Too many weapons.
After watching Fairview’s Elijah King and Co. shred Nicholas County for 489 yards rushing in a 48-20 romp Friday night, veteran Bluejackets coach Robert Hopkins shook his head.
The speedy and elusive King bolted for a season-high 236 yards and three touchdowns on only nine carries as the unbeaten Eagles rolled into the Class A quarterfinals.
Fullback Chris Brewer, halfback Devon Turner and receiver Mason Rutherford combined for another 239 yards on just 14 carries, each finding the end zone once.
“They have the offensive stuff to make it to Bowling Green,” Hopkins said of Fairview’s playoff march.
The Eagles (12-0) advanced to the region finals for the third year in a row. They will travel next Friday to Pikeville, a 26-20 overtime winner against Raceland.
“I’m proud of our guys and coaching staff,” Fairview coach Nathan McPeek said. “What an exciting time for our program, and what an exciting time for our community. Hopefully we can continue on this run.”
Nicholas County’s pile-driving running back Austin Allison gave the Eagles’ defense a workout by pounding away for 198 yards and three TDs, but Fairview provided the fireworks.
All seven of the Eagles’ touchdowns in the second-round game covered at least 30 yards, capped by a Brewer 60-yard interception return midway through the fourth quarter.
King, healthy after a week-eight ankle sprain, was off to the races for scoring runs of 75, 57 and 55 yards.
Each time the senior took a snap from center in shotgun formation, it was bad news for the Bluejackets.
“We even knew what was coming and still couldn’t stop it,” Hopkins said. “They’ve got a very potent offense.”
King went 75 yards for Fairview’s first score. Brewer scored from 30 yards out after Nicholas County fumbled the ball away in their own territory on a center exchange and the Eagles converted two-pointers after both touchdowns to make it 16-0 in the opening quarter.
Nicholas County responded with a 71-yard scoring drive that consumed the last seven minutes of the quarter, but King dashed 57 yards to the end zone after taking a snap on the opening play of the second period.
“I read big Anthony (Roark) on what he does,” King said of the big offensive lineman. “Without him and all those guys up front, I couldn’t do anything.”
King’s younger brother, Isaiah, a receiver, made a block far downfield to help get him into the end zone on that play, as well as a 55-yard score in the third quarter to make it 30-13.
“He was out there showing me some love,” Elijah said.
Fairview, which never punted, also got TD runs of 33 yards from Turner and 35 from Rutherford.
“Other teams can’t key on one person,” King said. “It’s an explosive offense. I think we’re kind of hard to defend.”
Hopkins pointed out that Fairview could have a couple of potential track state champions in King and Rutherford, both key additions to the team this season.
“They can run, and are so fluid the way they move,” he said.
Nicholas County (7-5) got scoring runs of 5, 6 and 14 yards from Allison, who carried 35 times.
“He’s a brute, and not only hard-nosed but a coach on the field,” Hopkins said.
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-26761.
Too many weapons.
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