WESTWOOD Fairview had trouble flipping the field on Friday night. The Eagles couldn’t flip the script against Raceland.
The Rams started their first four drives in Fairview territory that resulted in consecutive trips to the end zone. The quick start propelled Raceland to a 48-6 road victory and secured its fifth straight win over its district rival.
The Rams have faced their customary gauntlet of tough opponents during the season slate. Rams coach Michael Salmons can see it already paying dividends, starting last week against Washington County.
“It’s given us a little confidence,” Salmons said. “We have had some success. Our motto is keep pounding and keep going and what has happened is guys have bought in. We faced a little adversity, but they bought into what we are trying to do and what we are trying to get. Those games have made us better and the game has slowed down for us.”
Fairview coach Daniel Armstong saidthe Eagles have also progressed though a difficult schedule while battling injuries to several key starters.
“We’ve played a hard schedule,” Armstrong said. “We are probably the second- or third-smallest school in Kentucky playing football. We’ve played Greenup County, a solid program. Boyd County is on the rise. Paintsville is the No. 1 team in Class A. Raceland is a top-five team year in and year out.”
“We are young,” he added. “We have three seniors. I expect mistakes and we are going to learn from them. We will grow as a team. A lot of our juniors are first-year football players. They are bumps in the road, but what I like to see is that we are competing.”
Raceland (3-3, 1-0 Class A, District 6) began its first drive on the Eagles’ 19-yard line after the punter mishit his kick. Quarterback Jake Heighton went to the air early and found Jules Farrow for a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Heighton threw four TD tosses on the night, increasing his total to 16 this season to just one interception.
He connected with Parker Fannin in the corner of the end zone on a fade route. He threw a quick scoring strike to his brother, Jaxon, early in the second frame. Michael Meade made a quick cut and sprinted 24 yards for a score between the aforementioned Heighton TD passes.
The senior signal-caller hit nine of his 12 passing attempts.
“He’s our heartbeat on offense,” Salmons said of Jake Heighton. “He only had three incompletions, so that tells me that the clock is moving. He is getting the ball where it needs to go. When he can’t hit the deep balls, he is coming underneath on his checkdowns. Jake is phenomenal. I think our guys are learning Jake can facilitate. They just have to find their role.”
The Rams increased the margin before halftime. Farrow found some running room to record his second TD of the night. Parker Gallion hooked up with Jake Heighton for a 15-yard TD catch with 1:50 remaining in the second stanza to start a running clock and send Raceland to intermission with a 42-0 lead.
Noah Wallace tallied two big runs on a quick third-quarter drive. The running back ended the scoring for the Rams with a long touchdown run. Wallace had 125 yards on the ground and produced Raceland’s first 100-yard rusher of the season.
“We have run the ball a little bit better,” Salmons said. “First and foremost, our offensive line is making some strides. Guys are working in cohesion together. We are playing primarily a freshman and sophomore running back in Wallace and Farrow. They have started to figure things out. They have really good talent but haven’t had the experience.”
Cody Caldwell grabbed the ensuing kickoff for the Eagles, found the right running lane and glided down the sideline 90 yards to the house.
“Cody Caldwell has been terrific all year,” Armstong said. “We are trying to manufacture ways to get him the football. We were hoping that he would be a deep threat but we don’t have time to throw the ball down the field right now. ... We have some injuries up front. We had three guys out on our offensive line.”
Fairview drops to 1-4, 0-1 in district play, and will host Betsy Layne in its next contest. The Bobcats had to cancel games the last two weeks due to COVID-19.
Raceland will not make up its game against Betsy Layne and district seeding will be determined by the final RPI ranking of the two teams. The Rams will entertain Paintsville on Friday.
“Tonight, we asserted ourselves from the start,” Salmons said. “We wanted to get off to a fast start and seize the game early. When you go out on the road, you don’t know what could happen. We stepped on the throttle and put them away. That shows our growth and I don’t know if we would have done that a month ago. We are not there yet, but I hope we are in late November and early December.”
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RACELAND 22 20 6 0 — 48
FAIRVIEW 0 0 6 0 — 6
R—Jules Farrow 7 pass from Jake Heighton (Peyton Ison kick) 8:20
R—Parker Fannin 9 pass from Heighton (Ison kick) 5:18
R—Michael Meade 24 yd run (Conner Hughes run) 2:53
R—Jaxon Heighton 2 pass from Jake Heighton (Ison kick) 7:18
R—Farrow 14 run (kick failed) 3:53
R—Parker Gallion 15 pass from Jake Heighton (Ison kick) 1:50
R—Noah Wallace 24 run (kick failed) 7:53
F—Cody Caldwell 90 kickoff return (run failed) 5:46
First Downs 15 3
Rushes-Yards 25-207 20-65
Comp-Att-Int 12-18-0 3-7-2
Passing Yards 118 11
Penalties-Yards 6-45 11-97
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-0
Punts-Avg. 0-0 6-22
Raceland rushing: Wallace 9-125, Farrow 4-28, Meade 1-24, Jax. Heighton 6-10, Hughes 1-19, Fannin 4-1.
Fairview rushing: Smith 9-36, Johnson 5-47, Miller 2-(-10), Byrd 1-6, Caldwell 2-(-5), Team 1-(-9).
Raceland passing: Jak. Heighton 9 of 12 for 108 yards, Hughes 1 of 3 for 2 yards, Fannin 2 of 3 for 8 yards.
Fairview passing: Johnson 3 of 7 for 11 yards.
Raceland receiving: Hughes 2-12, Fannin 1-9, Newman 1-18, Gallion 3-60, Farrow 1-7, Jax. Heighton 2-4, Bell 2-8.
Fairview receiving: Miller 1-9, Harper 1-(-4), Caldwell 1-6.