In Oct. 16-22 Issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Sports Editor
The Lakers (2-5, 1-2 in district play) traveled to Warren East (4-3, 2-2 in district play) Friday night looking for a second district win, but it was not to be as they were downed 43-7 in a lopsided affair.
The Lakers, playing without senior playmaker Landon Meece who was out with a shoulder injury, couldn’t find their offensive groove and allowed district foe Warren East to score easily for much of the game.
Warren East’s senior running back and Louisville commit Shenard Holton rushed for 183 yards and three scores and caught two passes for 83 yards and a touchdown in the Lakers’ loss.
Laker Head Coach Bill Sharp said his team had a great week of practice leading up to the game but when his team stepped off the bus in Warren County Friday it all went downhill.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” he said. “It was the best week of practice we’ve had.”
Warren East scored on their first possession as Antonious Owens scored on a three-yard run to put the Raiders up 7-0.
Holton then scored twice for Warren East before Russell County finally found paydirt.
Russell County scored its lone touchdown late in the first half when senior quarterback Bryon Ellis found Quinton Warriner for a 6-yard touchdown pass. The Lakers went into halftime down 21-7.
Ellis completed 13 of 21 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Warriner caught six passes for 105 yards and the Lakers’ only touchdown.
Warren East’s Holton and teammate Fuzz Owens scored several more times in the second half to put the game away.
Owens had 123 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
The Lakers managed 310 total offensive yards while Warren East tallied 468.
The Lakers were led in rushing by Nathan Irvin who had 40 yards on five attempts. Chris Hammond, Chad Beard, Martin Cross, Jeron Hammond, Michael Lawless, Chandler McGowan and Ellis all had rushing yardage for the Lakers. Austin Hill also caught three passes for 72 yards in the game.
McGowan, Chris Hammond, Jeron Hammond and Lawless also caught passes in the game.
Sharp said this week in practice the focus has been on trying to be better in the mental part of the game.
“That was the big downfall Friday night,” he said. “We just weren’t mentally ready to play.”
Sharp said there are no easy answers for his team right now as they go down the stretch run of their schedule.
“At this point, we’ve got to get back some swagger and play at a high level and play with some confidence,” he said.
“The season is not over yet ... we’ve got three ballgames left plus a playoff game.”
He said with district opponent Logan County mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, his team is in and still has a chance to make some noise and upset someone in the playoffs.
These next three games will go a long way toward preparing for postseason play.
The Lakers now must regroup as they prepare to play the Briar Jumpers of Somerset next week in another tough away game.
“They beat Wayne County (earlier this season, 41-7) handily and they’ve got speed,” Sharp said.
“They’re a well coached ball club who we’ll have a tough time dealing with.”
Jay Cobb’s Somerset team also won a big game last Friday against Jackson County, winning 63-8.