• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Madison Southern whips Jackets 41-10

BRENNAN CLARK fights his way through a Madison Southern defender. The Eagles defeated the Jackets 41-10 in the game played on Oct. 13. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School football team lost 41-10 on the road to Madison Southern on Oct. 13. On the opening drive, the Jackets tried to gain a spark within the offense and faked a punt. Senior captain Brody McCoun took the ball and ran on the right edge of the offensive line and dove for the first down, but the officials said he was a half-yard short of gaining the first down. When the Eagles took over, senior fullback Carter Smith took control and ran down the field with a handful of Jacket linebackers on his back. A few plays later, Nathanael Eads caught a touchdown pass from Landen Stacy and the Eagles were in the lead 7-0. After the Jackets returned the ball to the 30-yard line, they were successful in driving the ball down field with some nifty running by Brennan Clark and a pair of Eagle turnovers. The Jackets were forced to attempt a field goal on the drive. The snap was high on the kick attempt and the Jackets turned the ball over on downs. A minute later, Smith ran the ball for a 64-yard touchdown right down the middle of the field to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead. Smith's run was exceptional as he was spun to the ground, but kept his arm straight to prop himself up and keep running when the Jackets thought they had him down on the play. Early in the second quarter, Quinton Turner was intercepted at the Eagles' 45-yard line, and the interception was returned for a touchdown to bring the lead to 21-0. After the touchdown, the Eagles tried an onside kick but the Jackets were ready and the kick was returned 30 yards into Eagles' territory. Clark carried the ball well on the drive and the Jackets were moving the ball well. A personal foul was called against the Jackets for retaliating, and the Jackets settled for a 27-yard field goal by David Martinez to make the score 21-3. On the next possession, Stacy threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-3. Turner was then intercepted for the second time and Madison Southern scored again, this time the quarterback Stacy caught a 40-yard touchdown reception to make the score 35-3 with seven minutes left in the second quarter. The Jackets scored their only touchdown of the game just before halftime after Jayden Hamilton recovered a fumble and carried it down to the Eagles' 8-yard line to set up first and goal. Clark punched the ball in from six yards out to make the score 35-10 at halftime. Woodford County had 14 penalties in the first half which was one of the big contributors to their troubles on the field. In the third quarter, the Jackets forced the Eagles to punt on the opening drive and then Woodford kept the ball for almost 11 straight minutes. After a delay of game call that pushed the Jackets back again, Turner hit McCoun for a first down pass and that was followed up by Clark getting another first down on the ground. Slowly but surely, the Jackets marched down the field and eventually were inside the 10-yard line with a first and goal. The Jackets fumbled the next snap and the fumble was returned all the way to their own 35-yard line. The Jackets tried to slow down the Eagles' offense with big hits from Jayshaun Coffman and Clark, but the Eagles kept coming and scored again on a four-yard touchdown run. After a missed extra point, the score was 41-10. Clark finished the game with a career high 146 yards on the ground for Woodford County. "Most of the time we've lost the first quarter but I thought today we lost the first quarter and battled back," said Coach Dennis Johnson. "Turnovers are killing us every week. We cannot turn the ball over in the red zone and win games. They are momentum killers for us and we can't overcome it. We had moments out here; we kept the ball the whole third quarter and then we fumbled. Stuff like that is something we need to overcome, but it has to come from winning. We have to get through that wall and get that winning feeling. That was a good football team we played tonight. "

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