• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Tigers win dramatic home opener, 29-28

The Woodford County Middle School eighth-grade football team won 29-28 over the Bourbon County Colonels Thursday, Aug. 23. The Jackets jumped out to an early lead before surrendering three unanswered touchdowns. The Tigers made an epic surge in the second half to win the game and secure WCHS Coach Dave Thomas's first win at WCMS. The Colonels received the opening kickoff and the Tiger defense shut them down on three straight running plays and forced a punt. The Tigers moved the ball down the field quickly on an option keeper by quarterback Sawyer Ford. WCMS lineman turned fullback Dakota Hobbs carried three Colonel defenders into the end zone to give the Tigers the early 7-0 lead. The Colonels responded quickly with a three play touchdown drive punctuated by a two-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead. The Tigers fumbled on their next possession and the Colonels took advantage of the miscue to take a 14-7 lead. The Colonels would add another score and led 20-7 late in the first half. In the last minute of the half, Ford found wide receiver Alex Owens streaking down the field for a 30- yard completion and found him again on the next play for the touchdown. Ford's extra-point was good and the Tigers trailed 20-14 at halftime. In the third quarter, both teams exchanged punts to begin the half. On the Tigers' second possession, they faked a punt on fourth down and Hobbs rumbled down the sideline for a 30-yard gain and gave a shot in the arm to the Tiger offense. A few plays later, Hobbs again carried numerous Colonel defenders on his back into the end zone. In the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored again. This time Ford faked the handoff to Hobbs and turned upfield for the score and followed it up with a two-point conversion to give the Tigers a 29-28 lead. Matthew Soawrds was the defensive hero of the night when he forced a fumble that the Tigers recovered. After a first down conversion, the Tigers lined up in victory formation and ran the clock out. WCHS Coach Dennis Johnson gave Thomas an ice cooler bath as time ran out. “I'm really proud of how the kids responded tonight,” said Thomas. “I told them yesterday that there would be a point that we faced adversity and when it came we needed to respond with fight. I told them if we did that we would win and they did. Tonight they fought and played with heart.”

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