CANNONSBURG Mason County football coach David Buchanan said his team played better Friday, but not as well as it could’ve.
Turned out the Royals played well enough against Boyd County. Senior running back Rico Hill’s 158 rushing yards and two touchdowns and senior quarterback Bradley Boone’s 139 passing were plenty in a 25-7 win.
Boyd County coach John Gilliam said the Lions were struggling offensively.
“We just could not put it together,” Gilliam said. “Too many busts, and in the middle of the drive we’re making penalties that set us back … We’ve got to do better offensively, score some points, and we kind of left them out there.”
Mason County won its 17th straight regular-season game. The Royals squeaked past Newport, 32-28, on Aug. 23 in Maysville.
“Here’s what I’m saying: We’re better this week than we were last week, but we didn’t play well,” Buchanan said. “We didn’t finish some drives, we had some big mistakes. But give Boyd County credit; they were gutty kids, they played hard, and they wouldn’t go away.”
Buchanan could’ve been talking about Boyd County senior quarterback Cade Isaacs — he threw for 173 yards and ran for another 81 — or sophomore running back Christian Braly and his 90 rushing yards.
For most of Boyd County’s first possession, Braly was the Lions’ offense, with two carries and 10 yards.
Mason County (2-0) didn’t need much time to score its first touchdown. There was lots of diversity, too — Hill’s three carries for 10 yards, Boone’s 11 passing yards and sophomore Andrew Kouns’ two carries for 32 yards, including his 29-yard touchdown run a little less than six minutes into the game.
Boyd County’s offense was potent at times — Isaacs carried thrice for 28 yards and he threw to senior Jacob Bryan once for another 16. The yardage went for naught because the Royals stopped the Lions seven yards from the end zone.
The Lions (0-2) had the ball again less than two minutes into the second quarter when Ryan Johnson fumbled a 16-yard Boone pass that senior Nick Wilburn recovered.
From there, it was pretty much all Mason County.
Hill’s 7-yard run capped a seven-play, 37-yard drive — Boone threw three times for 40 yards, which nicely neutralized his 11-yard bad-snap loss.
Boyd County gained 360 yards for the game, but Mason County was defensively stout when it had to be. Four plays after Hill’s score, junior defensive end Harvey Rice sacked Isaacs for a 9-yard loss, and the Lions gained just seven more over the next two plays.
It took the Royals a little less than five minutes later to take their 19-0 halftime lead. Hill and Boone had a lot to do with what happened; Boone completed three for 48 yards, and Hill carried twice for the final 20.
Mason County gained 367 yards (228 on the ground), but the Royals also lost three of five fumbles. Two Boyd County recoveries hurt the most: Boone’s bobble inside the Lion 1, and after stymieing the Lions the following series, Kouns dropped a punt return.
“Yeah, but they drove the length of the field before we could get ‘em,” Gilliam said.
There was more Boone and Hill later in the third. Hill carried nine times for 52 yards, Boone had the final one, and Mason County went up, 25-0, with 2:36 left.
Braly’s 1-yard run with 9:08 to go ended the scoring. Isaacs contributed 15 yards on two runs.
MASON CO. 6 13 6 0 — 25
BOYD CO. 0 0 0 7 — 7
MC — Kouns 29 run (kick failed), 5:34
MC — Hill 7 run (Johnson kick), 5:21
MC — Hill 4 run (kick failed), 0:46.5
MC — Boone 1 run (kick failed), 2:36
BC — Braly 1 run (Bruner kick), 9:08
First downs 20 17
Rushes-yards 32-228 30-187
Passes 9-13-0 17-26-0
Passing yards 130 173
Punting 0-0 4-25.0
Fumbles-lost 5-3 2-0
Penalties-yards 3-29 7-55
Return yards 22 44
Mason Co. rushing: Kouns 6-29, Hill 15-158, Dunaway 5-35, Boone 5-(minus-6).
Boyd Co. rushing: Braly 12-90, Thovson 1-3, Bryan 1-4, Nelson 1-7, Isaacs 15-81.
Mason Co. passing: Boone 9-13-139.
Boyd Co. passing: Isaacs, 17-25-173, Blevins 0-1-0.
Mason Co. receiving: Frame 3-36, Hill 1-32, Johnson 3-36, Spangler 1-14, Robinson 1-24.
Boyd Co. receiving: Bryan 3-37, Layne 4-51, Thovson 4-47, Blevins 4-36, Braly 2-0, Bruner 1-2.