• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

Jackets suffer winless season


SENIOR JAYDEN HAMILTON leaps in an attempt to deflect a pass in the third quarter of the KHSAA Gridiron Bowl at Doss High School. (Photo by Bill Caine)

FRESHMAN RUNNING BACK MICOLE SHARP carries the ball in the first half of the KHSAA Gridiron Bowl at Doss High School on Friday, Nov 3. (Photo by Bill Caine)

Woodford County was defeated 58-18 by Doss High School in the opening round of the KHSAA 5A playoffs on Friday, November 3. The game was hosted by the Doss Dragons who came into the game winning six games in a row. The game was played in the mud and the conditions worsened as the game wore on.

The Dragons kicked off to start the game and surprised the Jackets with a onside kick. The Dragons recovered and were in the end zone in a couple of plays. The Jackets blocked the extra point attempt and trailed 6-0 early on.

Senior Brody McCoun returned the kickoff to the Dragons 42-yard line. Senior Dawson Switzer ran for 10 yards to start the drive. After Switzer was stopped on the following run, Junior quarterback threw a pass under pressure to freshman JD Alexander to the Dragons 7-yard line. Fellow freshman Micole Sharp ran in a 7 yard touchdown run. McCoun threw a pass to sophomore Skyelar Johnson for the two point conversion. The Jackets led 8-6.

After a failed onside kick by Woodford, the Dragons were once again in the end zone in two plays capped by a 16-yard touchdown run by Dailon Young. The two-point conversion was good to make the score 14-8.

McCoun returned the kick to the 30-yard line and a pair of penalties had the Jackets facing a third down and 30 to go. Woodford punted the ball away but the return was fumbled and recovered by the Jackets. After a pair of short runs, Turner sent a deep ball downfield that drew a pass interference call on the Dragons to advance the ball and breathe life into the Jacket offense. The Dragons brought the house on a blitz but Turner stayed in the pocket under pressure and let a pass go to McCoun that resulted in a 42-yard touchdown. Senior kicker David Martinez kicked the extra point and the Jackets led 15-14.

Doss recovered the Jackets attempt at an onside kick and quickly scored again but this time in the air on a 45-yard touchdown strike. The extra point was no good. Senior Jaylan Washington blocked the ball with his chest on his leaping attempt.

The Jackets had a pair of drives back to back that resulted in long punts by McCoun who does a little of everything for the Jackets. The Dragons came back onto the field throwing the deep ball. Sophomore Sidney Mudd made a pair of outstanding plays breaking up pass plays for the Jackets. On third down the Dragons scored another touchdown in the air this time a juggling catch made by Shawnkell Knight-Goff for a 60-yard score to make it 28-15.

The Jackets struggled from midway through the second quarter until the game was finished. The ability to move the ball was gone and the mental mistakes started to pile up. Doss gave the Jackets many second chances in the first half racking up a total of ten penalties that kept many Woodford drives alive.

Doss put together a 91 yard drive highlighted by some nifty footwork from their tailbacks that eluded Jacket defenders on a pair of long runs on the drive. A 31-yard touchdown by Quion Lee made the score 36-15.

McCoun returned the kickoff and was dragged down by his facemask and the Jackets were in good field position to start the drive after the penalty. Turner's pass was intercepted and brought back for a touchdown to make the score 44-15.

The second half was a running clock and the game moved along quickly. The Dragons added a pair of scores in the second half and the Jackets struggled to move the ball. When the game was finished, coach Dennis Johnson spoke about his captains.

“Brody McCoun is a warrior,” said Johnson. “He plays hurt, he gives up his body for the greater good of the team. He leads by example. Jaylan Washington, man he's a tough kid. He had a great year for us. We moved him around a bit this year but he's a kid who comes to play every day. Jayden Hamilton came on strong for us especially late in the year. Omar was tough man but this game isn't fair sometimes and guys get hurt. That's football though but he gave us all he had this year.”

The Jackets finished the season 0-11 and have lost 17 straight going back to last season. Looking forward into 2018, Johnson will look to training to get the program back on track.

“We have to do a lot better in the offseason,” said Johnson. “We have to take football more seriously. The commitment level has to be much higher than what it is. You cannot play football just on Friday. Football is commitment every single day. I am sure there is plenty I can do better as a coach. I'm still a young coach and there are things I am sure I missed. It starts with me and I will lead these kids to be better. I've never been through this before and I do not want to go through it again.”

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