Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 3, 2012

Russell makes late charge, comes up short against Garrard, 12-7

FLATWOODS — Just when it appeared Russell had finally found the winning key, Garrard County’s lockdown defense was again there to slam the door.

The Golden Lions smothered the Red Devils at crucial moments en route to a 12-7 victory in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs at Russell’s Henry R. Evans Stadium on Friday night. Garrard County will travel to Bourbon County next Friday.

Garrard County coach Mark Scenters was exceptionally pleased, considering the tough road environment against a program packed with tradition.

“I tried to explain to our young men the pride of (Russell’s) program, and the history of the program,” Scenters said. “I told them coming up here was going to be a different experience. We’ll take a win any way we can get it, especially coming to a place like this.”

Trailing 12-7 for the entire second half, Russell faced its final opportunity with 2:01 to go. The Red Devils had squandered away several potential scoring chances, as did Garrard County, in the half, and they were backed up at their own 7-yard line.

Four plays later, they were at Garrard County’s 12. Two of those plays resulted with incredible leaping grabs by Russell senior Jon Kennedy, one a 34-yard gain and another a 32.

“(The catches) were as good as you can get,” said Russell coach Ivan McGlone. “He’s made some great catches this year, some defensive catches, too. He’s got good hands, we’re going to miss him.”

Kennedy seemed to be the answer to another dramatic playoff win for the Red Devils — they have been no strangers to close postseason games over the past three seasons.

So, when a fourth-and-5 situation popped up at the Golden Lions’ 7-yard line with 34 seconds left, quarterback Lance Evans went to Kennedy in the back of the end zone.

Justice Lyon and Lane Cumby had the coverage at the safety position, and the ball was batted away. The sophomore and senior, respectively, stepped up in pivotal situations all game long.

“Our defense has played very well all year long,” Scenters said. “It bailed us out of a lot of bad situations.”

Russell (6-5) wanted pass interference called.

“There was a little collision down there. Of course, us coaches, we wanted an interference call,” McGlone said.

Asked if he thought it was interference, McGlone replied, “I don’t know. There was contact, that’s all I know.”

Russell’s defense, led by Dylan Campbell and Gage Stevens, rose to the occasion as well. The Red Devils relented just 51 yards on 14 total plays in the second half.

“Defensively, we played about as well as we have all year,” McGlone said. “Offensively, we did a pretty decent job ...

“... except on the goal line,” he added after a pause.

After the tough running of Noah Williams supplied the Golden Lions (7-4) with their first two scores of the game, giving Garrard County a 12-0 lead, Russell responded with a 59-yard TD pass from Evans to Googie Hayes.

“As impressive as the catches were by (Kennedy), the throw to (Hayes) in the first half was unbelievable,” Scenters said in complimenting Evans, a senior. “We had him double-covered and he laid it right in his bread basket.”

Hayes used a nice block to spring loose for the score.

Russell was on its way to more points in the final minute of the first half before Evans fumbled the ball near the sideline at the 7-yard line. It appeared he may have been down before the ball popped loose, but it was a close call.

“We don’t have replay,” McGlone said. “You can throw (a red flag), but it won’t do you any good.”

The third quarter became a punt party, with four consecutive punts followed by a Russell turnover on downs. After another Garrard County punt, the Golden Lions forced another turnover on downs.

The fourth quarter became a fumble fiesta. The two teams exchanged fumbles in the last six minutes.

A sack by Campbell helped give Russell one last chance, as Garrard County turned it over on downs.

Noah Williams and Jalen McPherson tallied 59 and 58 rushing yards, respectively, to lead Garrard County. Billy Abney threw for 51 yards.

Russell was led by Evans, who passed for 154 yards on 6-of-14 attempts.

Hayes exited the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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