With six players in street clothes on the side line, Coach Jim Carr had to wonder how many more players can be injured.
He found out Friday night when, as with the score tied late in the third quarter at 22-all, sophomore speedster Deshon Talbott went down with a knee injury and the Breds fell to the Mason County Royals 39-22 in Maysville.
The Breds seemed to lose focus for a short period of time, just long enough for the Royals to score twice and make the Breds go strictly to the air taking the visitors out of their game plan.
The game started with both teams failing to gain a first down with their first possession.
The Thorobreds tried to gain a first down with a fourth down try, but turned the ball over on downs at their own 47-yard line.
Hard running Rashon Nelson picked up 25 yards on the first play in the series to the 22, but the Breds’ defense stiffened, holding the Royals to a 2-yard gain, an incomplete pass and a penalty in the next three tries.
But on third and 11 yards to go, Jake O’Mara hit Tee King with a pass for a 23-yard touchdown for 7-0 lead for the Royals.
Harrison County came right back with an eight-play, 69-yard drive culminating with junior Brandon Morris’ 2-yard touchdown run.
The big play in this drive was a 48-yard run by Talbott on a big fourth-down dash. The extra point was not good when the snap slipped through the holder’s hands leaving the score 7-6 in favor of Mason County.
The second period began with the Royals punting the ball to the Breds and Harrison County taking over on the 26.
The Breds were three and out and punted to the Royals with the home squad beginning on their own 27-yard line.
Mason County marched down the field on a 12-play drive covering 70 yards to score making the tally 14-6.
Nelson carried the pigskin into the end zone on a 1-yard run for the score.
The half ended with the score 14-6 as each team possessed the ball without scoring one more time before time ran out.
The hard-working Thorobreds took the opening kick of the second half and navigated down the field on a five-play, 80-yard drive scoring on a 36-yard Talbott run.
A Robbie Stroub pass to tight end Zach Royce for the two-point conversion tied the score at 14 each with nine minutes left in the quarter.
The Royals responded with a 12-play drive but the Breds defense held them at the 45 forcing a punt to the Harrison County 5-yard line.
Two tough runs by Royce gave the Breds a first down on the 17, but a holding penalty moved them back to the 11. This set up the second longest touchdown pass play in Harrison County history.
Stroub rolled out to his left and threw an 89-yard touchdown pass to swift-footed Terrell Roberts for the score giving Harrison County the team’s first lead of the season.
Stroub hit Royce for another two-point conversion to make the score 22-14 with 3:55 left in the quarter.
The longest touchdown pass play in school history was made in 2008 when Van Isaac hit Aaron Newby for a 91-yard play in the Rec Bowl against Fleming County.
The Royal’s King returned the ensuing kick off 44 yards to the Breds 40 giving Mason County some good field position.
Five plays later, O’Mara hit Michael Sutton for a 13-yard touchdown throw and the Royals scored a two-point conversion to tie the score at 22 apiece with 1:29 left in the third period.
Then came the fateful run by Talbott as the sophomore made a move running to his left and went down without any contact as his knee gave away.
After two more plays, Klapheke’s punt went 26 yards to the Harrison County 46 where Mason County took over possession.
The quarter ended with the score tied but Harrison County was on its heels.
The second play of the fourth quarter saw the bull dozer-like runner, Nelson, carry the ball 22 yards for the leading touchdown with the extra point kick making the score 29-22.
Morris fumbled at the Harrison County 30-yard line on the next series and the Royals drove to the 8-yard line where they fumbled and the Breds recovered.
On the very next play, Stroub was sacked in the end zone for a safety making the score 31-22.
The free kick that followed went out of bounds giving the Royals the ball on the Harrison County 45-yard line. (The penalty is 25 yards from the free kick line).
The Thorobreds’ defense again held and the Royals punted the ball into the end zone.
The Breds took over with four minutes left trailing by the 31-22 margin and picked up a first down in three plays moving the ball to the 34-yard line.
Stroub was intercepted on the next play on the 42-yard line, but the Harrison County defense again stopped the Royals and the battling Breds took the ball back on their own 23-yard line.
Three incomplete passes and another interception gave the ball back to Mason County and this time the Royals took advantage as O’Mara ran the ball 41 yards for the score and the final 37-22 score.
“While I am not happy with another loss, I am proud of the effort the young men gave tonight,” said Carr after the game. “This was a game we could have won but we made some mistakes at bad times. These young men are working hard and learning as we work hard each week.”
The win was the first for Mason County while the Breds are 0-4 for the season. Harrison County will host Bourbon County (3-0) on Friday night at the Harrison County Athletic Complex.