GREENUP COUNTY, Ky. — The Musketeers scored just over a minute and a half into the game and never looked back. Seniors Jared Hunt and Ryan Bird scored all five Greenup County touchdowns as the Musketeers dominated the Lewis County Lions 35-0 Friday night.
Hunt led all rushers with 96 yards on 11 attempts and two rushing scores. Bird also scored two rushing TDs while racking up 40 yards on seven attempts. Bird’s third endzone celebration came in the third quarter when he picked off Lewis County quarterback Tommy Packs and returned it 26 yards.
“It’s great. They’re both four-year seniors. They’re great kids, I’ve had them both in class. They’re in my (calculus) two class now. They’re great kids, 4.0 students. I’m just happy for them that they had a great game,” Musketeers head coach Chris Mullins said.
Bird played in his first game since tearing his ACL last year and seemingly didn’t miss a beat.
“I told Ryan before the game, I gave him a big hug, I hoped that he had a fantastic season because he deserves it,” Mullins said. “If you see what those kids have to go through when they tear up a ligament and have to rehab, it’s not a fun business and I ‘d really like for him to go out with a great year.”
Even though Bird made the biggest defensive play of the night, he wasn’t the only player to shine on that side of the ball. Greenup only allowed 107 yards of offense, while holding the Lions to a negative six yards on the ground.
“It’s the first shutout I’ve ever had, very, very happy about it,” Mullins said. “We knew our defense was going to play good. We knew if they executed the game plan, they would play good … “
“We had a great plan against the run. We knew they were going to try to run it a lot. They had some success with their little bubble screen but that was something we were willing to give up. We just wanted to make sure they couldn’t run the ball on our defense. That’s the mentality we have anyway. They really bought into that and did a great job.”
Mullins wanted his team to get off to a quick start and after choosing to kickoff to begin the game, Mullins got his wish. Lewis committed consecutive illegal procedure penalties before running its first play. Once the Lions were able to snap the ball, their first official play from scrimmage didn’t bold well as a fumble set the Musketeers up with a 1st-and-goal at the 8-yard line.
After two straight incompletions, Hunt kept the ball on a zone-read play and scored seemingly untouched. Caden Warnock made it 8-0 after scoring on the two-point conversion.
On the Lions’ next possession, a high-snap on a fourth-down punt attempt gave the Musketeers another short field. After a first down incompletion by Hunt, Bird celebrated his first touchdown of the season.
The first three minutes of the game couldn’t have been more perfect for Mullins’ team.
“It started exactly how you would want to start a football game” Mullins said. “We were aggressive on defense, got the turnover, scored on our third play. I had scripted some plays and we were going right down our script, so things worked out exactly the way we wanted.”
Mullins biggest regret was not being able to work on his offense in preparation for future opponents.
“I would have called a lot more running plays but I thought this was a situation that we really could have worked on our pass and unfortunately once the score gets to a certain point, you can’t really throw as much as you’d like too … ” Mullins said.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.
Greenup — Hunt 7 yd run (Conversion good), 11:35
Greenup — Bird 13 yd run (Coldiron kick), 9:47
Greenup — Bird 1 yd run (Missed PAT), 8:26
Greenup — Hunt 1 yd run (Coldiron kick), 5:59
Greenup — Bird 26 yd interception return (Coldiron kick), 3:13
|Lewis Co.||Greenup Co.|
Passing — Lewis: T. Parks 11-24-113; Greenup: J. Hunt 6-14-49, C. Hunt 0-2.
Rushing — Lewis: A. Evans 12-18, T. Parks 11-1, I. Kelly 1-(-1), G. Yates 1-(-2), E. Berry 1-(-5), M. Lumpkins 1-(-17); Greenup: J. Hunt 11-96, R. Bird 7-40, I. Greene 5-39, J. Wright 4-36, C. Hunt 4-17, C. Warnock 6-12, J. Short 1-0, Z. Parson 3-(-9).
Receiving — Lewis: I. Manning 3-44, M. Lumpkins 3-29, L. Cottingham 1-13, I. Kelly 1-11, A. Evans 1-6, I. Esham 1-6, G. Yates 1-4; Greenup: A. Mauk 1-19, C. Warnock 1-16, P. Ailster 1-8, J. Wright 1-4, J. Jackson 2-2.
Lewis Co. 0-1 ; Greenup Co. 1-0