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Football Season Concludes for Patriots
Football Season Concludes for Patriots

   A stout ground game and a solid defense helped the Madisonville-North Hopkins Maroons defeat the Allen County-Scottsville Patriots 28-7 in the opening round of the Class 4A playoffs last Friday night at Madisonville.

    One glance at the stat sheet tells the story of the game. The Maroons’ Jarish Hightower carried the pigskin 43 times and racked up 268 yards---part of a night in which Madisonville gained 326 yards on the ground. Combined with 61 yards passing, the Maroons offense was too much for the Patriots to overcome.

   However, the offensive attack by Madisonville was magnified given the fact that AC-S starting slow offensively and defensively.

   “The start of the game was really bad,” coach Brad Hood explained. “I was really disappointed with how we come out of the gate.  We knew that their game plan would be to try to force the run on us.  The two on-side kicks that we gave up were crucial.  We had planned for them to be very aggressive on the kick-offs and letting them take the air out of us was just to much to overcome.  Especially with the field conditions you can't give any freebies.”

   Madisonville opened the game by putting the ball in the hands of Hightower. The powerful back helped the Maroons march down the field to score on a six-play drive. The point after gave the Maroons a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.

   What followed would be an early game-changing moment. On the ensuing kick-off, Madisonville’s Will Sanderson squibbed the ball off the tee. A teammate recovered the on-sidekick. The Maroons offense trotted back on the field and Hightower went back to work. Aided by a pass play thrown in the midst, the Maroons needed seven plays to score again. Sanderson’s point after gave the hosts a 14-0 lead by the midway point of the first period.

   The Maroons added a third score in the first quarter. A five play 52 yard drive late in the first quarter  upped the score to 21-0. Minutes later, Madisonville used their run-oriented offense to mount an 11-play, 78 yard drive. Aroon quarterback Hayden Reynolds capped the march with a 19-yard touchdown pass. The score---the fourth in the hosts first five possessions pushed the score to 28-0.

   Senior quarterback Chase Wilson led AC-S back. A short pass to junior Jacob Lightfoot would be followed by an 18-yard pass play to junior Kelly Weger. Six and eight yard pass completions to Lightfoot and Cayden Ross enabled the Patriots to push into the Madisonville red zone. Seconds later, Wilson connected to Lightfoot for a 16-yard scoring strike---the 15th time this season the pair have hooked up for a touchdown. Sheldon Peay’s PAT put AC-S on the board—and kept the door open for an AC-S comeback.

 “I felt like the score did slow them down a little and gave us something to build off of,” coach Hood explained. “We just didn't take advantage after that.  I truly felt after the first score we was going to make a comeback.”

   Such was not the case. The Maroons turned to ball control, clock management, solid defense, and a little bit of trivckery to hold the Patriots at bay.

   AC-S was to gain possession to start the second half but a second Madisonville onside kick and recovery may have been the play that changed the game. Even though the Maroons did not score after taking over near midfield, the play dampening the AC-S spirits. In the third frame, AC-S would be forced to punt on three consecutive positions.

   The Patriot defense buckled down and would not allow the Maroons to add another score. Still, the power running of Hightower was enough to help Madisonville mount multiple play drives before punting the ball away. The run game chewed up the clock, thus eliminating AC-S’s opportunities for a comeback.

   The Patriots finished the night with their lowest offensive production of the season. Wilson completed 14 of 26 passes for 118 yards in his 32nd and final game as a Patriot. Ross led the way in receiving with five catches for 47 yards with Lightfoor hauling in four passes for 37 yards. AC-S struggled on the ground. With sack yardage figured in, the Patriots were a negative 33 in rushing yards.

   Afterwards, Hood had to say goodbye to a group of seniors that had put together a solid senior season.

   “This group was hard to see leave,” coach Hood said. “Knowing these boys for so long and seeing them grow into the young men they are today is something that I cherish.  We spent a lot of time together over the last four years and most of these young men have been around my sideline since they were seven or eight years old.  You get attached to them and you love them dearly, so saying good-bye is always very hard for me.  I look at these guys as family and I just hope that I've somehow helped them along their journey as they enter adult hood.”

   Wilson will leave AC-S football after rewriting the Patriot record book. Wilson is now the all-time leader in career passing yards (5.750), passing touchdowns (58), completes passes (365), most passing yuards in a season (2,658), passing yards in a game (373), and touchdowns passes in a game (6).

   The final week of the season also brought recognitions for five Patriots. Wilson and Lightfoot were selected to the first team Offensive All-Season SKY Conference (Large school), punter Sheldon Peay was First Team Defensive All-Season SKY Conference, with Cayden Ross and Steven Whitney named to the Second Team All-SKY conference---Ross on offense as a receiver and Whitney as a defensive member on the defensive line.

   AC-S (7-4) will close the season with their annual banquet later this year or in early 2018. After that, comes the work to prepare for the 2018 season---the 50th year of Patriot football.

   “Moving forward we have to build off a very successful year,” Hood noted. “We went 7-4!  There was one game I felt we left out there that could have changed a lot of things but we cannot have it back.  So we have to move forward.  This group had a good year and we need to carry this momentum throughout our program.  JV was undefeated and the Freshman went 6-2 with the first loss being against a heavily filled JV team.  So the program took great strides this season.  This off-season needs to be about getting stronger and replacing several starters.  The good thing is we have a lot of young kids to take on this task with.”

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570 Oliver Street, Scottsville, KY
Phone: (270) 618-3181
Fax: (270) 618-3185
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Scottsville, KY

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