• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Rockcastle County rolls Jackets 40-7

BRENNAN CLARK carries the ball while fighting off a Rockcastle County defender. Clark carried the ball for a team high 31 yards. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School football team was defeated 40-7 at Rockcastle County Friday night Sept. 8. The loss was the 11th straight for the Jackets dating back to last season. This game was the first time the Jackets have ever visited Rockcastle County for football. The Rockets feature a smash-mouth style of football that is considered "old school." The game plan for the Rockets is very simple every week. The Jackets' defense held its ground on many occasions in this game, but eventually the Rockets wore them down with their physical play. Noticeably absent for the game was Ben Nash, who was injured on the opening kickoff and was not able to return Three minutes into the first quarter, Jaden Payne broke a 53-yard touchdown run that scored the game's first touchdown. After a Woodford punt, the Rockets struck quick again with a Logan Barnett 63-yard run, and the Jackets were on the ropes early, trying to fight off the physical offense. On the next possession, the Jackets struck on a catch and run by Ziggy Gill from Quentin Turner for a 52-yard touchdown that woke up the Jackets' sideline. "We knew it would be a physical game tonight," said Coach Dennis Johnson. "They are a really tough football team and they beat us up a little early on. We had some chances where we made some things happen by creating turnovers but couldn't punch it in. We had that one big stroke where Q (Quentin Turner) hit Ziggy (Gill) with a deep ball that got us going a bit but just couldn't keep it up." The Jackets recovered an onside kick on the next play and had momentum for the first time in the game. After a pair of plays by Turner, the Jackets faced a fourth down conversion that ultimately failed due to a high snap that allowed the Rockets time to get to the quarterback. "We have to score more points," said Johnson. "It's killing us out here. When we get momentum, and are unable to recreate that spark, that is what we need more than anything. Our defense is spending way too much time on the field, so we have to get more creative to extend our drives offensively. Second and third downs have been our kryptonite. We get to second or third and short, and have a bad snap or a busted assignment."

The Rockets' next possession was more of the same, they ran the ball straight up the middle and pushed the Jackets back. Woodford made some key plays on the drive and had the Rockets facing a fourth down when the Rockets converted on a 17-yard touchdown. Rockcastle tacked on one more score to lead 28-7 at the half. "Give Rockcastle credit," said Johnson. "They came out here and brought all kinds of pressure to us. They play a style of football that most people don't play anymore. In order to beat a team like this, you have to have zero mistakes and make a few big plays." The Jackets recovered their second onside kick of the game to start the second half but came away empty-handed on the possession. Woodford forced a turnover on downs on back-to-back Rocket possessions including a first and goal at the three-yard line. The breaking point in the game came as Brent Lovell scored on a 95-yard touchdown run to break the game open. Lovell's run was the second longest against Woodford County in the history of the program. Payne scored the final touchdown of the game midway through the fourth quarter to bring the score to 40-7. The Jackets host Spencer County Friday night at 7:30 at Community Stadium.

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