• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Jackets battle but fall to Franklin County 33-20


The Woodford County High School football team was defeated at home by Franklin County 33-20 in an unusual Thursday night game on Aug. 31. The game was started by the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" by Sgt. Kyle Douglas after the coin toss. The Jackets received the ball first, and Ben Nash had a terrific return for 31 yards up to the 40-yard line. The Jackets eventually punted the ball away. Franklin County's backfield was swarmed by Woodford defenders on numerous occasions in the first drive, which eventually led to a turnover on downs. Both teams traded possessions in the first quarter with little to show for their efforts. Woodford held the Flyers to a turnover on downs for the second time, but was unable to advance the ball and punted away again. The first major shift in the game came when a targeting penalty was called against the Jackets that led the game's first touchdown. Franklin County took a 7-0 lead.

The action picked up again late in the second quarter when Brody McCoun threw a long strike downfield to Ryan Duke to put the Jackets in the red zone for the first time in the game. McCoun scored on a keeper and the extra point was missed to make the score 7-6 in favor of Franklin County. The Flyers scored again just before the end of the first half to bring the score to 14-6. "I thought our energy was great tonight," said Coach Dennis Johnson. "We had a few times in the second quarter where we made some bad choices, but otherwise I was happy with the effort. The defense made some plays and kept us in the game." The start of the second half was sloppy for the Jackets. The Flyers scored on the first play from scrimmage, and it left Woodford scrambling for answers. Nash was intercepted on a double reverse play that led to a touchdown for the Flyers to bring the score to 27-6. Sidney Mudd provided the first spark of the second half for the Jackets. With less than a minute on the clock in the third quarter, Mudd stepped in front of a Flyer pass to stop the driving opponent and create a chance for Woodford. After a penalty to make it third down and long for the Jackets, Turner threw a completion to bring up fourth and 18. There was a bit of confusion after the play that led to some frustration on the Jacket sideline. The officials stopped the clock for over 90 seconds and allowed the Flyers to make numerous substitutions on a play that normally has a running clock and a play clock. The result was a blocked punt for a Flyer touchdown. "We have to watch these blocked punts; it's killing us out here," said Johnson. "Not sure how they got those substitutions in but that's not something I can worry about right now. We have to worry about blocking people up front." The Jackets rallied back into the game with a string of completions by Turner. Lee Kain made a fabulous catch in the end zone for Turner's first career touchdown pass. Turner and Kain also connected for the two-point conversion. "I thought Q (Quinton Turner) played much better in the second half," said Johnson. "Brody (McCoun) came in and sparked us also, but he's battling a sore shoulder, so he sits when he needs to." Woodford's defense forced another punt and started to move down the field again with runs by Brennon Clark and Ben Nash. Turner made a pair of nice plays with his feet to avoid the rush and keep the Jackets moving. Nash scored a touchdown up the middle and the two-point conversion failed. "I think we are closing the gap on the field," said Johnson "Progress is being made. We had guys who battled the whole game. Ben Nash was banged up all game and kept coming. Lee Kain made some phenomenal plays out here tonight. Daegan Bush made a great effort battling a sore shoulder and stuck it out for us. Brennon Clark and Mason Smith both stepped up tonight, and I think they will both continue with that effort." Franklin County jumped on the onside kick attempt by the Jackets and ran the clock down to zero to win the game. "The road won't get easier for us," said Johnson. "We head to Rockcastle County next, and they are a good football team." The Jackets will play Rockcastle County Friday at 7:30 pm.

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