The Boys of Fall


James Collier

For The Beacon



   Russell won the sprint, but Ashland won the race Friday night at Henry R. Evans Stadium.

   After racing out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Red Devils found themselves in a stalemate at the half after the Tomcats evened the score at 14-14.

   The score remained the same until Jake Gregg from his own end zone connected with J.T. Garrett near midfield and one slipped tackle later, Ashland had its first lead of the night with 3:35 to play.

   Russell’s rally effort stalled on their own 37-yard line and Ashland escaped with a 21-14 win while putting a strangle hold on the district championship with one game to play next week.

   Gregg’s strike to Barrett came one play after Blake Hester’s fumble drove the Tomcats back to their own three after Russell loaded the box but did not get home before Gregg delivered the game-winner.

   Russell seized control in the first frame behind a pair of Nathan Conley touchdown runs of seven and 31 yards, respectively. Ashland flipped the page in the second stanza behind Hester’s 100 first-half rushing yard that led to a pair of scores to knot the game at 14-14.

   Russell dominated the possession battle over Ashland, taking 64 snaps to the Tomcats 45, but only outgained the visitors by 18 total yards.

   Conley paced the Red Devils with a game-high 138 yards on 26 carries. Hester led the Tomcats with 112 on 20 totes.

   Russell welcomes East Carter Friday night. Ashland faces Greenup County as both teams celebrate senior night.


   Raceland was in a hurry Friday night in a visit from Fairview to Rams Stadium.

   The Rams first three possessions totaled only 23 seconds. However, those three possessions netted 22 points behind three Jake Heighton touchdown tosses and the first of two Rams safeties as Raceland cruised to its first winning streak of the season in a 69-6 victory over Fairview.

   Heighton’s first pass of the night went to Gunnur Lewis for a 50-yard touchdown. His second, a 30-yard check down to Caleb Rowsey, who bullied his way to paydirt. Pass No. 3, a 35-yard to Ethan Cox in stride for a 22-0 lead with 10:10 to play in the frame.

   Back-to-back Rams pick-6s by Cox and Lewis pushed the lead to 34. Connor Hughes started the running clock on his first carry of the that resulted in a 15-yard score and a 41-0 lead after one.

   Hughes replaced Heighton as the Rams signal-caller to start the second quarter and picked up where his fellow quarterback left off. Hughes first two passes went for scores, a 34-yard connection with Noah Reeves for his first touchdown on the year, followed by a 49-yard toss to Jacob Wallace that saw a running display after catch totaling over 75 yards to get into the endzone.

   Fairview’s lone score of the night came with 2:41 before the break on a Jack Roy to Gracin Smith, 55-yard hookup.

   Raceland elected to work on the kicking game much of the remainder of the game, sending the field goal unit onto the field on first down after getting the ball down to the desired distance for the attempt. Rowsey drilled kicks of 26 and 28 yards and narrowly missed a 42-yard attempt in the final quarter that sailed wide left.

   Raceland travels to Paintsville Friday night for the district championship and home field in the first two rounds of the playoffs on the line


   Greenup County was looking for a senior night to remember Friday night on “The Farm.” East Carter had other things in mind.

   Trailing 21-7 at the break, the Raiders scored twice in the opening two minutes of the second half to pull to within one while seizing the momentum out of the locker room. However, Shawn Greenhill’s extra point would miss, leaving the Raiders behind 21-20.

   But the senior responded with his next attempt in the kicking game, drilling a 24-yard field goal with 5:15 to play in the third to put the visitors in front for good.

   East Carter held off Greenup County’s final surge in the game’s final seconds for a 30-29 win to secure its first winning season since 2005.

   Greenup County grabbed a 13-0 lead through one on an Eli Sammons’ 75-yard bomb to Austin Evans followed by a Bryce Burgess 8-yard scamper with 24 seconds to play in the frame. The Musketeers elected to go for two on the first score but failed to convert.

   East Carter dented the scoreboard to start the second quarter as Braden Hicks found Micah Adams for a 52-yard touchdown. But the Musketeers answered with a Sammons’ 13-yard scamper just before the break for the 21-7 lead.

   Hicks’ second touchdown toss of the evening came early in the fourth after the southpaw delivered the pass to Dawson Whitt, who scurried 39 yards for a 30-21 edge. Burgess’ second score of the night pulled the Musketeers to within one at the 6:34 mark in the fourth, but Sammons’ final four attempts toward Evans missed their mark with Adams snagging the pass sent skyward toward the endzone as time expired.

   Burgess rushed for 101 yards on 24 carries. Sammons went 11 of 34 for 224 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions. Evans hauled in eight of Sammons 11 completions for 186 yards.


   There appeared to be some confusion about the correct way for Scott—who hails from just south of Cincinnati—to arrive to Tom Scott Field Friday night.

   However, the Eagles did not have any trouble finding the direction to the endzone in a 54-26 rout of Boyd County.

   The Lions led 14-7 after one but the Eagles’ 28, second-quarter points pushed the game out of reach before the half.

   Scott added 19 points in the third that put the running clock in motion.

   Joe Lusby’s 31-yard scamper with 6:25 to play in the first gave Boyd County a 6-0 lead. Lusby’s second score of the quarter made it 14-7.

   Unfortunately for the Lions, they could not stop the bleeding that resulted in 47 unanswered by the visiting Eagles who remained unbeaten in the district.

   Boyd County turned in a pair of 100-yard rushers in the losing effort, 118 from Lusby and 101 from Jacob Kelley.

   Boyd County welcomes Rowan County Friday night in a pivotal district matchup.