• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Jackets fall 28-14 to West Jessamine

LEO GUADAGNI returns a kick in the first half against West Jessamine on Friday, October 27th.  The Jackets lost the game 28-14. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County football team has had a tough season on the field. The Jackets feel to 0-10 on the season Friday, October 27th with a road loss to West Jessamine High School. Woodford fought hard and this game was up for grabs for much of the contest.

The opening kick off was returned by junior wide receiver Leo Guadagni for 40 yards. Junior running back Brennan Clark picked up a tough first down by lowering his shoulder into a pair of Colts defenders and pushing past the first down markers. A few plays later, junior quarterback Quinton Turner pitched the ball to senior Brody McCoun. McCoun took the pitch and threw the ball to junior wide receiver Lee Kain who juked his way by defenders and was tackled at the six inch line. Senior Dawson Switzer pushed his way through the Colts defense to score the touchdown two plays later. The extra point by senior David Martinez was successful and the Jackets had a 7-0 lead.

The Jackets lined up for the kick off and tried to surprise the Colts with an onside kick but the attempt was unsuccessful. West Jessamine came onto the field with a game plan of running the ball up the middle and the Jackets responded well with a stout front line to slow down the Colts attack. Despite the big effort by the defensive line, the Colts were able to successfully move the ball and convert long third down chances. The Colts attack was led by running back Allen Horne who fought off Jacket defenders to score and tie the game at 7-7.

BRENNAN CLARK bounces off a West Jessamine defender in the second half of the game on Friday, October 27th.  Clark had 10 carries for 53 yards in the game. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The kick off return by Guadagni was brilliant as he weaved through defenders to bring the ball to the 40-yard line and the Jackets looked poised for another big drive. The drive started with a 16-yard run by Clark and then a few plays later Turner stood over the center staring down a third down and 10 to go. Turner threw a laser to sophomore wide receiver Ziggy Gill to convert the first down. Turner followed the Gill completion with a pass to junior wide receiver Ryan Duke to bring the ball to the Colts 17-yard line. After short gains by McCoun and Switzer, the Jackets were unable to convert the third down and were forced to attempt a field goal. The snap bounced on the ground a few times before McCoun picked it up and tried to throw a pass but was intercepted at the Colts 11-yard line.

The Colts responded with a 75 yard line on the first play from scrimmage and the Jackets had their backs to the wall trying to keep the game tied. Horne fumbled the ball two plays later and the Jackets recovered the ball on their own 1-yard line and survive the scare.

The Jackets next possession was quick with just three plays before the punt. Guadagni's punt was called back on a penalty against West Jessamine for running into the kicker. The Jackets punted again and West Jessamine took over at the Woodford 32-yard line.

The Jackets defense came alive when Kain and Clark sacked the quarterback and then came up with a fourth and short stop by Jayden Hamilton to get the Jacket offense back on the field.

The Jackets faced a fourth and one situation to start the opening drive and were able to convert on a McCoun keeper up the middle. Back to back runs by Switzer gave the Jackets another first down and once again the black and gold was on the move. McCoun ran for six yards and a pair of short runs by Clark and Switzer added another first down to the drive. Turner fired to Lee Kain for another first down . With the clock running late in the first half, Turner threw a ball downfield to Duke that was cut off by the Colts defender and intercepted at the Colts' 12 yard line. Duke battled for the ball and had his hands on the ball on the way to the ground but the defender had better position to haul the ball into his chest and land safely with the interception. The Woodford County fans who braved the cold conditions gave a big cheer to the Jackets as they came running off the field to end the first half.

Woodford County attempted an onside kick to start the second half but the Colts fell on the ball and took over with great field position. The first play of the second half was a long gain for the Colts but a penalty was called for offensive holding and the Colts were facing first down with twenty to go. The Jackets held the Colts running game in check and forced a punt.

Turner pitched to McCoun again and McCoun found Kain on a third and long pass for a first down. Turner hit Clark with a strike out of the backfield and Clark ran for a first down making numerous Colts defenders miss. Clark was pulled to the ground by several Colts players in a loud collision on the Jackets sideline. Clark ran for seven more yards on the next play and Switzer converted the first down by gaining five yards on the ground. The Jackets faced fourth down after a pair of incomplete passes and a short run by Switzer. On fourth down, Turner threw to McCoun but the ball fell through his fingertips. West Jessamine took over on downs.

The Colts were stopped short of a first down and were facing a fourth down and short when the Jackets were called for a five yard penalty to breathe new life into the Colts offense. The Colts took advantage with a pair of big runs by Horne to score and take the lead 14-7.

The Jackets started the next drive with great field position after Guadagni returned the ball to 48-yard line. The Jackets had short gains on three straight runs and on fourth down with four to go needed to make a play. Turner hit Clark with a short pass for the first down and Switzer followed the completion up with a gain of nine on the ground. Switzer converted the first down attempt and after a few short plays the Jackets faced fourth down again. The Jackets recovered their own fumble on fourth and ten to go for a turnover on downs with seven minutes left to play.

The offensive line of the Colts started to wear down the Jackets defensive line and that led to another scoring chance. The Colts continued to pound the ball up the middle and working the clock to keep the Jackets offense off the field. West Jessamine scored on a pair of power runs by Horne to bring the score to 21-7.

The Jackets took the kick off and went right down the field on a pair of completions by Turner. Turner found Gill in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-14. The Jackets attempted an onside kick but were unable to recover the kick. The Colts ran the clock down to zero bringing the regular season to a close for the Jackets.

“The kids played hard,” said coach Dennis Johnson. “Before the game we really noticed their energy was up . We had a few plays where we didn't execute the way we wanted to and that made a huge difference in the outcome. The kids needed some confidence tonight and we created some by being tied at halftime. This is a very young team that took its lumps out here this season but they come out and work hard every night. I was happy with how Q (Turner) played well tonight and the run game was solid. Brennan wasn't feeling well all week and came out and played hard. I thought Brody (McCoun) and Switzer played well also. The defense played with energy and these guys will continue to improve.”

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