It took Ashland a while to get going, but when it did, it got ugly in a hurry.
Sophomore Quinton Baker scored four times and rushed for 249 yards on just nine carries as the Tomcats extended their win streak to five games with a lopsided 50-8 victory at Sheldon Clark on Friday night.
Baker, who averaged 28 yards per carry, scored on runs of 64, 39, 20 and 12 yards, respectfully, and single-handedly shredded Sheldon Clark’s defense.
Still, Ashland (6-2) was slow out of the gate. Sheldon Clark (0-7) scored on its first possession — a 31-yard run from Chase Muncy. The conversion run by Brandon Belcher made it 8-0 with 10:08 left in the opening quarter.
That run alone accounted for nearly a fourth of the Cardinals’ total offensive output.
The Tomcats, behind Baker, responded in a frenzy. They took a 12-8 lead on a 20-yard TD run by Baker to open the second quarter. When the dust cleared, Ashland put up 30 points, including 16 of those in the final 2:17 of the half.
“Not putting together four solid quarters of football has been an issue for us over the past few weeks,” said Ashland head coach Tony Love. “Part of that has been because our rash of injuries and some of it is our maturity level. We’ve stressed that if we want to be champions, we have to play with great effort for four quarters.”
Ashland got a boost defensively from junior outside linebacker Frank Thomas, who scored a touchdown after blocking a punt in the end zone late in the second quarter. Love moved Thomas to a defensive end when Sheldon Clark started to spread the field.
His presence was felt.
Sheldon Clark quarterback Blake Harless connected on just 1 of 9 attempts and threw two picks.