For The Beacon
ASHLAND 47 GREENUP CO. 0
Greenup County felt like it was in a race against time just to get to its game at Ashland Friday night to open the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
However, the Musketeers were just in a race against a competitor who they simply could not catch.
Keontae Pittman rushed for 254 yards and four scores to lead Ashland to a 47-0 blanking of Greenup County. Pittman accounted for all the scoring in the second half, visiting the endzone thrice out of the locker room. With no fireworks being fired after an Ashland touchdown, the Tomcats offense decided to provide their own with five of their seven scores coming on explosive plays.
JT Garrett raced 56 yards to the endzone on Ashland’s second play from scrimmage for a 7-0 lead. Pittman followed on the second play of the second series, scampering 55 yards, untouched to the endzone. Garrett added his second score of the night—a 72-yard pass to Jack Alley to put the Tomcats up 21-0 after one.
Garrett capped off Ashland’s only score in the second quarter on a 4-yard plunge from the wildcat to send the Tomcats to the half leading 27-0. Out of the locker room, it was all Pittman as his scores came from 14, 77 and 67 yards with the final two seeing the senior dash past the Greenup County line and sprinting away from any potential would-be tacklers.
Greenup County started the game with a nice return by Brayden Craycraft to the Ashland 40 and appeared to have moved the sticks on its second play from scrimmage only to have the play negated by a penalty. Greenup County managed only six first downs on the night, two which were the result of Ashland penalties.
Ashland pitched its third consecutive shutout for the first time since last doing so in 1990 when the Tomcats blanked Henry Clay, Montgomery County and Rowan County. Hunter Gillum led the Ashland charge with six tackles and two interceptions in the contest.
Ashland welcomes Russell Friday night for the second round of the Class 3A Playoffs.
RUSSELL 47 EAST CARTER 28
It was a wild ride for Russell in its opening round matchup with East Carter in the Class 3A playoffs at Henry R. Evans Stadium Friday night.
Leading 26-0 midway through the second stanza, Russell watched East Carter score a pair of touchdowns in the final 6-plus minutes of the quarter that trimmed the Red Devils lead to 26-14 at the half.
However, the Russell offense paced by a career-setting night by senior Charlie Jachimczuk righted the ship and cruised into the second round with a 47-28 win over the Raiders.
Jachimczuk entered the game fifth all time on the Russell passing record book but was only 247 yards from breaking the record. The senior put the record within reach after throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. When the clock struck zeros, Jachimczuk was at 270 yards for the night and top of the class for all-time passing yards for Russell.
Jachimczuk accounted for five touchdowns in the win, four through the air and a 1-yard plunge midway through the first that gave Russell a 14-0 lead. Jachimczuk connected with scoring tosses from three yards with Ethan Sharp, 31 yards to Doug Oborne, 29 yards to Mason Lykins and 13 yards to Hunter Martin that put the Devils in front 47-14 early in the fourth.
Senior tailback Nathan Conley also achieved a milestone for his career as he eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark on a 40-yard run on the first play in the fourth quarter. Conley finished the game with 70 yards on seven carries and is now fourth all time on the rushing leaders list which includes his older brother Nick who sits second.
Lykins led the Red Devils receiving unit with 92 yards on five grabs. Martin and Patrick each had 59 with Martin adding a 30-yard scoop-and-score to start the second half after a Raiders trick play went south and resulted in a fumble. Chase Snedegar’s 2-yard run accounted for the second Russell score after halftime.
Russell travels to Ashland Friday night in a rematch of the regular season matchup that saw the Tomcats trample the Red Devils 41-7.
BOYD COUNTY 55 HOLMES 14
Boyd County did not seem to care about a regular season loss to Holmes when the Lions visited the Commodores Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.
They did not seem to care that it had been over 12 years since winning a playoff game either.
All of this was proved by Boyd County’s 55-14 hammering of Holmes for their first playoff win since 2008. The Lions literally trampled all over the Commodores, rushing for 349 yards which accounted for all but seven yards of their total offensive production.
Carter Stephens scampered for 169 yards and Joe Kelley added 89. Both visited the endzone three teams. Stephens staked an early lead for Boyd County on its opening drive with a 7-yard run that capped off a 48-yard drive. Boyd County once again worked on a short field and again marched to paydirt with quarterback Logan Staten’s 1-yard plunge opening up a two-score lead.
With 10 minutes before the half, Kelley dashed in from four yards and a 20-0 lead. Stephens' second TD answered a Holmes score to push the Lions out to a 27-6 edge and after the Commodores returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, Boyd County poured on four more scores to leave no doubt in the hammering of a district foe.
Kelley added his second and third scores of the game, Brandon Kitchen returned a fumble for six, Stephens scurried in for his third score and Jacob Meade’s 1-yard TD closed the book.
Boyd County travels to Rowan County Friday night for the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. The duo did not meet in the regular season due to COVID-19 protocols that canceled the game.