Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 22, 2012

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: Central, Ashland put on a show

Aaron Snyder
The Independent

ASHLAND — Football fans, would you rather see your team get blown out or lose in mind-blowingly crushing fashion, such as Ashland did on Friday night in a 22-21 loss at Johnson Central?

Players, the QB will ask you the same thing.


I call Friday night’s game the “Thrilla in Paintsvilla” because, as Johnson Central coach Jim Matney inferred, the rivalry matchup was akin to a heavyweight boxing match.

“It seemed like every time we punched, Ashland would counter-punch,” he said.

Several players got in a jab.

Malik Massey, bouncing around like Frogger from the classic arcade game, sprung free for a few runs that made it look like he’d been the feature running back all season long for the Tomcats. But the senior was just in his second game, filling in for the injured Quinton Baker. He’s typically a wideout.

Aaron Elam, Ashland’s quarterback, broke away for a thunderous 50-yard run.

There was Zach Gound-to-Dalton Adkins Part I, which capped off an epic 15-play, eight-minute drive for Johnson Central — but the sequel was even better.

Josh Dillon’s TD sprint tied it all up in the fourth quarter.

Ashland’s Luke Johnson and company forced (and recovered) a Johnson Central fumble with four minutes left.

So many players formed to make a collage of images that remain vivid.

However, most of the many images will eventually become distorted and fade away.

Those that will last: 

‰Fourth-and-19 showing on the scoreboard before Gound-to-Adkins Part II — an overtime touchdown that put Johnson Central within two points of an improbable win, considering the situation.

‰The blur, which was pretty accurately what I saw from the press box when Jordan Young took a handoff and found the goal line to give the Golden Eagles a victory.

‰Both crowds’ visibly contrasting reactions to the final two plays of the game, one deflation, the other jubilation.

‰Ashland coach Leon Hart sitting on the Tomcats’ bench, dumbstricken and heartbroken.

‰The spherical wave of gold and black converged in a celebratory cluster at midfield.

As for the question posed earlier, I think the answer depends on when the question is asked.

Over time, it might become tougher and tougher to swallow, especially for the losing coaches and players. Time could also have the opposite effect.

For fans, though, all of those images, all of those players and all of those moments, they just collided to produce one of the best games you will have ever laid eyes on.

QB Quiz teaser

Pay close attention to the QB quiz this week.

This area has a certain coach on the verge of cementing his name alongside a trio considered some of the best high school coaches of all-time in northeastern Kentucky.

It actually could have been a “since” item, but the QB deemed it better suited for a bit of trivia with which to pick your brain.

We shall get there ...

Got any since?

I’m fresh out. Check back next week.

I know, you’re as disappointed as a person with a Chick Fil-A craving on a Sunday.


The QB received a tweet on Friday night regarding Boyd County cornerback Jason Smith. The senior’s two interceptions against Greenup County, according to the tweeter, brings him to within two of the season record for a Lions player.

Helmet stickers

While there were some standout moments this past weekend, performances were just so even, in my opinion, that I’m dwindling it down to three groups this week. Let’s just go three, two one ...

‰Three stickers: Zach Gound (Johnson Central), Aaron Elam (Ashland), Bronson Korzep (Russell), Jacob Barnwell (Boyd County).

‰Two: Malik Massey (Ashland), Jordan Young (Johnson Central), Devon Turner (Fairview), Chris Brewer (Fairview), Dalton Adkins (Johnson Central), Troy Huffine (Russell), Zach Litteral (Raceland), A.J. Cyrus (Lawrence County).

‰One: Cade Stidham (East Carter), Mason Rutherford (Fairview), Alex Roy (Fairview), Shannon Justice (Ashland), Bryant Cathey (Russell), Sam Preston (Johnson Central), Matt Lawson (Greenup County).

NOTE: A.J. Cyrus received stickers for his stellar performance two weeks ago against Pike County Central. I did not receive game information from the Bulldogs’ win over East Ridge.

Snyder’s Super Seven

1. Johnson Central (8-1)

2. Ashland (8-2)

3. Fairview (9-0)

4. Raceland (7-2)

5. Russell (6-3)

6. Rowan County (4-5)

7. Boyd County (4-5)

QB Quiz

Congratulations to David Cordial, who answered last week’s trivia question quickly and accurately to become Lucky Fan 7 of the 2012 season.

Last week’s question: The last time Johnson Central and Ashland met with neither Jim Matney nor Leon Hart as one’s head coach, who were the coaches of each team? For a fun bonus, when was it?

The answer: Larry Hall (Ashland) and Bill Tom Ross (Johnson Central); 2002.

This week’s question: Fairview’s Nathan McPeek is on the verge of joining three area coaches who led their schools to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons since 1970. Name two of them. For fun, what years did they do it?

The first person to answer correctly via email, phone, Twitter or Facebook (at The Independent page) will be named Lucky Fan 8 and will predict winners of games this week along with The Independent staff.

Wide right

Did you miss it? Here are area scores of interest from Friday night: Boyd County 42, Greenup County 7; Russell 28, East Carter 7; Johnson Central 22, Ashland 21; Fairview 36, Nicholas County 7; Ironton 28, Oak Hill 0; Raceland 57, Paintsville 0; Lewis County 48, West Carter 20; Lawrence County 46, East Ridge 9.

Tweet the QB

Follow the Quarterback on Twitter, @DindependentQB, for scores on Friday nights and news throughout the week.

Extra, extra

Check out Friday’s installment of Kyle Hobstetter’s Extra Points. He’ll give us who’s playing who in the first round of the playoffs.


On Saturday, it was reported that Russell senior Bryant Cathey finished with 47 yards on the ground. He actually ended up with a team-high 95 yards on 11 carries in the Red Devils’ 28-7 win over East Carter. Cathey’s 56-yard run in the second quarter set up a Russell touchdown that put the Red Devils up 21-0 by halftime.

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