Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

August 24, 2013

Cyrus powers offense in blowout of Lions

LOUISA — His initials are A.J., but his game is TDs.

Quarterback A.J. Cyrus operated Lawrence County’s option offense smoothly and came up with four touchdowns as the Bulldogs blitzed Boyd County, 56-15, on Friday night at Lawrence County High School.

Cyrus and company tallied 497 total yards of offense without starting fullback Ricky Goble, a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago, for the bulk of the contest. Goble exited after four carries with a tweaked right ankle.

Sophomore Cole Mosley stepped in as Goble’s replacement and did “a wonderful job,” as stated by Cyrus. He provided 90 yards and two scores, including the game-opening TD at the 4:30 mark of the first quarter.

“Whenever our main man Ricky Goble went down, we had a sophomore step up for us,” Cyrus said. “He had some huge runs for us. It was a huge surprise. He’s had to do it before in practice, and he’s just showing that he’s the man if Ricky goes down.”

One of Cyrus’ TDs even went to another TD — Timmy Dalton. Dalton nabbed a perfectly placed strike in stride and scampered to a 61-yard score to open up the Bulldog lead to 14-0 by first quarter’s end.

According to Cyrus, the freshman wideout initially planned on staying out of football to focus on basketball. Cyrus, though, wouldn’t have any of that.

“It took me everything to talk him into playing because he’s been so involved in basketball,” Cyrus said. “I needed him out there this season just so I could have some extra help on the other side of the ball.”

“He’s a good recruiter along with being a quarterback, I guess,” said Lawrence County third-year coach Joe Cecil through laughter.

Complementing Dalton is junior receiver Noah Lambert. He also recorded a TD reception, a 58-yarder in the second quarter.

“(Dalton and Lambert) give me the confidence to be able to throw it up there and they can just go up there and grab it,” Cyrus. said.

Cyrus was playing so confident, he started pushing his own offensive linemen around.

Cyrus is 170 pounds, but when 270-pound teammate Michael Johnson unintentionally blocked a running lane, Cyrus swiped his left arm across the shoulder of Johnson.

Johnson didn’t budge, but it boosted Cyrus to one of his several long pickups — he finished with 165 yards on the ground to go with two touchdowns. The senior was 3 of 3 for 134 yards and two scores through the air.

Playing its first game under the direction of head coach John Gilliam, Boyd County looked entirely overmatched until the offense came up with a 10-play, 58-yard drive in the second quarter.

Quarterback Billy McCoy found paydirt from five yards out, and a two-point conversion by Tanner Edmonds trimmed Lawrence County’s lead to 20-8.

The Bulldogs’ response? A big bite. Less than a minute later is when Cyrus hooked up with Lambert for six points, which was followed by a Derek Ferguson two-point conversion. Ferguson finished with 67 yards.

Mosley and Cyrus each scored in the third quarter, while Ferguson added one early in the fourth that brought the running clock in effect.

Boyd County freshman Christian Braly blazed down the sideline for a 54-yard TD run with 6:50 left. Dalton returned a kickoff 78 yards for the game’s final score.

“It was fun,” Cecil admitted, somewhat hesitantly. “It gives us hope. We’ve got a chance to be pretty good this year, but we’ve got some tough games ahead.”

Lawrence County held the Lions to 190 yards of offense. The Bulldogs allowed just eight passing yards and picked off a pair of passes — Lambert and Zach Keesee recorded the interceptions.

“They took us to the woodshed,” said Gilliam. “They’ve got some pretty darn good playmakers over there.

“We’ve just got to get some more bodies that want to play…” he added. “… that want to play during the four or five days of prep and not just the day the game is on. We have some quality young kids, but we’ve got some work to do.”

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos