Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 6, 2013

Class A Playoffs: Raceland enters home stretch

Rams wouldn’t hit road until state semifinal round

RACELAND — Raceland football hasn’t hosted a regional final since 2008, when Lexington Christian handed the Rams a haunting loss that still lingers inside Rams Stadium.

Possibly waiting in the wings is a shot at redemption, in more ways than one.

If Raceland beats Phelps on Friday and proceeds to beat either Paintsville or South Floyd on Nov. 15, the regional final will nestle itself into the small tight-knit community of Raceland-Worthington for the first time since it saw a 20-3 regional championship lead morph into a 27-20 defeat.

The opponent will likely be Pikeville, the team that abruptly halted the Rams in shocking fashion in the second round a year ago.

“We were humbled last year,” said Raceland coach T.J. Maynard. “It ended way too early for us.”

Maynard is glad that the next three weeks will be spent in the confines of the Rams’ own home.

“It’s an awesome feeling to know that you’re going to be playing at home in front of home crowds,” said the fourth-year Rams coach. “We don’t have to get on that yellow dog (school bus) and travel.”

First up is one-win Phelps. The Hornets’ only victory came against Allen Central on Oct. 11. Overall, they’ve been outscored 446-226 this season.

Raceland (8-2) has avoided full contact in practice this week, focusing instead on fundamentals.

“We’re just trying to polish everything up and spend more time on our young guys,” Maynard said.

The reserves will be ready to take the field if Raceland shoots out to a commanding advantage.

Kane Snyder, the Rams’ second-leading rusher, will miss Friday’s game with a “bum ankle,” according to Maynard. He should return next week.

Daylin Beach leads Raceland on the ground, with 895 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games.

Quarterback Adam Elkins tallied 1,245 passing yards, 15 TDs and six picks in the regular season. He also has 314 yards on the ground.

Connor Messer leads the dangerous offense with 627 receiving yards and nine scores. Rodney Vance has a team-best 29 catches.

The Rams are coming off a shutout of Ironton. Following a 38-35 loss to Lawrence County on Sept. 27, the defense has given up just eight points a game in the last four contests. Much of that improvement correlates with the solidifying play of linebackers Seth Holbrook, Timmy McComas and Snyder, said Maynard.

Also playing a key role is a healthy Isaac Wallace, a freshman defensive lineman who missed the Lawrence County game.

Maynard notices a difference this year compared to his other groups at this juncture of the season.

“More confidence,” he said. “They’re believing in themselves.”

Maynard points to the pair of losses as being two of the most beneficial moments in 2013.

“We’re four points away from being 10-0, but I believe those two losses helped us more than any of these victories did,” Maynard said.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0423BoydBaseB0220.jpg Boyd feeling sweepy

    Ashland’s defense opened the door in consecutive innings Tuesday. The second time, Boyd County barged through for a sweep of their regular-season baseball series.

    April 23, 2014 4 Photos

  • 042214_5a.jpg Rams snap series skid

    Greenup County applied pressure all night, but the Raceland Rams were impervious.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boyd rocks Lady Rams

    Lora Thompson didn’t realize she got all of it.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cook out at Lawrence

    Josh Cook knows he’s leaving a boys basketball program in Lawrence County that is “at a level that’s maybe one of the highest levels it’s ever been,” he said.

    April 22, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Kittens whip up 2 wins

    Ashland’s softball team improved to 16-2 on Tuesday with mercy-rule victories against West Carter and Fairview.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fleming’s Burns lands at G’town

    About the only thing missing was Pharrell Williams’s hit song, “Happy,” playing in the background.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0422GregTodd_038.jpg Todd named Morehead State women’s coach

    Morehead State has hired Greg Todd as its women’s basketball coach.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • PREP ROUNDUP: Ashland puts walk in walk-off

    Pete Mullins worked a walk-off walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Casey Clark and push Ashland past Ironton, 2-1, on Monday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Salow named SEC pitcher of week

    Kentucky freshman lefty Logan Salow was announced Monday as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after the Ashland alumnus threw five shutout innings in two appearances last week, including earning a victory at archrival Louisville.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0422russBaseB0116.jpg Red Devils get jump on Lewis

    As far as Lewis County baseball coach Jack Lykins is concerned, all four teams in the 63rd District are even.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone