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Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports
Sep 19, 2018
3 min read
Jackets’ fourth-quarter rally falls short
The Woodford County High School football team lost 37-30 to Spencer County Friday, Sept. 14. The Bears controlled the second and third quarters with a stout running game that had the Jackets on their heels. Woodford made a furious rally in the fourth quarter but came up short.
The Jackets began the game on offense. Senior Ben Nash returned the kickoff to the 36-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Leo Guadagni pitched the ball to fellow senior Ryan Duke who threw a dart 40 yards downfield to junior wide receiver Skyelar Johnson. After a pair of runs up the gut of the Spencer County defense by junior Amartae Rice, senior Brennan Clark scored on a two-yard touchdown run.
The Bears responded with a quick drive, scoring on a long touchdown run by senior Brandon Jewell.
After the Jackets recovered the onside kick, Guadagni scrambled for a pair of first down runs and later found Johnson in the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter.
Spencer County's running attack continued to move the ball down the field until the Jackets forced them into a long third down situation. On the next play, the Jackets were called for a defensive pass interference penalty, and the Bears scored on a field goal to cut the deficit to 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Jewell scored his second touchdown of the game with 10 minutes left in the half to give the Bears a 17-14 lead.
The Jackets running game racked up four first downs on the next possession highlighted by a 15-yard run by Rice into Bears' territory. The Jackets were eventually turned over on downs when Guadagni was sacked to end the drive.
The Bears scored again on another long rushing touchdown to take a 24-14 lead, and added another by sophomore Conner Price and took a 31-14 lead into halftime. Clark was injured late in the half and did not return to the game.
Late in the third quarter, the Bears were inside the Jackets' 20-yard line when Nash recovered a fumble by Jewell to give Woodford the ball deep in its own territory.
The Bears scored on the opening play of the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 37-14.
The Jackets' offense went to the air on its next possession. Guadagni completed three consecutive passes to get the ball down the field. A few places later, Guadagni threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Johnson on fourth down and 15 yards to go. Guadagni and Johnson hooked up again for the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to 37-22.
WCHS junior Lucas Brocato recovered a fumble at midfield to give the Jackets possession with six minutes to play.
Guadagni completed a 20-yard pass to Duke, and a 15-yard defensive penalty gave the Jackets the ball inside the Spencer County 10 yard line.
Rice scored on a 2-yard run and Johnson converted the two-point conversion to make the score 37-30.
The Woodford defense forced the Bears to punt. The Jackets then began its final possession on the 50-yard line with less than three minutes to play. Guadagni connected with Duke on a first down pass to open the drive.
Guadagni threw a completion to Nash at the 31 yard line, but Nash was hit and fumbled the ball. The Bears recovered and won the game.
"I loved our fight in the second half," said WCHS Coach Dennis Johnson. "I think in the first half we were still stuck in last week's glory and thought they would lie down for us. We probably don't know how to handle success yet, but they showed me something by playing with some grit in the second half. Our defensive coaches made some adjustments in the second half, and we were able to keep them from hurting us further on the ground. We'll go back and look at the film before we head to play a good Western Hills team with probably the best player in the state, running back Wandale Robinson. We have to be ready and play our game."