’t take Harlan long to score again. Ward had a 37-yard gain, putting the football on the Unaka 10. Three plays later, Ward scored from the 1 at the 6:18 mark as the Dragons led 14-0.
The Harlan defense was too much for the Rangers on their next possession as the Green Dragons took over on their own 40.
Four consecutive runs by Darius Akal for 28 yards put the ball on 12. On the next play, Montanaro had a quarterback keeper and scored with one minute left in the first half.
Harlan took a 20-0 advantage into the break.
The Green Dragons scored on the second possession of the second half as Ward scored on a 9-yard run with 8:03 remaining in the third period. Ward’s two-point conversion put the Dragons ahead 28-0.
Harlan’s final touchdown came following an Unaka fumble.
Montanaro dodged a couple of tacklers and scored on a 24-yard TD run at the 7:14 mark. Middleton added the conversion run to cap the scoring.
Unaka reached the Harlan 29 late in the third quarter, but another turnover halted the drive.
The Rangers were driving into Harlan territory in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back sacks by Noah Kirby and R.W. Sanford stopped the drive.
Ward rushed for 74 yards on 10 carries for Harlan. Montanaro followed with 67 yards on seven rushes. Darius Akal added 55 yards on 11 carries.
Unaka committed five turnovers in the game, including interceptions from Will Austin and Montanaro. Ward, Ryley Mefford and Sanford each had fumble recoveries for the Dragons.
Senior quarterback Landon Ramsey was nine of 16 passing for 113 yards, and added 23 yards on 10 rushes for the Rangers.
Unaka senior running back Jamol Blamo gained 34 yards on eight carries.
Sanford led the Green Dragon defense with 10 tackles. Middleton added four while Kirby, Mefford and Nate Montanaro each had three.
Middleton, Sanford and Mefford each had sacks. Mefford and Ward had tackles for loss yardage.
Harlan (3-0) will be open next week before traveling to Middlesboro on Sept. 16. Unaka (1-2) will travel to Twin Springs (Va.) on Friday.