• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

WCHS football begins season with 40-0 loss at Danville

The Woodford County High School football team opened its 2018 football season with a 40-0 loss to Danville at the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic Saturday, Aug. 18. The game was a tale of two halves. In the first half, the Jacket defense was stingy and forced the Admirals into turnovers. Injuries and fatigue set in during the second half, allowing Danville to pull away in the third quarter.

“In terms of effort, I think we played really hard tonight,” said WCHS junior Sidney Mudd. “We have a lot of guys playing both sides of the ball in the first half especially; we had a ton of energy. I think coach will look at our conditioning this week and work on us being ready to play the full 48 minutes.”

The Jackets won the coin toss and received the opening kick. Woodford's drive was shut down by the stout Admiral defense forcing a punt. The Jackets' defense dominated Danville's first possession. The Admiral's ran back-to-back option plays, and the Woodford linebackers were in position for the tackle. DHS senior quarterback Zach Thornton was stopped on an option run on fourth down, and the Jackets took over inside the Danville 30-yard line.

The penalties piled up for the Jackets on the next possession. By the seven-minute mark of the first quarter, the Jackets had already tallied six penalties. The Woodford drive stalled and senior quarterback Kam Sunbom punted inside the Admiral 10-yard line. The Jackets defense again stood tall and forced a fumble on the Admiral's second play from scrimmage and regained possession on the Danville 14-yard line. After a turnover on downs by the Jackets, The Admirals began an 80-yard drive down the field highlighted by a pair of runs by Thornton, including a 40-yard touchdown dash up the middle. The Jackets next drive was unsuccessful, and they were forced to punt again. The Admirals had a great drive going but were forced to attempt a field goal. WCHS senior Leo Guadagni blocked the attempt.

On the ensuing drive, Sunbom's pass was intercepted, and the Admirals took over with excellent field position. The Admirals took a 13-0 lead into the half.

“I thought we played well and had some juice in the first half,” said WCHS Coach Dennis Johnson. “We are fighting this injury bug though. It got us last year, and here we go again. When you get four or five guys out, and your team is not deep, you scramble to find players who can step into new roles immediately.” In the second half, the kick off was punctuated by a huge defensive hit by WCHS senior Brennan Clark. A pushing match at midfield followed with both teams receiving offsetting penalties.

The Admiral offense took control with its running game and began to wear down the Jackets' defense and later scored on an 8-yard touchdown by senior Kishown Bartleson to take a 20-0 lead.

The following possession, Sunbom fumbled on a pitch to the halfback resulting in a 28-yard touchdown by the Danville defense to give the Admirals a 27-0 lead.

The lead at the end of the third quarter increased to 33-0. The Admirals added another score with five minutes to play in the game.

“I think we need a big week of practice this week to be ready for Madison Central,” said WCHS senior Wyatt Andreoni. “Guys are going to be learning a lot of new positions this week, and we all have to be paying close attention, myself included. If we work hard, then it will show on the field, and that's what we have to do.”

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