By HAL MORRIS
8:54 AM EDT, October 6, 2012
LANCASTER — Bourbon County only made three really big plays on offense Friday.
But those three plays, and one by the Colonels’ defense, were enough to down Garrard County 28-8 in a key Class AAA district matchup at Dyehouse Stadium.
“We’ve played pretty good defense all year long, we have been susceptible to big plays. This Bourbon County team is so impressive, and I talked about it all week. They have five guys that can put out there in the skill positions that can take it to the house,” Garrard coach Mark Scenters said. “When you have that kind of explosive ability, you have to play perfect. And obviously, we didn’t play perfect. We played well at times and gave up some big plays at times.”
The visiting Colonels (7-0, 3-0 Class AAA, District 5) scored on plays of 72 and 84 yards in the second half, and had an interception return for a score late in the game as they erased an 8-6 halftime deficit.
“We really hadn’t been challenged, but we knew Garrard had a great football team, and they still do. And our kids we were kind of trying to feel them out in the first half, I think,” said Bourbon coach John Hodge, a Garrard graduate. “But in the second half we made a few adjustments and were able to come out with a big victory.”
The Golden Lions (3-4, 1-2) held that 8-6 lead late in the third quarter before Bourbon was finally able to get control.
Slade Crutchfield’s punt rolled to the Bourbon 9-yard line with 4:06 left in the third quarter, but it didn’t take long for the Colonels to score. Dalton Pope hit Jaxson Hilander between two Garrard defenders, and Hilander raced in for a 72-yard touchdown to cap a four-play drive and give them a 14-8 lead with 1 minute, 12 seconds left in the quarter.
Garrard came right back with a 14-play drive covering 61 yards, but on a fourth-and-3 from the Bourbon 18, Noah Williams was held to 2 yards to stall the drive.
“We had some good sustained drives, a couple of real good ones, that we weren’t able to finish off with points. If we can finish those off with points, it’s definitely a different game,” Scenters said.
The Colonels struck quickly from there, as Kentayvous Hopkins ripped off an 84-yard touchdown run to give them a 21-8 lead with 6:13 to play. Hopkins finished with 151 yards rushing on 16 carries, but had just 59 yards on 13 attempts before his long scoring run.
“We were doing a good job in our gaps, and helping the cutback lanes, because when he did cut back we were able to get to him and bottle him up a little bit,” Scenters said. “I believe fully that he’s a (Division) I back, and when you let a D-I back get his shoulders square full and heading downhill, it’s heck of task to tackle.”
Garrard was marching again late, driving down to the Bourbon 33, but Bill Abney’s pass was picked off by Joey Gomez, who raced 65 yards for the score to seal the win. Abney was picked off on Garrard’s next drive as well, and the Lions’ offense was held to 215 yards. Williams ran for 79 yards on 29 carries.
“They’re very sound defensively. They did a very good job tonight, their defensive linemen did, of squeezing and playing good technique,” Scenters said. “And their inside linebackers are very good, and it lets their inside linebackers run free and make plays.”
Bourbon finished with 346 yards, but had just 110 yards at halftime.
Garrard’s J.T. Lyon picked off Pope and returned the interception 13 yards to the Bourbon 42-yard line. On fourth-and-7 at the 29, Abney hit Garrett Caudill, who had four catches for 44 yards, for an 8-yard gain to keep the drive alive. The on another fourth-and-7 from the 18, Abney found Caudill again on the left side and drilled him with an 18-yard scoring pass to give the Lions an 8-0 lead with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
It stayed that way until midway through the second quarter, when on third-and-6, Pope threw a quick out to Charles Johnson, who then raced 45 yards for a Bourbon touchdown. But Garrard’s Jaylan McPherson stopped Brent Holman’s run on a two-point conversion attempt to keep the Lions in front 8-6.
Garrard then mounted a drive which could have meant a huge momentum boost going into halftime. The Lions started at their own 29, and Layne Cumby ripped off a 26-yard run on the first play and Abney kept the drive alive when he hit Lyon for a 13-yard gain on fourth-and-7. But Garrard failed to convert on fourth down again, as Williams was stuffed for no gain at the Bourbon 9 with 1:17 to go in the first half.
“I think it was a turning point for sure. We had a stop on a fourth-down play where we held them and got some momentum and was able to put together a drive, but they were able to hold on to that end,” Scenters said. “That would have been a drive, if we could have finished it off, a drive that definitely could have given us some momentum.”
Bourbon’s Hodge, a former Boyle County assistant who is in his first year as a head coach, admitted this was a tough game for him.
“It’s been mixed emotions. It was kind of weird to come back here,” he said. “But it was good to see some people I hadn’t seen in a long time.”
While Bourbon continues the best start in school history, Garrard has to regroup and go on the road next week to face Western Hills.
“I’m proud of the kids, I’m proud of the kids’ effort, I always am,” Scenters said. “We fought our tails off to a 3-4 record, and record-wise it’s not something any of us are looking for. And I believe we’ve played some pretty good teams in the process of doing it.”
Bourbon County 0 6 8 14 — 28
Garrard County 8 0 0 0 — 8
Garrard — Garrett Caudill 18 pass from Bill Abney (Caudill run), :18.8.
Bourbon — Charles Johnson 45 pass from Dalton Pope (run failed), 6:21.
Bourbon — Jaxson Hilander 72 pass from Popel (Hayden Cox pass from Pope), 1:12.
Bourbon — Kentayvous Hopkins 84 run (Josue Soriano kick), 6;27.
Bourbon — Joey Gomez 65 interception return (Soriano kick), 1:38.
First downs 8 13
Rushes-yards 25-177 45-149
Passing 169 76
Total Net Yards 346 215
Comp-Att-Int 7-9-1 8-13-2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-55 2-10
RUSHING—Bourbon, Kentayvous Hopkins 16-151, Dalton Pope 6-27, Marquaze Hill 1-7, Brent Holman 1-0, Charles Johnson 1-minus 8. Garrard, Noah Wiliams 29-79, Layne Cumby 2-24, Garrett Caudill 4-21, Jaylan McPherson 5-14, Bill Abney 5-11.
PASSING—Bourbon, Pope 7-9-1-169. Garrard, Abney 8-13-2-76.
RECEIVING—Bourbon, Jaxson Hilander 1-72, Johnson 2-56, Hopkins 1-20, Jake Fooks 1-13, . Home, Hayden Cox 2-8. Garrard, Caudill 4-44, J.T. Lyon 1-13, Jacob Smith 1-10, Nick McCulom 1-6, Cumby 1-3.day.
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