Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

September 28, 2013

Big-play Baker key for Ashland

MOREHEAD — Ashland sophomore Quinton Baker played a large role in Friday’s 34-24 win at Rowan County.

It’s just not the way you expected.

Baker, who came into the game with 824 rushing yards, managed just 24 Friday night and one touchdown on the ground. Instead, he caught three passes 102 yards and two more scores.

“I’m really not a receiver, so yes, it’s the best game I’ve had so far (catching the ball),” Baker said.

Baker’s touchdown catches were equally spectacular.

The first, a screen pass from Hunter Prince, started on the left side when Baker broke a tackle at around the Rowan County 35, ran across the field and dove into the end zone. After the Tomcats recovered a fumble less than a minute later, Baker outjumped the Vikings’ Blake Carver to grab senior quarterback Tyler Rose’s 38-yard bomb.

“The second was a perfect pass,” Baker said.

To be sure, Baker was not the only star: junior Josh Vaughn ran 94 yards and two touchdowns; Tyler Rose was 2-of-3 for 75 yards and a touchdown pass; Prince threw for 76 yards and a TD before going down with a knee injury less than two minutes into the third quarter.

Ashland coach Tony Love said Prince “strained his knee a little bit” and would be evaluated today. “I think he’ll be all right.”

And finally, there was the Tomcat defense. It surrendered 355 total yards (including 263 on the ground), but it forced six Viking turnovers. Senior Miles McGranahan intercepted two of four overall thrown by quarterback Devin Helvey, and Rowan County coughed up two fumbles.

Rowan County (1-5, 0-1 in Class 4A District 8), meanwhile, had the more balanced offense. Helvey led all runners with 113 yards on 15 carries, and senior Isaac Lee ran for 80 yards and one score, Helvey hit Lee for one touchdown, and the defense recovered two Tomcat fumbles.

Vikings coach Kyle Singleton, however, didn’t think the turnovers were the main reason his team lost.

“I would definitely say Baker’s play-making ability,” Singleton said. “His ability to just make those big plays is something that’s tough to defend.”

One of Ashland’s three team buses broke down on westbound Interstate 64 between Olive Hill and Morehead, which meant the game started at 7:45 p.m. instead of the usual 7:30.

Rowan County started the scoring on Ty Alderman’s 26-yard field goal a little less than four minutes into the game. The Vikings had the more balanced and prolific running game at halftime, too: Isaac Lee, six carries for 66 yards; Helvey, eight carries for 51; Lambert, six for 32.

Singleton summarized his plan to contain Baker. “Get there quick,” he said.

And the Vikings did, at least in the first half – Baker gained just 17 yards on six carries.

Thing was, Vaughn led his team with 66 yards on the ground – mostly up the middle – including an 18-yard score with 6:36 left in the second quarter.

After Alderman’s points, Ashland moved the ball on its opening drive – the Tomcats moved the ball to the Rowan County 15. Then a turnover – James Queen’s fumble at the 10 went out of bounds for the touchback.

The Tomcats improved to 4-2 overall after winning its district opener.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • AARON SNYDER: Five Teams? Pretty Kool

    If these unseasonably cool July mornings aren’t enough to have your mind on the fast track to football, maybe some Kool Hits news will help.

    July 31, 2014

  • 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