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John McGary, Woodford Sun Editor
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Jackets win home opener, 35-13
The Woodford County Yellow Jackets kicked off their 2020 football season in winning fashion Friday night at Community Stadium with a 35-13 victory over Great Crossing of Scott County.
“I think the kids have worked hard, been very excited to play, and … not knowing if they were going to get to play kind of gave us some extra motivation …” Johnson said.
He also credited students, administrators and fans for making the game possible – and victorious.
“We were at capacity – 650 – so we had a good crowd. So it was a good day for Woodford County football,” Johnson said.
Among the keys to victory were a half-dozen turnovers by the Warhawks, including a fumbled punt in the first quarter and a fumbled snap on their one-yard line that JD Alexander jumped on for a touchdown. Meanwhile, the Jackets didn’t turn the ball over once, which Johnson said might have been an even bigger key to the win.
Though Woodford County gave up more than 200 rushing yards for the game, the Jackets D shut down the Warhawks after Great Crossing’s second quarter touchdown closed the gap to 21-13.
Junior quarterback Bryce Patterson played a “phenomenal game,” according to Johnson.
“He’s really matured, grown up a lot. I think he’s definitely the leader of the team. I think we threw the ball more efficiently than we had in years past with this new offense,” Johnson said, referring to the team’s triple-option attack.
One of the best examples of the confusion that offense can cause came on a 60-yard touchdown pass from Patterson to JD Alexander that not only caught the Warhawks off guard, but also a videographer for WKYT-TV, who had trouble tracking the ball. Johnson credited an assistant coach for suggesting the play-action pass.
“Coaching is about adjustments,” Johnson said. “Most people know what you’re going to do coming out, but how do you adjust to the opposition? I thought my coaching staff did a good job of adjusting …”
Alexander also scored on an end zone fumble, had five tackles, a sack and another tackle for loss, while Jackson Geilear had a rushing touchdown, 10 tackles, at least two for losses, a sack “and was all over the place,” according to Johnson.
Johnson said he was also impressed with the play of his offensive line.
“I kind of got after them after our intra-squad scrimmage … so those guys really worked hard last week and thus we had a good outcome with rushing the football,” Johnson said. He praised newcomer Preston Tracy, a junior transfer from Henry Clay, whom he said ran the ball well despite still trying to figure out the offense.
“Just across the board, I thought we had a great performance, offensively, defensively and special teams,” he said.
Next up is an away game Friday night at 7:30 at Franklin County High School, with the fourth-ranked Flyers a major step up in competition.
“Great team, quarterback’s a three-year starter who’s an absolute monster. They have a kid named Fred Farrier who’s probably received 20 Division I offers – a receiver – and their defense is good. … They run a 4-4 defense and they just come downhill and play smash mouth defense. So it’s going to be a great test for us, but I’m excited. I love these type of games – to see where we are early in the season. But I think my guys are ready for the challenge …” Johnson said