CANNONSBURG Boyd County may submit a request to the KHSAA to change football to three-period games like hockey.
The fourth quarter has not been kind to the Lions.
Neither were Lawrence County’s Brody Cantrell and Baden Gillispie as the Bulldogs beat Boyd County, 21-7, on Friday in the Tom Scott Memorial Bowl at Tom Scott Field.
Boyd County has carried leads into the final stanza of two of its three contests so far. Both resulted in losses, including Friday’s once-promising affair.
Gillispie broke free for a 31-yard run before the third quarter ended, but Boyd County still held a 7-0 advantage when the clock turned from zeroes to 12:00.
Gillispie found a seam, though, to shoot across the goal line from 15 yards out. However, the extra point was wide left, leaving Boyd County ahead.
After forcing a punt, Gillispie returned to the field with more fervor and drive. The junior quarterback busted loose for a 43-yard touchdown run and then quickly handled the snap on the two-point conversion. He barreled in successfully to create a 14-7 margin with 7:38 to go.
That’s when Cantrell captured the spotlight.
Cantrell punctuated each of Boyd County’s last three offensive possessions with a takeaway. First came a fumble recovery at the Lawrence County 28 that ignited the visiting sideline.
“It got everybody pumped. It brought everybody joy,” Cantrell said. “Everybody thought we could do it and we took off. It was over from there.”
Although the Bulldogs punted three plays later, Boyd County’s next drive was short-lived. Cantrell picked a Logan Lunsford pass with 1:34 remaining in a 14-7 game.
Gillispie, named Lawrence County’s Offensive Player of the Game, capped off his 17-carry, 144-yard night with a 17-yard scoring scamper with 1:22 to go.
“(Gillispie) found a spark internally, stepped up in the hole a time or two and created some energy,” said Lawrence County coach Alan Short.
Added Cantrell, the game’s MVP, of his teammate: “He’s nasty, let me tell ya. You make stops on defense, and he comes back out on offense. The offensive line did a good job, too. They make blocks and he reads really good. He’s a great player, all around.”
Boyd County (0-3) couldn’t overcome 12 penalties covering 110 yards. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty helped boost the Dawgs (2-1) to their first score.
“You can’t win like that, plain and simple,” said Lions coach Evan Ferguson.
“You can’t start first-and-15 every time,” the school’s first-year leader referred specifically to a number of false-start flags.
Boyd County juniors Nick Cornwell and Peyton Boblett exited and entered the game multiple times due to cramps. The linemen were out for a stint during the fourth, and Gillispie and crew took full advantage. The Bulldogs had just 49 rushing yards in the first half before collected 142 in the second.
“Probably for about three and a half quarters, we executed as well as we could, defensively,” Ferguson said. “Then, we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. ... We’re an improving football team. It doesn’t mean it’s good yet, but we’re doing a lot of things better.”
Said Short: “I can’t say enough good things about what we saw in Boyd County. The future is bright for them. Coach Ferguson has his program headed in the right direction.”
Dayne Lawson led Boyd County in rushing with 92 yards. He unknotted a 0-0 tie with a 58-yard TD run consisting of a couple cutbacks. Clayton Crum tacked on the extra point with 47 ticks left in the second quarter. He earned Offensive Player of the Game honors for the Lions.
Logan Staten (Boyd County) and Alex Strickland (Lawrence County) earned the Tom Scott Memorial Bowl Defensive Player of the Game awards.
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LAWRENCE CO. 0 0 0 21 — 21
BOYD CO. 0 7 0 0 — 7
B — Dayne Lawson 58 yard run (Clayton Crum kick) 0:47
L — Baden Gillispie 15 run (Kick failed) 11:12
L — Gillispie 43 run (Gillispie run) 7:38
L — Gillispie 17 run (S.J. Lycans kick) 1:22
First downs 10 12
Rushes-yards 37-191 40-195
Comp-att-int 2-5-0 4-11-2
Passing yards 17 48
Penalties-yards 7-80 12-110
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Punts-avg. 4-28 4-29.5
Lawrence County rushing: Gillispie 17-144, Fitch 3-20, Young 4-12, Fletcher 10-11, Cantrell 3-4.
Boyd County rushing: Lawson 16-92, Kelley 6-36, Joe Lusby 8-28, Lunsford 6-20, Stephens 4-19.
Lawrence County passing: Gillispie 2 of 5 for 17 yards
Boyd County passing: Lunsford 4 of 11 for 48 yards, 2 int.
Lawrence County receiving: Fletcher 1-18, Hall 1-(minus-1)
Boyd County receiving: Lawson 1-24, Stamper 1-15, Kelley 1-10, Barrett 1-4