Raiders rack up touchdowns to top Lions

East Carter takes shootout with Lewis County

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VANCEBURG – The East Carter football team has had no trouble putting points on the board through the first two games of the season.

The Raiders scored 47 points in a blowout victory against Magoffin County to open the season and followed it with a 49-34 victory over Lewis County on Friday.

“Our offensive line is huge. They’ve done a really, really good job opening the lanes for the running backs and our backs are doing a good job of hitting the holes and running it hard,” said East Carter coach Tim Champlin. “One thing I’m really proud of is our backs aren’t coming down on first contact – it’s taking two or three guys to get us down. We’re running through that first contact and picking up those tough yards.”

After a shootout in the second quarter left East Carter ahead of the Lions, 28-22, at the half, Lewis County took advantage of a bad snap on an East Carter fourth down and turned it into a 26-yard touchdown pass from Zach Lehn to Garrett Applegate to tie the game with 5:02 to play in the third quarter.

“You make so many mistakes and you’re still in the game to win it in the end, and that’s something I told them. I said, ‘Look, it’s very easy for me to just blister you for losing,’ and I don’t do that. ‘It’s very easy for me to blister you, but guys, you scored when everybody was ready to go home,’” said Lewis County coach Josh Hughes.

“We gave ourselves a chance, but we’ve got to stop giving the other team so many more opportunities,” added Hughes.

East Carter got the ball back on their own 49-yard line and used a four-play drive capped off by a 3-yard run from Micah Adams to regain the lead, 35-28.

Early in the fourth quarter, Lehn was pressured when he dropped back and dished off a short pass to Immanuel Manning, who weaved his way through the East Carter defense 52 yards to the end zone. What looked to be the game-tying play was called back because of an illegal block from Zach Robersion, however.

“It seemed like every time we did something like that, we found a way to get a penalty and hurt it. I have to see it on film – I’m not saying it’s a bad call – I’m just saying whether or not we need to be making contact, you just don’t know,” said Hughes. “The game of football is so much different now – and that is a call when the game is different and that’s what the ref said. He said, ‘You just can’t do that anymore.’ I think two years ago that’s a touchdown, or that’s a big run.”

From there, East Carter was able to add to their lead with a roughly six-minute drive that ended with a 6-yard score from Isaac Duncan, making it 42-28, with just over five minutes remaining.

“They just kind of found holes in everything,” said Hughes. “We didn’t do a very good job of getting our zones and then once they started running the ball – and I thought we did a great job stopping them most of the game – but it seemed like once some of those passing touchdowns happened, it softened everything else up. It’s the opposite of what we were trying to do.”

Lewis County claimed a quick score – something they had done all night – on a 57-yard pass from Lehn to Applegate.

Up, 42-34, the Raiders had their fourth different player find the end zone on the ground when Nathan Helton ran the ball in from 7 yards out, putting the finishing touches on the 49-34 victory.

“We can roll a couple guys in and continue to keep turning the ball, so that’s always a positive when you can move the football with not just your ones, but your twos and still get positive yardage and big gains like that,” said Champlin.

East Carter received the opening kickoff and drove down the field to eventually take a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run from Eric Carter, before the Lions answered with a 90-yard touchdown run from Applegate on their first offensive play of the game.

Applegate had only six carries for 43 yards in last year’s 28-8 loss to East Carter.

The second quarter shootout ensued after a 7-6 ending to the first, starting on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Braden Hicks to Nathan Helton on fourth down to give the Raiders a 14-6 lead.

Lewis County tied the game on a 26-yard pass from Lehn to Robersion with 8:35 to play in the half. Lehn hit Parker Stone with a pass in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

East Carter answered on the following possession, using a 15-yard run from Carter to take a 21-14 lead, before another quick strike from the Lions.

Robersion received the kickoff following Carter’s second score and took it 80-yards to the end zone and Applegate ran in the two-point conversion for the one-point Lewis County lead.

With just over two minutes in the half, Hicks hit Helton for the second time Friday night. The second pass went 24 yards for a 28-22 halftime lead.

“We had a lot of success throwing the ball and we didn’t the week before, so we thought they were going to come out and play us really tight, play us hard in the run and open up some passing stuff for us,” said Champlin. “We came out and tried to attack it and loosen it up and that was able to open up our running game in the second half for us.”

East Carter improves to 2-0 with the win. They’re scheduled to host Betsy Layne in a 7:30 p.m. game next Friday.

Lewis County falls to 0-2 and will have a bye week before making the trip to Carlisle to face off with Nicholas County. Kickoff in the Sept. 7 game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


EAST CARTER—-7-21-7-14—-49

LEWIS COUNTY—-6-16-6-6—-34



(EC) Carter 1-yard run (Greenhill kick) 6:15

(LC) Applegate 90-yard run (two-point failed) 5:48


(EC) Hicks 14-yard pass to Helton (Greenhill kick) 10:06

(LC) Lehn 26-yard pass to Robersion (two-point conversion) 8:35

(EC) Carter 15-yard run (Greenhill kick) 5:57

(LC) Robersion 80-yard kickoff return (two-point conversion) 5:43

(EC) Hicks 24-yard pass to Helton (Greenhill kick) 2:19


(LC) Lehn 26-yard pass to Applegate (two-point failed) 5:02

(EC) Adams 3-yard run (Greenhill kick) 3:44


(EC) Duncan 6-yard run (Greenhill kick) 5:29

(LC) Lehn 57-yard pass to Applegate (two-point failed) 4:20

(EC) Helton 7-yard run (Greenhill kick) 1:47

Lewis County’s David Keen (4) attempts to break up a pass intended for East Carter’s Micah Adams (2) during the first quarter, Friday, in Vanceburg. County’s David Keen (4) attempts to break up a pass intended for East Carter’s Micah Adams (2) during the first quarter, Friday, in Vanceburg. Jared MacDonald, The Ledger Independent