A few weeks ago, I got an email from a Lewis County high school fan and it called me and the rest of The Independent staff out.
It was a picture of a stuffed crow, surrounded by condiments that the fan found on Facebook.
The caption of the photo: “Ashland Daily Independent, which condiment would you like with your CROW? Served up with ROLL PRIDE.”
Just to let Lewis County fans know this — I like sweet hot mustard on my crow and I’ll be glad to eat it.
Coming into the season, no one outside of Vanceburg had much faith that the Lions would have a good season.
The first game of the season against Greenup County, the entire Independent staff picked the Musketeers to roll over the Lions.
Lewis County responded with a dramatic 26-20 win in Lloyd.
Sports editor Aaron Snyder predicted a 2-8 record for Lewis County. The Lions responded by opening the season 4-1, the first time a team in Vanceburg had done that since 1985.
And, the thing is, it’s not just one or two players pitching in. The Lions have found different ways to win.
Quarterback Isaac Weddington has thrown eight touchdowns on the year while completing 50 percent of his passes.
The running back trio of Dalton Stamm (302 yards), Jordan McCann (five touchdowns) and Mason Thurman (a 250-pound fullback) have all shared the load of carrying the ball.
The defense has allowed just 88 points in five games, a staggering 17.6 points-per-game average.
Lewis County, after struggling last season, is putting together the makings of an incredible season using heart and determination. Sometimes that’s what you need in football.
However, to make noise in the district, the Lions are going to have to play a perfect game tonight against Mason County.
In our staff picks that ran on Thursday, Mason received a clean sweep over Lewis County. But if the Lions pull off the upset, remember, no mayo or ketchup … just that sweet hot mustard.
Game of the week
‰Johnson Central at Ironton. Johnson Central is on a roll but, for the first time in school history, the Golden Eagles will make an appearance at Tanks Memorial Stadium.
As many of us know, anything can happen at Tanks, but the fact is the Tigers are struggling to stop people.
That’s not a good problem to have with Johnson Central’s trio of running backs. Last week against Boyd County, Daymion Belcher (101 yards), Jordan Young (86) and Josh Dillon (34) led the Golden Eagles to 333 rushing yards.
Even if Ironton stops the rushing attack, Johnson Central has shown it can also throw the ball — the Golden Eagles were 6 of 9 for 90 yards through the air last Friday.
‰Fairview loses Isaiah King. The junior could be out for the season with a broken collarbone, according to Eagles coach Nathan McPeek.
Heading into Thursday's game against Pike County Central, King was second the team in carries (45) and rushing touchdowns (five) and third on the team in rushing yards with 407.
King’s absence won’t be huge on offense, as Tanner Dolen, Kurtlen Brown and Armonde Yetts can carry the load in the backfield.
But the junior’s presence will be felt in the defensive secondary, where week after week he made plays.
‰The last time Boyd County defeated Ashland was in 2003. In Dane Damron’s second year as head coach, the Lions pulled off the regular season-ending 34-14 win over the Tomcats.
Since then, the Tomcats have reeled off 10 straight wins against its district rival, including a rematch in the 2003 playoffs that was two weeks after the last loss.
After being held to just 24 yards rushing last week, look for the Tomcats to let Quinton Baker loose against the Lions.
‰The battle of Carter County could come down to the quarterbacks. After missing last week, West Carter coach Kevin Brown said he expects quarterback Braden Brown back in action.
Even after sitting out, Brown still leads the area in rushing yards and yards per game. But the Comets managed to gain only 102 yards of offense without him against Russell.
As has been the case all season, East Carter wants to rely on senior quarterback Cole McClain, who struggled last week against Mason County.
McClain will have an easier time this week against West Carter. The Comets defense has been giving up big plays, allowing more than 34 points per game.
Into the airwaves
Tonight’s radio coverage:
Ashland at Boyd County (WBVB 97.1-FM, wlgcradio.com); Johnson Central at Ironton (98.9 WSIP-FM, WIRO 1230-AM); West Carter at East Carter (WGOH 100.9-FM); Fleming County at Russell (WLGC 105.7-FM); Greenup County at Rowan County (WMOR 106.1-FM, wlgcradio.com); Sheldon Clark at Lawrence County (WZAQ 92.3-FM); Mason County at Lewis County (WKKS 104.9-FM).
Note: The Russell-Fleming County matchup will be streamed live on greenupbeacon.com
‰For news, scores, notes and updates on all area sports news you can follow me on Twitter (@KHobstetter). You can also follow sports editor Aaron Snyder (@DindependentQB) for scores and updates. You can also try to talk him off the ledge after the Reds' disappointing playoff performance.
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2658.