In Sept. 16 Issue
The Russell County Lakers (1-2) came out fired up and scored on their first play from scrimmage Friday night as quarterback Martin Cross found wideout Taylor Hutchison for a 35-yard touchdown. After that though, it was Pulaski County's ballgame as they took the contest 48-27.
"We played harder tonight," said Laker head coach Bill Sharp after the game. "We played with a little more tenacity and I'm pleased with those things but we've still got a lot of work to do to get better. The scoreboard shows that."
Sharp said his team still needed to improve defensively after allowing Pulaski County to rack up over 600 yards of total offense on the evening.
"We made some great plays but we couldn't make sustained plays defensively," he said. "(Pulaski) is a great offensive ballclub, they always have been and they do a great job at what they do."
Maroon quarterback Zach Eastham went 20-28 for 383 yards and three touchdowns and their tailback, Alex Abner, rushed for 123 yards and four scores.
The Lakers tried to battle back early, even sticking their neck out in front with a 14-13 lead after a Cross touchdown run but then the 2-1 Maroons would go on to run away with the game.
The Lakers did have two bright spots in the second half as Cross found sophomore tailback Nick Britt for a 75-yard touchdown play. Then, in the game's final quarter, Britt found a hole and scored on a 62-yard rush.
Russell County's schedule gets no easier as they travel this Friday for a game with the always-tough Wayne County Cardinals for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Cardinals shut out McCreary Central 47-0 on Friday night at home.
"They're always physical," Sharp said. "It is a dogfight with them and we've got to go over there. They play good football and Coach Thompson does a great job."
Sharp said his team has to get better from the Pulaski loss for them to compete with and defeat the Cardinals Friday night.
"If we can do some good things then hopefully we can come out with a win next week," he said.
Leading Russell County in rushing against Pulaski was Nick Britt with 94 yards on 13 carries. Cross went 9-17 through the air for 190 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Britt also had three catches for 92 yards and another score. Jeron Hammond had two rushes for 16 yards and one reception for 10 yards. Taylor Hutchison had five catches for 84 yards and a score. Cross had six carries for 3 yards and one touchdown. The Lakers tallied 274 yards of total offense on the night.
Defensively, the Lakers were led by Mason Short with 10 tackles, Lucas Whittle had eight, Jeron Hammond with seven, Taylor Hutchison with six and Evan Fletcher with four tackles
The Lakers lost junior Jessie Whittle, a tough, hard-nosed player, to a serious knee injury during the game. Sharp said Whittle is a great kid that everybody loves to be around.
"I hate it for him," Sharp said. "We love him to death."