• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

WCHS football ends season at South Oldham

The Woodford County High School football team saw its season come to an end on the road at the hands of the South Oldham Dragons on Friday, Nov. 4. Despite being very competitive at times in the game, including scoring the game’s first touchdown, South Oldham proved to be the better team and won 61-33. “We started out on fire with a great game plan and the kids bought in to what we were doing,” said Woodford head coach Dennis Johnson. “We knew we had to control the ball and get turnovers. We did that in the first quarter. The second quarter was the difference in the game. During (that) quarter, we didn’t moved the ball and had (had) three straight possessions of three and out. We also gave up a punt return, which hurt us. We played they pretty evening the second half. “I’m proud of our guys for the way they battled all year. We are still in the building stages of a program that has some work to do. If we continue to get buy in from everyone, the vision for the program will come to pass.” With the loss, Woodford finishes with a 3-8 record. It is the team’s fifth straight losing season. The Yellow Jackets got the ball first at their own 20-yard line and, other than gaining a few yards running, they were stopped. Then, facing fourth and five, the Yellow Jackets ran a play that caught the Dragons totally off guard. With senior Malik Richards back to punt, the ball was snapped and Richards jumped high, pretending the ball went over his head. Instead, the Yellow Jackets had pulled off a trick play and got the first down. Seemingly a bit frazzled by the play, South Oldham appeared out of sync as Woodford went on a strong drive, which included a 47-yard pass completion from junior Brody McCoun, who got the start at quarterback, to senior Domynik Johnson. Woodford continued to drive the ball down the field and ended up with first and goal at the five-yard line. There, McCoun took the snap and bulled his way up the middle. It looked like South Oldham had stopped him, but when the pile cleared, there was McCoun lying on the ground with the ball just over the goal line for a touchdown. Zack Zeefe kicked the extra point and the Jackets had a 7-0 lead at 6:09 in the first quarter. Those were the only points scored in the quarter. As hard as Woodford played in the first quarter, South Oldham played even harder in the second quarter, as Dragons unleased their running attack and scored six times to one score by Woodford. The Dragons’ scores came on a 72-yard run and extra point at 11:46; a 60-yard punt return and extra point at 11:12; a 23-yard run and failed two-point conversion at 9:21; and a 69-yard run and extra point at 6:22. With those scores, South Oldham led 27-7. While Woodford had a hard time stopping the Dragons’ running attack, they were still playing hard. Following South Oldham’s last score, Woodford got the ball at the 20-yard line and began a good drive. Then at 5:38, Johnson took a handoff, ran through the line then took off down the left side of the field on a 64-yard touchdown run. The Jackets went for two and failed, which made it 27-13. Woodford’s score didn’t deter the Dragons at all, as they scored two more times in second quarter. The scores came on a five-yard run and extra point at 4:45; and on an eight-yard pass and extra point at 2:10. Those two scores gave South Oldham a 41-13 lead at the half. In addition, they were the most points scored by an opponent in the second quarter in Woodford’s history. The Jackets opened the second half with a successful onside kick. Woodford then drove down field and at 9:36, McCoun scored on a one-yard run. Zeefe kicked the extra point to make it a 41-20 ball game. The Jackets then lined up for the kick off and, once again, pulled off a successful onside kick. Woodford then went on another strong drive, which ended when senior Ben Bruckner took it into the end zone on a seven-yard run. Zeefe made the extra point and at 6:50 in the third, the score was 41-27. South Oldham was undeterred, however, and answered Woodford’s score with a 50-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, which made the score 47-27 with 6:39 on the clock. The Dragons scored two more times in the fourth quarter, the first time on a 15-yard pass and extra point at 9:05; and at 5:43 on a 10-yard run and extra point, which gave them a 61-27 lead. Down by 34 points, the Yellow Jackets showed no sign of quitting and with just 3:27 left in the game, McCoun hit senior Malik Richards on a 40-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed, which made the final score 61-33. In his final game as a Yellow Jacket, Domynik Johnson rushed for a career-high 171 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. It was the most yards gained in Playoff Game for Woodford since Tony Wilson’s 186 yards in 1997 against Oldham County. Also in his final game, Bruckner ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. With his start at quarterback, McCoun finished with 55 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, while also passing for 142 yards, one touchdown and one interception on nine passes. “Brody McCoun was a huge spark at QB,” said Johnson. “He came in and did some good things with this being his first start. I thought Dom (Johnson) and (Ben) Bruckner ran the ball well.” Richards was Woodford’s top receiver on the night, catching four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, while Johnson caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. As a team, Woodford gained 431 yards, the most ever total yards in a playoff loss. South Oldham gained 500 total yards. Woodford also rushed for 289 yards, the most rushing yards in a playoff loss. South Oldham rushed for 442 yards. Woodford’s 33 points were also the most points scored in a loss since a 76-55 loss to Franklin County. In Red Zone offense, Woodford scored three out of four times, while South Oldham was four for four. South Oldham also led on third down conversions. They were five of seven, while Woodford was three of 14. In time of possession, Woodford led 28.59 minutes to 19:01.

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