The Ashland Beacon
A berth in the State Championship was not a goal for Raceland Football this year.
It was the expectation.
After claiming a school record 13 wins this season which led the Rams back to the Class A title game for only the second time in the program’s 96-year history, the team felt like it was on the verge of getting over the one hurdle they have not been able to achieve, winning a state crown.
Although the Rams came up short in the bid for the title against Pikeville Friday at Kroger Field, the final outcome should not overshadow everything the team achieved. Raceland dominated its way through the season by outscoring its opponents by over 40 points a game while touting one of the top defenses in the state, regardless of classification.
Logan Lundy turned in a solid junior campaign after throwing for 2,372 yards and 35 touchdowns. Lundy surpassed 4,000 career yards early in the postseason and his mark this season is the first time a Rams quarterback has thrown for over 2,000 yards since Nathaniel Davidson tossed for 3,013 in 2016. His 35TDs are the most in team history which breaks Tyler Farley’s record set in 2010 of 29. Lundy accounted for seven additional touchdowns in the rushing game while running for 445 yards.
Raceland will return three of its four primary running backs led by Noah Wallace and Isaac Browning. Wallace once again led the team with 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. He racked up a career-high 146 yards in the Rams 49-6 win over Holy Cross in the State Semifinals. It was also the first time Wallace had rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games. Browning joined Wallace in the 100-yard club in the win over Holy Cross with a career-high 118 yards on 10 carries. It was his second 100-plus yard rushing game of his career, both coming this season. Browning finished with 666 yards and nine house calls. Jaxon Heighton added a pair of scores and 243 yards while working mostly in short yardage situations.
Raceland departs three of its four leading receivers led by Mason Lykins 737 yards and 12 TDs. Conner Hughes closes his career with the Rams at 49 total touchdowns after being limited by an ankle injury in the postseason. Hughes had eight receiving TDs this season and ran for four more. Landyn Newman hauled in 20 catches for 276 yards and three scores. Parker Fannin returns next season as the second leading receiver with 28 catches for 569 yards and nine scores.
However, as explosive as the Rams offense was this season, the defense was even better. The Rams held their opponents to under 11 yards a game much of the season and finished with an average score of 12.6 per game. The Rams rushing defense suffocated their opposition to the tune of 77.9 yards a game, which rose from 63 after a tough outing against a potential Mr. Football candidate, Blake Birchfield who ran for 231 yards in the championship game. Raceland returns a large nucleus of its defense including three of the four starting linebackers. The Rams’ secondary was stellar as well as they led the state in interceptions with 23.
No matter the case, the 2022 version of Raceland football is going to be one for the ages. Record books have been rewritten across the board and more trophies added to the cases that line the walls inside Raceland-Worthington High School. Coach Mike Salmons often jokes that Raceland has a stop sign, a red light, a railroad track and a football team and not necessarily in that order. But the community that pours out to support the orange and black every Friday night, rain or shine, certainly have something to be proud of. The boys of Ramland represented their tiny town with pride and the color of metal on the final trophy is not going to change that.
The Rams are built to last and although 2023 will feature several new names to the mix, fans should expect much of the same, another Rams winning season and hopes of a state title.