Clark County running back Ryan Williams stole the show on Friday night as the visiting Cardinals rained on Harrison Countys home opener, blasting the Breds 44-0.
Williams wasted no time in exerting his influence on the game by taking the handoff on the Cards first play from scrimmage and out-racing the entire Harrison County defense for a 90-yard TD run.
A much-needed rain started falling about 45 minutes prior to the 7:30 kick-off ... much-needed by the community, but not by Harrison County head coach Aaron Stepp.
The rain was definitely a factor that hurt us, but it was the same for both teams and apparently it didnt seem to bother Clark County very much, said the first-year mentor of the Thorobreds. The bottom line is they are a talented 6A football team and our lack of game-experience showed through loud and clear.
Williams notched a second straight mark on his gun-belt after running over, around and through the Harrison County defense. He torched the Breds for 229 yards rushing on only 17 carries, with his last attempt of the night coming early in the third quarter. Last week, in GRCs opener at the Recreation Bowl against host Montgomery County, Williams ran for 238 yards.
I even surprised myself, Williams said after the game. Everybody was sliding around and I was running like it was nothing.
The game looked to get off to a good start for the Breds as Josh Moss returned the opening kick-off to the Harrison County 48 yard line. On Harrison Countys first play from scrimmage, quarterback Van Isaac hit Aaron Newby with a short pass over the middle that turned into a 20-yard gain. But that would be the highlight of the Harrison County night, offensively.
That drive started going in reverse as Isaac was sacked twice and Harrison County was forced to punt. Bobby Feebacks kick was downed on the 10 yard line, but Williams quickly answered with his long TD run.
On the next possession, Harrison County was forced to punt again. After Williams picked up 19 yards in three consecutive carries down to the Harrison County 20-yard line, Clark County attempted its first pass of the game.
Harrison Countys Steven Neal read the play perfectly, however, stepped in front of the intended receiver and made the interception. Neal rambled 42 yards on the return before being brought down.
Given a new life after the Neal interception, Harrison County promptly gave the ball back to the Cards. Isaac attempted to hit Newby with another aerial, but the ball skipped off Newbys hands and was picked off by Andrew Ware.
Two possessions later, Isaac was intercepted again, this time by Jim Mabe who returned it 41 yards for the Cards second TD of the game. After another Harrison County punt, Williams sprinted 64 yards for his second TD of the night and a 21-0 lead for GRC in the first quarter. The Cardinals added two more scores in the second quarter to lead 31-0 at halftime. They added one TD in the third quarter and another in the fourth for the final margin.
Stepp wasnt surprised with Clarks performance and liked the speed and ability of Williams.
He may be as good a back as well see all year, he said. He may be one of the top three backs well see all year, maybe the best. Hes a good football player, and Clark County will have a great year.
The Clark County defense was solid as well.
Harrison Countys vaunted offense, which racked up over 500 yards last week in the win over Fleming County, was stifled by the Cards. Due to Isaac being sacked on several occasions, the Harrison County rushing attack ran the ball 33 times for minus-41 yards. Through the air, Isaac completed just nine of 22 attempts for 85 yards. He was intercepted three times.
We got pressure on the quarterback and that was the key, said Paul Columbia, in his 10th year as the head coach at GRC. We put a lot of pressure on him.
Harrison County committed six turnovers in the contest, fumbling three times in addition to the three interceptions.
We just did not respond well to adversity, Stepp said. The turnovers killed us and the weather was not in our favor.
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Harrison County is out of the frying pan and into the fire this week as they hit the road to take on Marion County. Kickoff for tomorrow nights contest will be at 8 p.m., instead of at 7:30. Marion County is 2-0 on the year with wins over East Jessamine and Nelson County.
According to Stepp, Marion County will be another formidable test for his Thorobreds.
They are big and strong and tough. They have a bunch of experienced players back and play extremely hard. I think we can score on them, if the weather isnt too bad, but I am concerned with our ability to keep their offense off the field. They like to play ball-control football and that concerns me.