Thorobreds’ backs bust by Panthers

Harrison County makes statement win in season opener

JARED MACDONALD
[email protected]

FLEMINGSBURG – Harrison County didn’t win a single game during the 2017 season.

But they showed they weren’t the same team to open up 2018.

The Thorobreds used a variety of runners to blow past Fleming County in the season opener on Friday, 47-6, ending a 13-game losing streak.

“We’ve got a really big, strong line. I thought it would be stupid not to run the ball with a big, strong line. Tough fullbacks like we’ve got, we’ve got some tough backs and that’s playing to our strengths,” said Harrison County coach Marshall Graham. “Hopefully we’ll get more balanced down the road, but I think we did what we should do tonight.”

Harrison County got on the board with a 4-yard run from Chase Blanton midway through the first quarter and added another score on a 45-yard run from Cody Howard in the second quarter to take a 12-0 lead into the break.

Blanton led the ‘Breds from there, collecting three more touchdowns of 6 yards, 57 yards and 8 yards in the second half. He finished with 200 yards on the ground on 18 carries.

The 57-yard score was his second in the third quarter and it gave Harrison County a 26-0 lead at the end of the third.

“I don’t know the politically correct way to say it – we’ve just got to grow up and it’s a gut check,” said Fleming County coach Bill Spencer. “We knew that they were going to run that wing-T and they were going to pound it down our throat and we were going to have to be man enough to stop it. Tonight we just weren’t man enough to stop it.”

After the senior running back’s fourth touchdown of the game, it was the lone bright spot for Fleming County. Cole Saunders took the ensuing kick 95 yards to the end zone to break up the chance of a shutout.

Fleming County’s offense struggled to get things going to that point, collecting only 16 yards on 13 plays in the first half. The Panthers received the opening kick of the game, but fumbled on the drive to set up Harrison County’s first score.

“I was really so pleased with our defense to be able to do that. I didn’t know that, but we held them except for a kickoff return. It was really a great job on all levels of play – kicking game, defense and offense,” said Graham. “I couldn’t be more happy.”

Not satisfied and tasting victory for the first time since a 35-21 win over Mason County on Oct. 7, 2016, the Thorobreds continued putting points on the board. They added two with a safety in the fourth quarter and capped off the win with a 41-yard Devin Lewis touchdown run and a 52-yard touchdown run from Jarett North.

Harrison County finished with 508 yards on the ground. Behind Blanton was Howard with 125 on six carries, Lewis with 95 yards on seven carries and North with 56 on two carries. Quarterback Quenton Pratt completed only one pass for -1 yards.

Fleming County quarterback Jonathan Maher completed three passes for 10 yards. The Panthers’ offense picked up 28 yards on the ground. They turned the ball over five times in the game.

“I don’t want to take anything away from Harrison County whatsoever. They came over here and took us to the woodshed. I’m not going to take anything away from Coach Graham and his kids because they came over and did what they should do,” said Spencer.

The Panthers fall to 0-1 and will look to regroup for a rivalry game at home against Mason County next week. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Harrison County moves to 1-0 and will host George Rogers Clark next Friday in a 7:30 p.m. game.

THOROBREDS 47, PANTHERS 6

HARRISON COUNTY –6 –6 –14 –21 —- -47

FLEMING COUNTY –0 –0 –0 –6 —- -6

SCORING

FIRST QUARTER

(HC) Blanton 4-yard run (kick failed) 6:58

SECOND QUARTER

(HC) Howard 45-yard run (two-point failed) 10:20

THIRD QUARTER

(HC) Blanton 6-yard run (two-point conversion) 6:08

(HC) Blanton 57-yard run (two-point failed) 3:27

FOURTH QUARTER

(HC) Blanton 8-yard run (Wiley kick) 11:13

(FC) Saunders 95-yard return (kick failed) 10:53

(HC) Safety 7:42

(HC) Devin Lewis 41-yard run (kick failed) 6:32

(HC) North 52-yard run (two-point failed) 0:12

Records: Harrison County 1-0, Fleming County 0-1

Fleming County quarterback Jonathan Maher looks for an open teammate during the first half against Harrison County, Friday, in Flemingsburg.
https://maysville-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Fleming-County-Harrison-County-Football_1.jpgFleming County quarterback Jonathan Maher looks for an open teammate during the first half against Harrison County, Friday, in Flemingsburg. Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent

Harrison County’s Chase Blanton (left) stiff arms Fleming County’s Cole Saunders (right) during the first half, Friday, in Flemingsburg.
https://maysville-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Fleming-County-Harrison-County-Football_2.jpgHarrison County’s Chase Blanton (left) stiff arms Fleming County’s Cole Saunders (right) during the first half, Friday, in Flemingsburg. Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent