Oct. 9—GRAYSON — Ashland and East Carter turned their district opener proper right into a wild, dramatic fight to the tip with three touchdowns in a span of 26 seconds late inside the second quarter on Friday night.
Then the Tomcats found effectively timed defensive and specific teams play to lastly put the Raiders away. With East Carter down merely eight elements and driving with about seven minutes to play, Ashland stud lineman Zane Christian pounced on a Raiders fumble on the East Carter 45-yard line.
The Tomcats drove to the Raiders 9 sooner than East Carter stiffened defensively. Nonetheless SJ Lycans was true from 37 yards out with 4:39 to play.
That stretched Ashland’s lead once more to 2 possessions, and the Tomcats held sturdy from there in a 31-20 victory inside the fog and the mud at Steve Womack Topic.
Tony Love wasn’t shocked to see Ashland flip the game on a defensive play, notably one made by Christian.
“It’s one factor that I don’t want to say you get used to, nonetheless you come to depend on,” the Tomcats’ coach talked about of the play of Christian, Ethan Ratliff and completely different seniors up entrance, “on account of that’s what they depend on out of themselves, in order that they go available on the market they normally work terribly laborious in observe and inside the weight room.”
East Carter obtained the ball once more down 11 elements with 4:38 remaining, nonetheless turned it over on downs 11 performs afterward the Ashland 42.
The Raiders stayed inside placing distance deep into the fourth quarter in direction of the Tomcats for the first time in nearly 4 a few years by countering every Ashland massive offensive play.
That was most interesting illustrated by a second-quarter sequence. The Tomcats pulled ahead 14-0 on Ricky Padron’s 16-yard scoring reception from Bailey Thacker and Lycans’s boot with 8:53 to go inside the first half. East Carter in response assembled a seven-play drive, which Charlie Terry concluded by spinning to steer clear of a tackler and sauntering 31 yards to paydirt to rework a fourth-and-2 on the 5:42 mark.
Ashland needed only one offensive play to get that TD once more as Terell Jordan ran beneath Thacker’s high-arcing toss from 64 yards out.
The Raiders didn’t even need their offense to answer as soon as extra. Connor Goodman took a further beat to space the next kickoff at his private 1-yard line, nonetheless he wasted no time sprinting up the sideline for a 99-yard ranking with 5:16 nonetheless remaining inside the half.
Twenty-six seconds, three touchdowns and a frenetic tempo that examined the mettle of defending district and state champion Ashland.
“We’re down two scores, they’d kinda taken the wind out of our sails considerably bit,” East Carter coach Tim Champlin set the scene, “so for (Goodman) to have the flexibility to take that every one the way in which wherein once more to the house, get us inside seven as soon as extra … it gave us some life and pleasure. … That was an unlimited improve there in morale and momentum.”
The Raiders couldn’t spin it into coming all the way in which wherein once more to tie or take the lead, though. They’d the ball thrice after that down one possession and had been unsuccessful in getting even.
Braiden Bellew recovered an onside kick after Goodman’s TD that set East Carter up on the Ashland 29, nonetheless that drive misplaced six yards and went three-and-out. And the Raiders obtained the ball first inside the second half and marched to the Ashland 37 sooner than stalling.
The Tomcats capitalized, with Brett Mullins working for a 2-yard TD with 5:21 to go inside the third quarter. East Carter countered with Isaac Boggs’s 2-yard scoring reception from Kanyon Kozee with 9:58 to play, and the Raiders pressured a three-and-out on Ashland’s subsequent possession to get it once more down 28-20 with 8:24 remaining.
Goodman provided one different chunk play, a 40-yard reception to rework third-and-8, nonetheless two performs later, a mishandled handoff change found the turf. Christian was there to get effectively for the Tomcats.
“It was an unlimited shift in momentum,” Christian talked about of the play. “We would have liked to get the ball once more, and that almost solidified the game.”
Ball security has been a recurring downside for the Raiders this yr, Champlin talked about, and popped up Friday on the worst potential second. East Carter moreover misplaced a fumble inside the first quarter that Padron recovered sooner than turning it into his first of two scoring receptions.
“We’ve got gotta do increased on our ball administration,” Champlin talked about. “When you play good teams like Ashland, you can’t afford to do that.”
Thacker threw for 3 first-half touchdowns for Ashland (5-3, 1-0 Class 3A, District 7) and achieved 9 of 11 passes for 157 yards. Padron caught six of them for 76 yards — persistently getting huge open — and Jordan added two receptions for 70 yards.
“(Offensive coordinator) coach (Jimmy) Peyton, he’s a sort of men that if (opposing defenses) want to downside with safeties arising on the run sport, he’s very detailed in observing various points that go on in a sport,” Love talked about. “He did a unbelievable job, and Bailey did an superior job of making these connections.”
Vinincio Palladino ran for 92 yards on 14 carries for Ashland.
Kozee achieved 9 of 17 passes for 138 yards and no picks — a rebound from throwing three interceptions each week earlier at Estill County.
“He’s a competitor, man, and he wishes the ball in his palms and does an superior job with it,” Champlin talked about. “I assumed he carried out successfully tonight at situations, had some good balls downfield, really loosened (Ashland) up and uncovered them.”
Terry rushed 18 situations for 83 yards. Goodman caught three passes for 80 yards for East Carter (5-2, 0-1 district).
The win was Ashland’s 79th beneath Love, which moved the ninth-year coach into second place by himself on the Tomcats’ occupation victories itemizing.
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ASHLAND 7 14 7 3 — 31
E. CARTER 0 14 0 6 — 20
A — Ricky Padron 13 cross from Bailey Thacker (SJ Lycans kick), 4:20
A — Padron 16 cross from Thacker (Lycans kick), 8:53
EC — Charlie Terry 31 run (run fails), 5:42
A — Terell Jordan 64 cross from Thacker (Lycans kick), 5:29
EC — Connor Goodman 99 kickoff return (Kanyon Kozee run), 5:16
A — Brett Mullins 2 run (Lycans kick), 5:21
EC — Isaac Boggs 2 cross from Kozee (run fails), 9:58
A — Lycans 37 FG, 4:39
First Downs 10 13
Rushes-Yards 25-154 41-124
Comp-Att-Int September 11-0 9-17-0
Passing Yards 157 138
Fumbles-Misplaced 2-1 2-2
Punts-Avg. 4-47.3 4-27.8
Penalties-Yards 5-66 2-7
Ashland rushing: Palladino 14-92, Mullins 5-37, Padron 1-17, Thacker 2-10, Jordan 1-3, Group 2-(-5).
East Carter rushing: Terry 18-83, Kozee 16-40, Barnett 5-7, Group 2-(-6).
Ashland passing: Thacker 9 of 11 for 157 yards.
East Carter passing: Kozee 9 of 17 for 138 yards.
Ashland receiving: Padron 6-76, Jordan 2-70, Mullins 1-11.
East Carter receiving: C. Goodman 3-80, Boggs 3-32, M. Hall 2-23, Terry 1-3.