The Boys of Fall
ASHLAND 28 RACELAND 21
With half of Putnam Stadium covered in the shadows of darkness due to a malfunctioning light tower, Ashland quarterback LaBryant Strader lit up the night with three touchdowns including the eventual game-winner to lift Ashland to a 28-21 over Raceland in the season opener.
Raceland tied the game at 21-21 to start the second half but Ashland countered with their only score in the final 24 minutes behind a 15-play, 65-yard drive capped off by a Strader 1-yard plunge to put the Tomcats in front for good less than one minute into the fourth quarter.
Strader hooked up with Cam Davis for a 23-yard touchdown to open the scoring on Ashland’s first drive of the game and a 7-0 lead after one. Raceland drove to the Ashland two, but the Tomcats defense stood tall with a fourth down stop. The Rams defense would not allow the Tomcats to break free from their own endzone which gave the Rams the ball inside Ashland territory to start the ensuing drive.
Raceland marched 46 yards in 10 plays with Noah Wallace plunging into the endzone for his first of two 1-yard touchdowns to even the game at 7-7. Ashland would waste little time regaining the lead as Braxton Jennings raced 81 yards to paydirt on the ensuing kickoff and a 14-7 Ashland lead. Raceland countered with a 6-play, 61-yard drive with Lundy polishing off the final 17 on the ground. The Rams extra point failed leaving them down 14-13 just before halftime.
But the Tomcats were not content with going in up one. Strader needed only three plays with a 55-yard strike to Brandon Houston in stride pushing the Tomcats lead to 21-13 at the half. Raceland elected to gamble out of the half with an onside kick that caught the Tomcats off guard. Noah Wallace recovered the ball for the Rams and Lundy orchestrated Raceland’s longest drive of the night traveled 49 yards over 14 plays milking 6:38 off the game clock with Wallace’s second score of the night pulling the Rams to within two. Lundy found Parker Fannin for the two-point conversion to even the game at 21-21 but it would be the final score of the night for the Rams.
Strader finished the contest 9 of 12 for 128 yards and a pair of scores. He added his third TD of the night on the ground while leading Ashland with 44 yards on 12 totes. Jennings had 30 on nine carries. Houston hauled in six balls for 91 yards.
Lundy went 14 of 21 through the air for 166 yards while adding 36 on the ground. Wallace had 38 yards on 12 carries. Isaac Browning rushed for 38 yards on 12 touches. Fannin finished with 79 yards on six catches.
Ashland welcomes West Jessamine Saturday. Raceland travels to Letcher County Central Friday night.
BOYD COUNTY 46 SOUTH POINT 7
Boyd County scored early and often in a 46-7 rout of South Point to start the 2023 season.
Rhett Holbrook went 15 of 18 through the air for 195 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Dakota Thompson rushed for 91 yards on nine carries with a TD. Holbrook added two more scores on the ground. Cole Hicks hauled in three balls for 75 yards with a TD. Garrett Crum had two of his four catches going for scores. Marcus Brumfield also had a receiving touchdown.
Adrian Bertram snagged a pair of interceptions. Crum had one as well.
Boyd County welcomes Bell County Friday night.
RUSSELL 28 MASON COUNTY 8
Russell wanted to get off to a better start than 2022 after the Red Devils lost their first eight games.
14 first quarter points Friday night in the opener with Mason County made certain a duplication of last season was not in the cards. Russell amassed 246 rushing yards while holding the visitors to minus-19 yards on the ground to roll to a 28-8 victory.
Ethan Pack tossed a 4-yard touchdown to Caleb Rimmer to open the scoring for the Devils. Andre Richardson-Crews 1-yard plunge with 18 seconds to play in the first gave Russell a 14-0 lead after one.
Pack’s second score of the night found Haiden Anderson from 23 yards out and a 21-0 lead late in the third. Mason County returned the ensuing kickoff 78 yards that trimmed the Russell lead to 21-7 but Richardson-Crew’s second score of the night to open the final stanza pushed the lead to 20.
Pack was 6 of 9 through the air for 51 yards while adding 85 yards on the ground. Richardson-Crews added 80. Elijah Hankins had 56 yards on four totes. Russell finished with three interceptions.
Russell travels to Greenup County Friday night for the Backyard Brawl.
BATH COUNTY 20 FAIRVIEW 6
Fairview’s effort to open the season on a winning note came up short to Bath County in a 20-6 defeat to the Wildcats.
Jace Manning was 6 of 20 for 85 yards with a touchdown and interception. Xavien Kouns ran for 36 yards on nine carries and had five catches for 73 yards and a score. Rusty Fitchpatrick had a sack for the Eagles.
Fairview travels to Caverna Saturday.
COAL GROVE 36 GREENUP COUNTY 28
Coal Grove tried to run Greenup County off the field in the first half Friday night.
After the Musketeers opened the scoring with a 26-yard pitch and catch from Tyson Sammons to Aiden Gue on the first play of the second quarter, Coal Grove responded with three consecutive scores for a 22-7 halftime lead. The Hornets lead grew to 28-7 to start the third only to watch Sammons rally his troops with three rushing scores to even the contest at 28-28 early in the fourth.
But the Hornets would not be denied as they produced a game-winning drive with 2:50 to play for a 36-28 win.
Sammons three second half scoring runs covered 35, 51 and two yards while tallying 218 yards on 31 totes. Ike Henderson added 63 yards. Sammons went 8 of 25 for 94 yards through the air. Gue caught three balls for 49 yards. Ethan Thomas had an interception.
Greenup County welcomes Russell Friday night for the Backyard Brawl.