• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Jackets get first win of 2016 over W. Jessamine

MALIK RICHARDS had an outstanding night for the Woodford County High School football team on Friday, Aug. 26. The senior quarterback rushed for 25 yards and one touchdown, was five for 12 passing for 58 yards and a touchdown, and ran an interception back 99 yards for another touchdown to help Woodford defeat West Jessamine 28-14. (Photo by Steve Blake/multiexposures.com)

The Woodford County High School football team went on the road again on Friday, Aug. 26, to face West Jessamine, and in an impressive performance defeated the Colts 28-14 to earn its first win of the season. “I liked how we came out with a lot of fire,” said Woodford head coach Dennis Johnson. “We played a good first half, but we have to create a finishing mentality. We didn’t play the third quarter the way I wanted to see us play, but the kids fought through and got a needed win.” The win snaps a seven game losing streak dating to last season’s win over Nelson County. Woodford is now 9-5 against West Jessamine, with its third straight series win. While all players had a good game, the night was highlighted by senior quarterback Malik Richards, who orchestrated three touchdowns on a one-yard run, a pass to senior Dwayne “D” Depp and on a 99-yard interception return, which was the second 99-yard interception return for a score in his career. He had one at Central Hardin last season. The record is by Derek White of 100 yards against Oldham County in 1997. “Players make plays and Malik is a player,” said Johnson. “When we needed plays to be made on O and D, he made them. The (interception) return was the play of the game. I’m proud of how hard he has worked.” Woodford scored the first three touchdowns of the game. The first came at 3:39 in the first quarter when Richards ran into the end zone on a one yard run. The extra point was missed and the Yellow Jackets led 6-0. Woodford scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter. The first came at 8:27 when Depp took off on a 15-yard touchdown reception. Richards then ran it into the end zone to complete a two-point conversion to give Woodford a 14-0 lead. “D is taking strides,” said Johnson about Depp, who came back to the team late in the preseason. “We need him to be explosive for us to win. He caught a few nice balls and played some good D. He is still knocking off the rust a bit but is getting better.” Then at 8:33, senior Ben Bruckner scored on a six-yard run, sophomore Jacob Wolford made the extra point and the Yellow Jackets took a 21-0 lead. “I thought Ben Bruckner played a huge game,” said Johnson. “He ran the ball like a bull.” Neither team scored again in the first half, and Woodford took its 21-0 lead into the locker room. In the third quarter, West Jessamine scored two touchdowns, one on a five-yard run at 8:21, the other on a four-yard pass at 1:09. Both extra points were good and Woodford’s lead narrowed to seven points, 21-14. But then at 11:41 of the fourth quarter came the play of the day as Richards intercepted a pass near the goal line and ran it back 99-yards for a touchdown. Wolford’s extra point was good and the Yellow Jackets led 28-14. Both teams then held each other scoreless the rest of the way, which gave Woodford the win. After the game in an email interview, Johnson was notably pleased about his team’s performance. He also made sure to note one other player in particular, “(Senior) Max Andreoni made a ton of plays on D,” said Johnson. On offense, senior Domynik Johnson ran the ball 10 times for 89 yards, while Bruckner ran it 10 times for 71 yards, Richards ran it 10 times for 25 yards and a touchdown, Depp ran it three times for 23 yards and sophomore Lee Kain ran it five times for 17 yards. Passing: Richards completed five passes on 12 attempts and a touchdown. Receiving: Depp caught three passes for 34 yards and a touchdown, while Lee Kain caught two for 24 yards. Next up, Woodford is on the road again on Friday, Sept. 2, when the face Franklin County at 7:30 p.m.

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