Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 31, 2012

Tomcats’ playoff opener a tough test

ASHLAND — Holmes (6-4) at Ashland (8-2)

Kickoff: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last meeting: Holmes won 31-3, 1995

Series: Ashland leads 10-5-1

Radio: WBVB 97.1-FM

A dangerous, playmaking team will visit Putnam Stadium on Friday night in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs.

“Everybody in northern Kentucky will say they have really good athletes and they’re a scary football team when they’re clicking,” said Ashland coach Leon Hart.

At the moment, Covington Holmes seems to be clicking. The Bulldogs have won four of their last six, with the two losses coming against Class 4A District 7 top teams Highlands and Covington Catholic. And they still managed 28 points on each of those powerful opponents.

“They have speed all over the place,” Hart said.

It starts with Jonathon Scruggs, a junior halfback who piled up 185 yards on 12 carries in a 50-0 blowout of defending Class 2A state champion Cov. Holy Cross last week. Hart watched from the stands.

“He had 140 yards and two touchdowns on his first two touches,” said Ashland’s coach, who likened Scruggs to a gazelle. “He’s the fastest kid I’ve seen on video since (George Washington senior and North Carolina commit Ryan) Switzer.”

Mikekale Scruggs, a strong fullback, is also one to whom quarterback Rashawn Coston likes to hand off. Coston, a senior, missed time this season due to injury. It allowed several different players time under center, but Coston figures to be the signal-caller on Friday.

Coston has shown the ability to throw deep. Desean Peterson is the Bulldogs’ deep threat at receiver.

Holmes (6-4) also lost to Simon Kenton and Cooper this season. Cooper is 9-1 and Simon Kenton is 6A.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Hart said.

Ashland (8-2) is well-tested, and after having last week off, fairly well-rested. At running back, the Tomcats (No. 8 AP) will be without leading rusher Quinton Baker. The freshman has a torn ligament in his foot. Jeremy Jackson is also out with an injury, and Cody Watts has been out all season.

So, that means senior Malik Massey will be looked upon to continue filling in nicely. He rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in the Tomcats’ loss to Johnson Central two weeks ago.

Said Hart, as he has said before, about Massey: “He’s a threat to score from anywhere on the field.”

Evan Yongue and quarterback Aaron Elam also bring a solid running ability and good strength out of the backfield.

Starting senior center Drew Walters is back after having suffered a leg injury against Russell in Week 4. Logan Salow, the Tomcats’ second-leading receiver, defensive back and punter, is also returning from the sidelines.

“We’ve got to make sure Salow and (Noah) Wessel are touching the ball outside,” Hart said. “We can’t just let them keep everybody in the box.”

Ashland will likely lean on its strong defensive front for leverage. Cade O’Bryan has led the defensive line with 39 solo tackles. Shannon Justice and Slater Swift have been solid all season at linebacker.

The winner will take on the winner of Highlands-Boyd County next Friday.

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

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014