Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 26, 2012

Rail Cities rivalry ends

Russell, Raceland bring finality to end of season

RUSSELL — One last time.

While it will be the 55th meeting between Russell and Raceland in the Rail Cities Bowl, tonight’s game will be the last between the teams in the foreseeable future.

Both teams have decided to call off the series and have already moved on to schedule different opponents in that spot on the schedule.

With the series coming to an end, many think the preparation and anticipation would be high for the teams. But, according to Raceland coach T.J. Maynard, preparation has been nothing short of normal.

“It’s just another rivalry game,” Maynard said. “They’ve come to work every day this week...It’s another ballgame. It’s another last game of the (regular) season. It’s important to the kids and they’ve approached it that way.”

Russell has the overall series advantage with a 28-19-7 record.

But for the past four seasons the Rams have dominated the Rail Cities Bowl, including last year’s 36-21 home win.

“We have to find some way to stop them because it is difficult to stop them,” Russell coach Ivan McGlone said of his team’s strategy. “We didn’t do a good job the past few years so we have to be prepared to stop what they do offensively.”

Last season’s game is still fresh in McGlone’s mind, especially all the mistakes and misplays that cost his team points.

“The last couple of years we would just make mistakes on the offensive side of the ball against them,” McGlone said. “Defensively they had two onside kicks they got back and they completed a pass on fourth down from a punt formation and there were a couple of times where we stopped a yard short.

“We normally take care of those mistakes, but when you don’t, you get hurt.”

Raceland’s ability to run and pass puts pressure on opponents.

The Rams’ running game focus has been on Zack Litteral (746 yards) and Daylin Beach (713 yards). Raceland quarterback Adam Elkins has thrown for 1,235 yards and 17 touchdowns in eight games.

But McGlone points out while they have a lot of skill players, it all starts up front for the Rams.

“That’s what they do, they like to spread you out,” McGlone said. “They like to spread you out and run the ball, then they like to get the ball to their skilled wide receivers. It all starts with their strength up front, then they can get it to their skill players to score.”

Last week against Paintsville, Beach, Elkins and team leader in catches Rodney Vance all sat out.

All three will play tonight and Maynard said all three could have played against Paintsville. It’s just a matter of resting the weary.

“All three would have been playing if it was the last game or had playoff implications,” Maynard said. “Everyone is kind of banged up so we have to keep our postseason goals in mind and rest up while, at the same time, it sets up other guys to have opportunity to see what they can do.”

While Raceland’s offense has been the story this season, it’s been up to the defense to keep them in the game.

And after years of knowing they have to stop the run when they play Russell, Maynard knows the importance of new Red Devils quarterback Lance Evans.

“He’s given them the option to throw the ball down the field,” Maynard said. “We have to be prepared to come up and stop the run, but with his arm and he has the capabilities to stop that now.”

In 2007 the two teams decided to rekindle a rivalry that had been stagnant since 1974. And tonight the rivalry will be stagnant once again.

But for Maynard, a former Red Devil who played under McGlone from 1984-87, the past six years have been a privilege for him to matchup against his old coach.

“I have upmost respect for Ivan McGlone,” Maynard said.  “He demands respect and these games have been a chance match wits with one of the game’s best. It’s a one-game stretch you want to beat him; the rest of the year you root like heck for him.”

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.

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