Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 8, 2013

CLASS 3A PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Russell's home-field advantage

For 12th straight season, Red Devils open playoffs at home

(Continued)

RUSSELL — Lewis County at

Garrard County

The atmosphere around the Lewis County football program has changed over the years.

Instead of being satisfied about making the playoffs, Lewis County coach Josh Hughes said his team is now expecting a win.

Lewis County (7-3) travels to Garrard County (6-4) tonight with the Lions looking for their first postseason win in school history.

“The kids are more focused and goal-oriented than usual,” Hughes said. “It’s a long way to go to lay down and get beat. We’re on our third straight playoff game and we’re starting to get an expectation. It’s not, here is a playoff game, we need to get the job done and win.”

The Lions will have to stop Garrard County’s leading rusher in senior running back Keagan Penman.

“If we expect to get the job done and win, we have to stop the run game,” Hughes said.

Hughes described Penman as a quick, explosive and strong running back who gets the ball a lot.

The Lions are hoping the speedy defensive backfield of Jordan Davis and Chase Parker can help contain Penman and the Golden Lions’ running game  

“They find extra ways to get the ball to the halfback,” Hughes said. “We just kind of expect those kids to make plays and stop the outside run. We put trust in them.

“If we stack eight guys in their place, if (Penman) bounces it out, we expect those secondary guys to make plays.”

Hughes said another key for the Lions is getting off to a fast start. Trying to help Lewis County get off to a fast start will be junior quarterback Isaac Weddington.

This season Weddington has thrown for 1,493 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. And more importantly for Hughes, he’s becoming a leader on the field.

“He does everything we’ve asked him to do,” Hughes said. “Statistically he’s a heck of a quarterback. He has leadership and manages the game well, and gets our guys out of the huddle quickly. He’s just such a leader.”

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