PDT Sports Contributor
In football, coaches and players will say that in hard-fought games, the execution of ‘the little things’ can decide the outcome of a game. In a hard fought battle Friday night, which saw both teams battle to the final minute, that point was exactly what was on display as the Lewis County Lions were able to pull out a gut-wrenching 26-20 win over the Greenup County Musketeers in the first week of the Kentucky high school football season.
The Lions received the ball to start the contest and proceeded to go on a 16 play, 74 yard drive that saw Lewis County use the power running games of both Mason Mustard and Jordan McCann along with the shifty running game of Tyler Mustard to knife through Greenup County’s defense.
The near eight minute drive was capped when Issac Weddington rolled out to the left side of the field and found Jared Stapleton for a 12-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone that put the Lions up early by a 7-0 score.
The Musketeers would immediately answer with a two-headed monster of their own in running backs Kenton Boggs and Ryan Byrd. The two would touch the football on 12 of the 13 plays on the 74 yard drive, which was capped off on a 14 yard touchdown run by Byrd to tie the score at seven at the 9:13 mark of the second quarter.
After penalties and sacks forced the Lions back into a 3rd and 29 situation, Josh Barney would step in front of a Weddington pass to give Greenup County excellent field position on the interception.
However, a Lewis County sack and two straight incompletions forced the Musketeers to go into a punting formation. The ball was then snapped over Jared Hunt’s head, where it rolled for 20 yards as Hunt had no choice but to fall on the football.
The field position game was drastically altered and represented the turning point in the game as the Lions, with the advantage of a short field, would go 33 yards in eight plays to put Lewis County back on top by a touchdown with 3:17 remaining in the half via a Dalton Stamm 5-yard touchdown run. The Lions would then hold the 14-7 advantage to the halftime break.
Both the Musketeers and the Lions would trade possessions throughout most of the third quarter, until a Hunt fumble at the Greenup County 26 yard line gave Lewis County another short field with which to work with, leading to a 12-yard touchdown reception by Justin Davis from Weddington just 42 seconds into the fourth quarter.
After both teams traded possessions once again, Greenup County would again rely heavily on both Boggs and Byrd, as the pair combined to carry the ball nine out of the 11 plays on the drive, with Byrd providing the finishing touches by scampering 18 yards for the Musketeer touchdown, cutting the Lewis County lead to 20-13 with 2:41 remaining in the game.
The Lions would strike right back on the very next series, as Weddington dropped back and hit Davis right on the numbers for a 79-yard touchdown pass to increase the Lewis County lead to 26-13 with 2:04 remaining in what looked like a backbreaking touchdown for the Musketeers.
However, Greenup County was able to mount one final charge and made things interesting, as the Musketeers, aided on the drive by a personal foul on the Lions, scored via Byrd’s one yard run, which was his third touchdown of the game.
The Musketeers then were given one final shot to either tie or win the game, as Thurman fumbled the ball right into Byrd’s arms on what looked to be a run that would ice the game. Greenup County, however, was not able to mount a serious charge as Boggs was stopped four yards shy of the first down marker, giving Lewis County the 26-20 victory.
The Lions move to 1-0 on the year and have a bye week before playing Bath County on September 6 at home. Greenup County (0-1) will travel to Russell next Friday to take on the Red Devils, who were idol.
LC 7 7 0 12 — 26
GC 0 7 0 13 — 20
LC – Jordan Davis 12 pass from Issac Weddington (Davis kick), 4:02
GC – Ryan Byrd 14 run (Chris Haney kick), 9:13
LC – Dalton Stamm 5 run (Davis kick), 3:17
LC – Davis 12 pass from Weddington (PAT blocked), 11:18
GC – Byrd 18 run (run failed), 2:41
LC – Davis 79 pass from Weddington (PAT blocked), 2:04
GC – Byrd 1 run (Haney kick), 1:30
LC: Weddington 10-15-183-3-1. GC: Hunt 1-6-12-0-1.
LC: Davis 2-91-2, Chase Parker 3-29, Jordan Hunt 1-14, Stapleton 1-12-1.
GC: Kyle Cochran 1-12.
GC: Byrd 169-3
LC: Thurman 33