• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Jackets fall to Madison Southern, 55-41

The Woodford County High School football team lost 55-41 to Madison Southern Friday, Oct. 12 at Community Stadium. The Jackets were once again competitive in the game but could not handle the strong running game of the Eagles. Both teams entered the game with a 1-6 record, and the Jackets surrendered 40 or more points for the fifth time this season. The Eagles received the opening kickoff, and four plays later scored on junior Tobias Storm’s 30-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead. The Jackets responded with a 40-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Leo Guadagni to junior wide receiver Skyelar Johnson. The Jackets were successful on the two-point conversion but the play was called back for illegal procedure. After the penalty, the Jackets settled for an extra-point by Joey Whitehead to tie the game with five minutes to play in the first quarter. The Eagles scored again on a two-play drive ,highlighted by a 40-yard touchdown run by senior Alex Knuckles, and the Eagles led 14-7 late in the first quarter. After a 48-yard punt by Guadagni, the Eagles increased their lead to 21-7 on Storm’s 70-yard touchdown run. The Eagles' quarterback faked to the left side and found a gap on the right side, scoring untouched. The Jackets picked up a pair of first downs on runs by senior Ben Nash and Guadagni. After a couple of short runs by junior Amartae Rice, Guadagni connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Johnson. The extra-point try was unsuccessful and the Jackets trailed 21-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Jackets defense sniffed out a fake punt early in the second quarter and turned the Eagles over on downs. Pressure from junior Daegan Bush, and freshmen Jeremiah Schulz and Grant Garrison shut down the fake attempt. Woodford drove the ball inside the red zone after a pass interference call against the Eagles and a first down catch by Rice. The Eagles’ defense held the Jackets and forced a field goal attempt. Whitehead's kick was blocked, and the Jackets turned the ball over on downs. The Jackets forced a punt by the Eagles but the ball hit the foot of a Woodford player, and Madison Southern pounced on the ball for the turnover and scored three plays later on a 60-yard touchdown run by Knuckles to increase the score to 28-7. The Eagles added one more score before halftime to take a 35-13 lead. The Jackets scored on the opening drive of the second half on a two-yard rushing touchdown by Rice. Earlier in the drive, Rice had a 29-yard carry to get the Jackets inside the Eagles' 20 yard line. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, and the Jackets trailed 35-19. WCHS sophomore J.D. Alexander recovered the onside kick, but the Jackets eventually turned the ball over on downs inside the Eagle 15 yard line. Knuckles scored again on an 18-yard touchdown run, and the Eagles increased their lead to 41-19. The extra-point try was unsuccessful. Rice scored on a 35-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to cut the Jackets' deficit to 41-25. WCHS junior Triston Brooks recovered the onside kick to end the third quarter. Rice was a workhorse for the Jackets in the second half. He carried the ball for multiple first downs setting up a short touchdown pass from Guadagni to senior Ryan Duke. Rice scored on the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 41-33. The Eagles responded with a 45-yard touchdown run by Knuckles to increase their lead to 48-33 with four minutes remaining in the game. Knuckles added another rushing touchdown to increase the Eagles lead to 55-33 with three minutes to play in the game. Rice scored on a two-yard touchdown run and Guadagni connected with Johnson for the two-point conversion to bring the score to 55-41 with less than a minute to play. The Eagles recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. The Jackets will host Montgomery County Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 at Homecoming.

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