• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS football team gets shut out by Madison Central

HEAD COACH Dennis Johnson, dark jacket, tries to rally his team during the Woodford County High School football team’s game at Madison Central on Friday, Sept. 23. However, at the final buzzer, the Yellow Jackets lost, 42-0. (Photo by Rick Capone)

Coming off two straight wins, the Woodford County High School football team travelled to Richmond to face Madison Central on Friday, Sept. 23, and in what was their toughest test this season, Woodford failed to get any offensive momentum going and lost 42-0. “(It was a) bad game all the way around,” said Woodford head coach Dennis Johnson. “Bad coaching. We played with no energy. We must get a lot better if we want to compete with any good programs.” The game opened with Woodford receiving the kick off, which Madison Central’s kicker, Landon White, put out of the end zone for no return. White has a monster leg and was able to do that every time and denied Woodford a chance at any return the entire game.

MALIK RICHARDS runs around the end of the line during Woodford’s game at Madison Central on Friday, Sept. 23., which the Indians won, 42-0. (Photo by Rick Capone)

On their opening possession, Woodford went three and out as the Madison Central defense stopped them on every play. Woodford punted and then, after a few successful plays by the Indians, forced them to try a 38-yard field goal, which went wide and kept the game scoreless. On their next possession, the Yellow Jackets were able to get a first down, but soon after, the Indians stopped them and forced a punt. Madison Central then got the ball and on second down their quarterback, Ethan Hahn, threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Zach Hardin for a 6-0 lead. The extra point was good and the Indians led, 7-0, with 1:47 left in the opening quarter. Woodford got the ball back, but were unable to do anything and were forced to punt once again. Madison Central got the ball and on first down, Hahn and Hardin connected once again, this time on a 46-yard touchdown pass with 0.00 left on the clock to end the first quarter. The kick was good, and the Indians led 14-0. Madison Central scored twice in the second quarter. The first came at 3:52 when Keenan Miller hit Hardin for a 49-yard yarder. It was Hardin’s third touchdown reception of the half. The kick was good and the Indians led 21-0. Woodford continued to try and get something going, but mistakes and the Madison Central defense stymied them at every turn. Then, on what turned out to be the final drive of the half, the Indians moved the ball down the field, but Woodford stopped them from scoring another touchdown. With nine seconds left, Madison Central hit a 25-yard field goal to take a 24-0 lead into the locker room at the half. At this point in the game, many Woodford fans were surprised with how out-of-sync the Yellow Jackets were playing against the Indians. The team just didn’t seem to have the same energy level or intensity that they displayed in their two previous wins against Marion County and Nelson County. Interestingly, while the Indians did score three touchdowns on 139 yards passing, Woodford was still able to hold Madison Central to just 26 rushing-yards on 12 carries in the first half. However, that, too, was about to change. To start the third quarter, Madison Central struck quickly. On their first play from scrimmage, Jabari Huguely took off on a 55-yard touchdown run. The Indians then went for two and Armand Altamirano scored to make it 32-0 at the 11:44 mark. Madison Central then scored again in the third, this time at 7:19, when Gavin Hulberg scored on a three- yard run. The kick was good and Madison Central led 39-0. With that score, the rest of the game was played on a running clock. Madison Central got its final score at 8:30 in the fourth quarter when they made a 23-yard field goal, which gave them a 42-0 lead. Neither side scored from that point on and the Indians got the win, their eighth straight over the Yellow Jackets. All told, Woodford only gained 51 yards in the game to Madison Central’s 333 yards. Broken down, Woodford rushed for 17 yards on 35 carries to Madison Central’s 176 yards on 27 carries. The passing game was no different, as Woodford gained just 34 yards to Madison Central’s 176 yards. With a bye week ahead, Woodford has two weeks to prepare for its most crucial test of the year when they face district opponent Anderson County. According to Johnson, the team will be working on all parts of its game to prepare for the Bearcats. “We need to revamp our O,” said Johnson. “We need to just be fundamentally sound on D. Our D will give us a chance if our special teams and O improve.” Flashback to last season: Woodford was in this same position last year. They defeated Marion County (55-18) and Nelson County (42-12) by big scores, but then got run over by Madison Central (55-0). The question now is – can they regroup from this tough loss to Madison Central and come out and score a big win over Anderson County. Game time is Friday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

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