For The Beacon
RACELAND 23 PAINTSVILLE 20
It’s not often a team can spot the No. 1 team in the state 13 points and three turnovers and still have an inkling of a chance of winning.
That was not the case Friday night for Raceland as they played host to Class A top-ranked Paintsville at Ram Stadium.
With one second left on the game clock, junior Peyton Ison launched a 34-yard game-winning field goal that just cleared the crossbar to give the Rams a 23-20 comeback win over the Tigers.
Raceland made a defensive stand on fourth and one near midfield after Will Nichols brought down Luke Hyden for a loss of five with 47 seconds to play. Quarterback Jake Heighton orchestrated a masterful fourth-quarter drive after a 20-yard hookup with Landyn Newman moved the Rams to the Tigers’ 19.
After a pair of Tigers’ timeouts in an attempt to ice the kicker, Ison stepped into the spotlight and connected on his first career field goal toward the same goalpost that Luke Lemaster used to send the Rams to Kroger Field in 2017.
Raceland dented the scoreboard with 2:05 to play before the half after a double pass from
Heighton to Connor Hughes landed in the hands of a wide-open Jules Farrow that cut Paintsville’s lead to 13-7.
Heighton tied the game at 13-13 on a pass to Parker Fannin with 37 seconds left in the third but the lead would last only 57 seconds after the Tigers marched to the end zone for a 20-13 lead with 11:30 to play.
Raceland tied the affair at 20-20 with 4:29 to play on a 2-yard Heighton plug. Heighton finished with 166 yards and two scores, one rushing and one passing, but was intercepted three times. Two were on deflected balls including a ball in the end zone after the Rams marched the length of the field on their opening drive.
After giving up 163 rushing yards to the Tiger in the first half, the Rams defense was suffocating in the second, limiting their district rival to only 10 rushing yards on 12 carries.
Raceland notched its first win at home over Paintsville since 2014 and secured the top seed in the district which ensures the Rams remain at home for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Raceland travels to Lawrence County Friday night.
BELL COUNTY 0
Good luck trying to stop JT Garrett.
That was the challenge Bell County faced Saturday afternoon when Ashland visited last year’s Class 3A state runner-up.
Garrett racked up 261 total yards of offense including a 94-yard catch and run touchdown in the second quarter as Ashland blanked Bell County 35-0.
Garrett hauled in Brett Mullins only completion in eight attempts on the day. However, his elusive speed from the backfield was too much to tame with 167 yards and two scores to his name by the time the clock hit zeros.
Keontae Pittman added 133 yards and two scores on 16 totes.
Garrett’s first score came with 2:52 to play in the first for a 7-0 lead after one.
22 seconds into the second stanza, Garrett was off to the races again for his second score of the day. Pittman made it 21-0 with 91 seconds before the half on a 6-yard scamper.
Pittman provided an explosive scoring run of 78 yards early in the fourth. Garrett closed the scoring book with a 21-yard run just inside of four minutes to play in the game.
Ashland’s game with Spring Valley has been canceled due to COVID restrictions. No makeup has been announced.
BETSY LAYNE 18
Fairview needed a break late in the game Friday night in a district tilt with Betsy Layne in Westwood. Trailing 18-12 inside of five minutes to play, the Eagles Gage Crooks blocked a punt that was recovered at the Bobcats’ 9-yard line.
However, the Eagles could not convert on the golden opportunity after a penalty marker and a sack on third-and-goal led to a turnover on downs at the Betsy Layne 8-yard line with 1:52 to go.
Fairview’s defense forced a quick three-and-out at the Betsy Layne 15, but with 36 seconds to play, an injured Eagles’ player could not make it from the field on his own power, resulting in a stoppage of play. With no timeouts remaining for Fairview, the rule states the play clock resets to 40 seconds, meaning the Bobcats did not have to snap the ball to secure the win.
Fairview trailed 6-0 after one but a 65-yard pick-6 by Jeremy Harper evened the affair at 6-6 with 11:24 to play in the half. Betsy Layne regained the lead with 2:50 for a 12-6 lead at the break.
Tanner Johnson tossed an 8-yard strike to Austin Miller to tie the contest at 12-12 with 3:43 to go in the third but the Eagles could not answer the Bobcats final score with 8:03 to play in regulation.
Johnson led the Eagles with 62 yards on 10 carries.
Fairview travels to Lewis County Friday night.