In Sept. 2 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Sports Editor
The Russell County Laker football team opened their 2010 season with a victory Friday night as they cruised past the visiting Campbellsville Eagles, 25-6, on Finley Field at Laker Stadium.
"We did a lot of really good things tonight," said Laker head coach Bill Sharp after the game. "We had over 400 yards of total offense."
Sharp said while his team moved the football well for much of the game, they seemed to stall once they entered the redzone.
"When we got into critical situations where we had to make a play, we got a penalty," he said.
Despite the minor errors, the Lakers looked good.
"We got a pretty good senior bunch but we're still young," he said. "We're playing three freshmen in some crucial situations."
The Lakers started the game off with a 23-yard field goal by Lucas Williams on the opening drive to take a 3-0 lead.
Campbellsville would soon answer on their initial drive as Eagle tailback Tashaun Hoskins scampered four yards for the score to take a 6-3 lead.
That would be the Eagles' only score of the night as the Lakers would reel off the next 22 points.
The feet of the Laker's senior quarterback, Martin Cross, and sophomore tailback Nick Britt would help put Russell County in position on their next score. Cross then found senior wideout and fellow captain Taylor Hutchison streaking through the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown reception.
The second quarter began with the Lakers in front, 9-6, and when the Lakers got the ball back for the first time in the quarter, Cross was intercepted on a 4th and goal try in the endzone.
Hutchison would again come up big for the Lakers, this time on defense, as he intercepted an Eagle pass from quarterback Alex Brunelle on the following possession. Laker Lucas Williams would connect with another field goal, this one from 30 yards out, on the ensuing drive.
In the third quarter, the Laker offensive machine kept rolling as Cross found sophomore Darrell Nealy for a 32-yard reception on third and long to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Britt. That score extended the Laker lead to 19-6.
To wind up the scoring for Russell County, Hutchison again intercepted the Eagle quarterback and then returned the football 17 yards for final score of the ballgame, a play Sharp later credited to defensive coordinator Ryan Richardson's scheme.
Sharp credited an undermanned Campbellsville squad and head coach Jay Cobb for a well-played game.
"Coach Cobb does a great job of x's and o's and he got his kids playing hard," he said.
Sharp then said he was pleased with the job senior quarterback Martin Cross did with the new spread offense.
"There was some times Marty didn't hit the right guy in the passing game," Sharp said. "But he made some plays."
The Laker coach also said his offensive line must be more physical in the coming games.
"There are times we didn't create as much movement up there as we needed to," he said. "There were a lot of positives but there are a lot of things we need to work on."
Sharp cited his team getting in the redzone four times and not scoring as something to work on leading up to this week's game at Somerset.
"That's not good football," Sharp said. "To compete with Somerset and P.C. and those kinds of teams, we got to fix that."
On the defensive side of the ball, Sharp was pleased with how his team battled.
"After that first series, we were pretty sound defensively," he said. He said senior defensive end Logan Smith made some crucial stops for the Lakers.
"He can be a difference maker for us defensively," Sharp said of the senior, who led the team with seven tackles.
"I'm pleased with the win but we'll go back to the drawing board," Sharp said. "We still got a lot of things to work on to get to where we need to be but this was a win, it goes down as a W."
Britt rushed 16 times for 106 yards and a score in the game and also caught one pass for 50 yards while Cross ran eight times for 77 yards and threw for 219 yards on 12 completions with one touchdown and one interception. Senior Jeron Hammond rushed six times for 25 yards and was the Lakers' leading receiver with two catches for 68 yards. Hutchison tallied six catches for 61 yards and a score while Nealy caught one pass for 32 yards. Senior Justin Roy also had one reception for eight yards.
Russell County, 1-0, travels to Somerset for a meeting with the 2-0 Briar Jumpers on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Somerset High School.
Somerset, the 2009 Class 3A state runner-ups, have defeated both Lynn Camp and Southwestern this season and will prove to be the biggest test to date for Russell County this season.