Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

September 14, 2013

Rams' senior line dominant

Mark Maynard
CNHI News Service

RACELAND — There wasn’t one reason why Raceland pounded Greenup County 55-18 on Friday night.

There were five of them.

The Rams’ senior-dominated offensive line — tackles Alec Risner and Mac Boggs, guards Austin Manis and Nevan Johnson and center Lucas Bradley — proved to be the difference.

Raceland’s fast-break football hardly gave the Musketeers a chance to catch their breath as the run-and-fun offense piled up 479 yards on 53 plays.

“We want to play as fast as we can,” said Rams coach T.J. Maynard.

Quarterback Adam Elkins and running backs Daylin Beach and Kane Snyder ran behind gaping holes in accounting for four rushing touchdowns. When the Musketeers started cheating up to stop the run, Elkins lofted a pair of touchdown passes to Conner Messer.

It was easy as 1-2-3.

But it started up front, where Raceland’s orange crushers controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“Raceland is a very good football team,” said Greenup County coach Chris Mullins. “I told the team it wasn’t necessairly that we lost as much as Raceland won. We held on as long as we could.”

The Musketeers, coming off their first win since 2010, played with some new-found confidence and actually held a 12-7 lead in the first quarter.

Maynard, while conceding that his offensive line “was the difference in the game,” said the Musketeers impressed him with their fight.

“I thought their kids played exceptionally hard,” said Maynard, a former Greenup County head coach. “We’re senior-dominated on the O-line and that’s what won the game. But Coach Mullins has that program going in the right direction.”

Raceland’s no-huddle offense kept Greenup County on its heels and some power blocking up front made it seem easy for Elkins and Beach, who found plenty of wide-open running lanes.

The Rams (3-1) ran 22 offensive plays in the first quarter alone although one of those turned into a Greenup County touchdown.

Kyle Cochran stepped in front of a screen pass and ran the interception 73 yards for a TD to put the Musketeers (1-3) ahead briefly at 12-7.

Raceland answered with a 12-play drive with Beach plunging in on a 5-yard carry. That put the Rams in front to stay.

“Last year they tried to take away our running game but this year was a little different,” Maynard said. “They were doubling up on Messer (on the outside) and we had them outnumbered in the box.”

Outnumbered and outmanned.

Raceland runners had 13 runs that went for double figures and they racked up 28 first downs.

Beach rushed for 133 yards on 15 carries, Snyder 93 on nine carries and Elkins 84 on 13 carries.

Elkins also threw for 115 yards.

Messer, Rodney Vance and Trey Potter combined for four touchdown receptions combined and the Rams’ offense was mostly unstoppable.

“A lot of credit goes to the assistant coaches,” Maynard said. “Coach (Mike) Salmons calls the offense and our guys in the booth were watching for where we had them outnumbered.”

Mullins clearly knew what the difference was.

“They won the football game up front,” hesaid. “I like how we competed. Nobody was afraid.”

Rusty Wells had a huge game receiving with three catches for 168 yards, including a 63-yard scoring strike from sophomore quarterback Jared Hunt.

Ryan Byrd, another sophomore who had three consecutive 100-yard games, was held to 40 yards with a TD.

“I think we can line up a few victories before this thing is over,” Mullins said.

Raceland had a couple of injuries, including one to starting running back Zack Litteral who didn’t play the second  half.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2648.