Young has taken full advantage, allowing Daylin Beach to spend most of his effort at running back.
“Josh Young has been solid all year,” Maynard said. “In so many situations tonight he had Estep man to man and did an unbelievable job. Estep could not get separation.”
On the other sideline, McNamee was proud of his team’s effort in keeping Raceland off the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter.
“I think our defense stepped up,” McNamee said. “If going in I knew we would hold them to 14 points, I would have said we had a pretty good chance of winning. But Raceland’s defense played outstanding, too. They did a good job flying to the football.”
The Rams capitalized on a poor Pikeville punt snap as Greg Bowling tackled Estep at the Panthers’ 23.
Raceland picked up a first down on a fourth-and-5 situation as quarterback Adam Elkins completed a swing pass to Beach for 7 yards. The Rams faced another fourth down at the 4 and running back Kane Snyder found a hole on the left side to get into the end zone. Beach, who rushed for 126, carried for the 2-pointer from Wildcat formation to make it 8-3.
Raceland put together a 56-yard scoring drive for some insurance. On fourth-and-6 at Pikeville’s 13, wide receiver Connor Messer threw a reverse pass to a wide-open Rodney Vance in the back of the end zone with 8:02 remaining.
“I knew it would be open,” Vance said. “Their free safety was dropping down. Connor made a nice throw. It was perfect execution.”
Messer aided the Rams’ cause in the first quarter with punts of 54 and 63 yards to pin Pikeville deep in its own territory.
“He just makes plays, whatever the situation,” Maynard said.
Later in the fourth quarter, Raceland sophomore linebacker Seth Holbrook sacked Charles on third down at midfield.
Holbrook said a blitz wasn’t called, but he saw a gap and took advantage of the opportunity.
“It feels great,” Holbrook added. “Coach Maynard told us this week Pikeville is the best offensive team we have played. We accepted the challenge.”
The Rams improved to 11-2 with their seventh consecutive win.
Pikeville, also 11-2, had not scored less than 48 points in a game since a 56-20 loss to Belfry two months ago.
“Our defense was great all night, what can you say,” Vance said.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2671.