• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Jackets football falls at North Bullitt in opener

RYAN DUKE, who started at quarterback for the Woodford County High School football team in its season opener at North Bullitt on Friday, Aug. 19, has a clear view to throw on this play thanks to the blocking efforts of offensive linemen Daegan Bush, left, and Tyler Moore, right. Despite some good play, the Yellow Jackets lost to the Eagles, 20-0. (Photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

The Woodford County High School football team played its season opener on Friday, Aug. 19, at North Bullitt, and despite some good plays, the Yellow Jackets lost the game to the Eagles, 20-0. Woodford’s defense played strong a good part of the first half, while the offense, with sophomore Ryan Duke at quarterback, was able to move the ball, and got deep into North Bullitt’s end of the field once, but they could not get it into the end zone. “I thought we got better,” said second-year Woodford head coach Dennis Johnson. “We didn’t do everything right, but the kids played with great effort and they didn’t quit. I thought our O line did better than I expected, starting three freshman and two sophomores. “I liked the way our defense flew around to the ball. “We gave up one big play and they scored. Our D line held the point of attack pretty good and we made some plays in the secondary.” North Bullitt did find a way into the end zone though. At 6:48 in the second quarter, the Eagles scored on a 47-yard touchdown pass. With the extra point, it was 7-0. Injury struck the Yellow Jackets in the second quarter, when Duke got hit hard out of bounds on a play in which he could not find an open receiver. As a result of the hit, he was injured and had to leave for the rest of the game. He finished with seven completions in eight attempts for 37 yards. “Ryan getting hurt, messed up our O a bit but that is a part of the game,” said Johnson. “I thought Malik (Richards) and Brody (McCoun) came in and did a good job. With limited snaps, they both moved the ball and we had chances to score.” Senior Malik Richards replaced Duke first, and began to move the Woodford offense down the field on a good mix of runs and passes, with some of the runs his own. Then, with less than a minute to go in the half, he put the Yellow Jackets in scoring position with a first and goal. But, that was as close as Woodford would get to scoring. An incomplete pass, a penalty, a stopped run and another incomplete pass ended any hopes of scoring. As the first half ended, the teams went into the locker room with the Eagles ahead, 7-0. In the third quarter, both teams played strong defense and kept the other team’s offense out of the end zone. However, in the fourth quarter, while Woodford continued to play hard, the North Bullitt offense began to gain some momentum. At 7:32, the Eagles scored on a 24-yard run by Nick Majoes. The extra point made it 14-0. Then at 4:13, Noah Nida scored on a one-yard run, and while the extra point was no good, North Bullitt had a 20-0 lead. That was the final score of the game. Richards finished the night after coming in for Duke with some good stats. He rushed nine times for 50 yards, and was seven for eight for 33 yards passing. Junior Brody McCoun also played quarterback in the game and finished two for six for 50 yards passing, As a team, Woodford led in a few categories. They led in passing yards, 120 to 116; had no turnovers, while North Bullitt had three fumbles and lost one; and Woodford was 4 for 13 in third-down conversions, to North Bullitt’s 3 for 10 in third-down conversions. In other areas, Woodford fell short. In first downs, North Bullitt had 16, Woodford 11. In total yards, North Bullitt had 312, while Woodford had 210. North Bullitt also led in time of possession, as the Eagles had the ball 27:41 minutes to Woodford 21:19. During practice this week, Johnson plans to get Richards and McCoun more snaps to have them ready for their game against West Jessamine. “We have to get our offense in good position to score,” said Johnson. “I think getting Malik and Brody QB reps in practice this week will help give us a flow to the offense.” Next up, Woodford travels to play West Jessamine on Friday, Aug. 26, at 7:30 p.m.

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