Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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August 29, 2009

Defense triggers Tomcats’ shutout

Ashland — On Ashland JFL Night, the Tomcats put on a show for the little ones and the whole crowd at Putnam Stadium.

A geared-up Ashland defense made sure that Raceland’s three-game winning streak in the series didn’t make it through Friday night.

The Tomcats blocked a punt to set up one touchdown, came up with a safety and sophomore Chris Prichard’s interception led to another score in a 31-0 victory over the Rams.

“All I could think of all week was beating them,’’ said Ashland senior Dom DeMartino, who helped spearhead the defensive charge. “We worked hard all week preparing for their passing game and running game. We used our speed, and everybody on our defense stepped up.’’

Ashland limited a dangerous Raceland offensive attack to 51 yards while pulling away to a 31-point lead in the third quarter.

“Our kids were relentless on defense all night,’’ said Tomcats coach Leon Hart. “We got a big play from our special teams again and that was huge.’’

After Josh Alber’s 45-yard run set up quarterback Sam Hunter’s 5-yard sneak for a TD, Ashland’s Nik Kosakowski blocked a punt and fell on the ball at Raceland’s 12-yard line.

On the next play, DeMartino took a pitchout and went 12 yards untouched to end zone with 1:30 still remaining in the first quarter. Hunter’s two-point pass to Cody Withrow made it 16-0.

“That’s a really good Ashland football team,’’ said Raceland coach Randy Vanderhoof. “They can really run on the defensive side. At times, it seemed like there were 14 or 15 Tomcats out there.’’

Raceland (1-1) reached Ashland’ 8 in the second quarter, but the Tomcats turned the threat away. After a Tyler Farley incompletion, Martino and linebacker Connor Swift stopped Loren Huffman for a two-yard loss after his third-down catch. The Rams then missed a 35-yard field goal attempt.

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