West Jessamine was able to send its seniors off with a win Friday night in a 55-28 beat down of Woodford County.
“There’s nothing better than for the seniors to go out with a win on their last game on their home field,” West Jessamine coach Graham Heasley said. “That’s something they’ll always remember; it’s something I dearly remember; it’s fantastic.”
While big plays by seniors came up throughout the night, it was junior Devin Taylor who was the backbone of the Colts offense — he scored six of the squad’s eight touchdowns.
“It begins with the guys up front ... everybody loves the passing game, but when you watch the intricacy of how our running game works, it is just a pleasure to watch,” Heasley said.
After West put together a scoring drive to start the game, the defense got a huge stop on its first appearance.
Senior cornerback Te Gatobu intercepted a Woodford pass along the right side and returned he ball for a touchdown to put West up 13-0 just minutes into the game. The extra-point attempt was no good.
Taylor continued to give the Yellowjackets fits throughout the first half, scoring two more times before halftime. His third score of the half was a 45-yard run.
West Jessamine took a 27-14 lead into the break.
Woodford, which scored just before the end of the half, came right back with another touchdown on its first possession of the second half. The score brought the Yellowjackets within six points at 27-21 and had brought back memories of West’s tilt against Anderson County. Against Anderson, West led 20-7 at halftime but let the lead slip away with a poor third quarter.
The Yellowjackets were driving to score again in the third quarter when Gatobu was able to intercept a pass deflection and kill the drive and give West some momentum.
“Te had two very nice interceptions,” Heasley said. “The second one he had was really due to Carson Ball stepping up and making a play tipping the ball up in the air.”
Moments after the pick, Taylor scored from 41 yards out for his fourth touchdown of the night. The timely score gave the Colts a 34-21 lead.
Woodford overcame the sudden setback and scored in the final minute of the third quarter to make it a 34-28 game heading into the final period.
Things got a little crazy in the fourth quarter with the Colts converting on key special-teams plays to grab a hold of the game.
Just eight seconds into the fourth, Taylor was in the end zone for a fifth time, pushing the lead out to 13 points. On the ensuing kickoff, West kicked it short and Woodford failed to cover up the ball, allowing West’s Darron Powell to pounce and take over at its own 46-yard line.
The next 54 yards went by in a flash as Taylor blew past the ’Jackets for a sixth and final time. Only 18 seconds had come off the clock between Taylor touchdowns.
Sensing Woodford’s vulnerability and sitting on a 20-point lead, West went for another onside kick and Powell came up with the ball again.
West’s passing game has taken a back seat to the rushing attack in recent weeks, but senior Ryan Horne got the call working with a short field and hit junior Carter Hahn for a 25-yard scoring pass later in the drive.
“We were a little limited last week (in the passing game). (Horne’s) shoulder was still hurt, so we couldn’t do some of the things we wanted to do, but coach (Yancey) Marcum does a real good job of seizing opportunities and taking advantage of them,” Heasley said. “Ryan put the ball spot on ... it was really nice.”
The strike made it a 55-28 game with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The final big play of the night came as senior Jack Bandy intercepted a pass with 9:15 remaining to kill a Woodford drive.
“You’ve got to love Jack Bandy on that last one. He’s a first-year senior playing a position he’d never played before, and he wanted that ball; he stepped in front and fought for that ball,” Heasley said.
West ends the regular season with a record of 3-7 — an improvement over last fall’s 1-9 mark. Should East Jessamine lose to Wayne County (8-1) on Friday, the Colts make the playoffs. If East beats the Cardinals, the Jaguars go to the postseason and West is done for the year.