• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Jackets fall to Montgomery Co.

SOPHOMORE CHARLIE ELLIOTT closes in on a Montgomery County ball carrier in the first half against Montgomery County, Friday, Oct. 20.  (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County High School football team was defeated by a score of 61-14 in a game played on Friday, Oct. 20, at Montgomery County. The Indians kicked off to Woodford to start the game and the Jackets started to struggle from the opening kick. The ball hit the ground and took a hop backwards toward the oncoming kicking team and the Indians recovered. The first play from scrimmage for the Indians was a touchdown run and the Jackets were stunned on the sideline. The next kickoff was handled by junior running back Brennan Clark and returned for 28 yards. The Jackets had a couple of short runs and an incomplete pass that resulted in a punt deep into Indians' territory. The Indians' second play from scrimmage in the game resulted in a 79-yard touchdown pass and Woodford was staggered early in the game. Woodford received the ball back and put up a fight on the next drive. After a pair of short runs by senior running back Dawson Switzer, Clark converted for the first down and the next play, Clark broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run that gave the black and gold sideline new life. On the next kickoff, Montgomery County appeared to run the kick back for a touchdown, but a flag was thrown on the play for a block in the back on the Indians and a personal foul called on the Jackets. The result was a second kick off that was a short return on a bobbled onside attempt. The next play was a 35-yard touchdown by the Indians and the game was slipping away quickly at 21-7. After a return of negative yards by the Jackets, Clark fumbled the ball that led to a quick touchdown pass by the Indians and the score was 27-7 after a missed extra point. "I like that we were able to fight back like we did early on," said junior defensive end Mason Smith. "Our guys are hardworking, they fight together every week and that's something I'm proud of." Junior Ben Nash took the return for a nice gain up to the Jackets' 40-yard line. The next play, Nash exploded for a big 43-yard run around the right side of the offensive line and the Jackets were inside the Indians red zone for the first time in the game. The Jackets' plan was to stay with the run game and they ran three straight up the gut of the Indians defense and were facing fourth and inches. Junior quarterback Quinton Turner stood over the line and drew the defense offsides with a hard count. Woodford was first and goal at the Indians 4-yard line. Clark scored his second touchdown of the game with a hard-nosed effort straight up the middle to make the score 27-14. "I think we had some moments where we looked like we want to look but I think we need to get back to basics and clean up the mistakes," said Nash. "If we can stay with basics we can perfect what we are trying to do and not make the mistakes we've made every week. I know how hard these guys work and it's not a lack of work that's for sure." The Indians kept on coming with their intensity and scored another quick 62-yard touchdown run and after the Jackets were forced to punt on the following drive, Montgomery County struck again to make the score a whopping 41-14 halfway through the second quarter. Woodford got the ball back and could not advance it resulting in a punt. The Indians made them pay with a handoff reverse on the punt return and the result was a 60-yard touchdown for the Indians. After another punt by the Jackets, a long touchdown pass attempt was up for grabs in the end zone and junior cornerback Leo Guadagni made a terrific leaping interception for the Jackets to avoid further damage. "I think we just had too many mental errors between missing tackles and turnovers," said senior defensive end Jayden Hamilton. "Going into next week we just have to find the game plan that works best and go out and compete." In the second half, the clock was running throughout the remainder of the game and Montgomery County tacked on another touchdown late in the game to bring the total to 61-14. "I honestly don't have many answers," said Coach Dennis Johnson. "We practice hard and the kids give their all. We had a great week of practice so I'm sure everyone is frustrated that we can't see the results on the field. The young kids got to play some tonight and we have guys out here who want to compete, we just can't make it happen on gameday. " "These are some tough hard-nosed dudes on this team," said senior defensive lineman Jaylan Washington. "We go at it every night in practice and push each other. We want to win for each other."

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