For The Independent
Jamal Clark, Austin Allison and C.D. Spight looked liked they'd run the Jumbo play for four years.
The only play the trio tried it was the one that mattered Friday. Spight's 10-yard run — with Clark and Allison blocking — was the last touchdown in the West's overtime 20-14 win in the eighth annual Northeastern Kentucky Senior Bowl at Morehead State University's Jayne Stadium.
Spight's run was the result of a Super-I formation. Bourbon County's Clark played the fullback and sealed off a right outside linebacker, Nicholas County graduate Allison took out whoever was left, which left Spight, of George Rogers Clark, practically untouched.
“I saw an open hole for the win,” Spight said.
Allison and Bath County's Jason Little provided the defense. Little picked off a Lance Evans pass late in the fourth quarter, and in overtime Allison sacked Evans for a 10-yard loss and knocked down a fourth-down pass.
“Defense always wins games,” West coach Reed Fields of Bath County. “Special teams let us down, but special teams is hard to learn in a week.”
Fields might have been thinking about East Carter's Conner Staton, who had the second most exciting play. Late in the second quarter he took a Jose DeLuna punt 66 yards for a touchdown, followed by Evans' two-point conversion pass to Lawrence County's Blake Prince.
“Our return was punt right,” Staton said. “We had a wall set up. I sas everybody flowing to the right. I looked to the left, and it was open field green.
A first that did not happened was Greenup County coach Chris Mullins' first high school victory. He's 0-20 in two seasons, but he said he was honored to be on the sideline last night.
“This game is played for the kids, not for the coaches,” Mullins said.
Unlike last year's blowouts the past two years (one win for each side), Friday's game was equally close in the first half as at the end.
West went with some fourth-down trickery when George Rogers Clark's Davon Marshall tossed to Paris' Nate Stevens, who took the reverse 18 years to the East 7. Two plays later, Bath County's Clark Kissick found Marshall in the far right corner for the score with 4:17 to go in the first quarter because Marshall out-jumped Staton.
An Ashland-Raceland combination stalled West's next drive. The Tomcats' Cody Watts sacked Fleming County quarterback Desmond McAdams for an 11-yard loss, and the Rams' Logan Caldwell dropped McAdams for four yards two snaps later.
East's offense opened the second quarter with its longest drive of the half, moving the ball from its own 20 to the West 29. The drive stalled when Evans was dropped for a five-yard loss.
After Staton's touchdown, the defenses held each other out of the end zone.
Raceland's Devin Thomas stalled the West's opening drive of the third quarter when he sacked McAdams for an 8-yard loss.
West's win evened the series at 4-4 … Last night was the first game to be decided in overtime … Ashland graduate Evan Yongue is staying much closer to home. He was going to the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati until he changed his mind Thursday and will play football at Morehead State because he wanted to stay closer to home. “Being an Ashland Tomcat, football is everything; football is life,” Yongue said.