• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Football Jackets stumble out of the gate in season debut

QUINTON TURNER escapes a diving Wayne County defender. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School football team was defeated in its season opener by Wayne County 45-7 at the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic in Danville. The Jackets received the opening kick but were not able to advance the ball on the possession. Wayne County struck quickly on a 39-yard touchdown run that sparked the Cardinal attack. The Cardinals were back in control of the ball again after an interception thrown by Quinton Turner. The Jackets made a big stop on third down to come away from the threat only giving up three points. After a 25-yard kick return by Ben Nash, Brennon Clark took the ball to the house with a 73-yard touchdown run to pull the Jackets right back into the game at 10-7. "I thought Brennon Clark did a great job on that run." said coach Dennis Johnson. "He found his space and was gone." The Jackets looked to have created momentum after J.D. Alexander made a fantastic play lunging for an interception to bring the Woodford sideline to a frenzy. Woodford eventually turned the ball over on downs to come away empty-handed. "I thought we had good energy in the first quarter," said Johnson. "We looked a little tired later in the second, and they were able to find spots to break us down. We had them third and 15, and we couldn't get them off the field because we missed tackles." Wayne County quarterback Lorenzo Linsey used his feet most of the game to avoid the Jacket defenders. Linsey was nearly sacked multiple times in the first half only to get away and do something brilliant with the football. Both teams exchanged punts before Wayne County got into the end-zone for the second time on a run up the middle. "We never got in sync offensively," said Johnson. "Maybe some nerves out there got the best of us. It's a young team that we send out there." Ben Nash returned the kickoff and Brody McCoun had the offense moving again. Woodford eventually punted the ball to Wayne County, and that is where Linsey took over the game. He threw a dart for a 32-yard touchdown, making the score 24-7. Linsey threw another touchdown pass just before the halftime buzzer to make the score 31-7 at the half. "We knew Wayne County would be tough," said Johnson. "We know they had a good quarterback; they just made more plays." John Stork made a big sack to start the second half for the Jackets and forced a punt. McCoun came out firing and hit Ryan Duke for a 15-yard gain. The Jackets eventually punted and nearly got it back on the kick as Wayne County muffed the catch but was able to fall on the ball after a skirmish at the 30-yard line. Although the Jackets' defensive line pressured the quarterback, Linsey went on to throw another pair of touchdowns to bring his total to four for the game. "It was tough out there, but it's going to get harder," said Johnson. "We have Madison Central coming next week at home. We will look at some film this week and make adjustments, but there were times where we did exactly what we wanted, so that is a positive for us. " Clark led the Jackets in rushing with six carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Quinton Turner and Brody McCoun combined for 70 yards passing on the night. Ben Nash seemed to be everywhere on the field. He returned kicks, made tackles and handled the ball. After the game, Jayden Hamilton was awarded the Leadership award for the Jackets, and Wayne County's Linsey was named the game MVP. Woodford County will host Madison Central Friday night at home at 7:30.

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