In Oct. 2 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Lakers sent district opponent Logan County home on Friday after whipping the Cougars 62-20 during the annual Homecoming game.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for the Lakers in a big way and also was their first district win of the season.
The Lakers, now 2-3, 1-1 in district, will travel to non-district foe Wayne County, 2-2, next Friday to take on the always tough Cardinals.
Laker Head Coach Bill Sharp said he was pleased with such a win over a team that sneaked by his team a year ago at their place.
He said his team’s morale was high and his players responded well to what they had been taught all week.
“I thought our blocking was much better offensively and we followed our assignments,” Sharp said. He said his defense was much improved from a week ago and only allowed yardage late as he was rotating players and letting some youngsters get in the action.
Linebacker Chandler McGowan had four solo tackles and 8 assisted tackles for Russell County.
“To win two or three ballgames, you have to win one first,” Sharp said. He said despite the festivities of Homecoming all week, his guys stayed focused and responded well to what the coaches said.
Two of the Lakers’ most memorable plays was a first half 72-yard punt return touchdown by Landon Meece and a second half 60-yard touchdown run by Chad Beard.
The Lakers had two rushers with more than 100 yards as Beard had 116 yards on just five attempts and one score. Jeron Hammond had 100 yards rushing on six carries and two scores.
Chris Hammond had 60 yards rushing on six attempts and scored once while both Michael Lawless and Chandler McGowan had 31 yards rushing apiece and combined for three rushing scores. Quarterback Bryon Ellis also rushed six times for 24 yards and a score. Ellis also completed seven of 13 passes for 113 yards.
Laker receivers Quinton Warriner, Taylor Hutchison, McGowan and Meece all caught Ellis passes in the game.
Sharp noted his team’s tough schedule and said that many may not realize how tough the competition has been so far this season.
As district play rolls on, the Lakers can only benefit from those tough, early season games.
The Lakers go to Wayne County Friday. Sharp noted how this Wayne County team is very physical and plays smashmouth football.
“They’re your typical Wayne County team,” he said. “We’re going to have to give our best effort to come away with a win.”
The Cardinals, coached by Shawn Thompson, lost last week at Somerset, 41-7, but Sharp said the game was much closer than that as Wayne lost several players to injuries late in the game and Somerset was able to capitalize.
Tyla Bailey, a sophomore and the daughter of Kevin and Mary Lynn Bailey, was crowned the 2008 RCHS Homecoming Queen during halftime. The Queen’s Court consisted of 1st runner-up Yasmin Montenez, 2nd runner-up Shelby Bell, 3rd runner-up April Emerson and 4th runner-up Jessica Cain.