TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By John Stepp / The Endzone Staff
WILLIAMSBURG — Predicted to be an offensive shootout, the Wayne County Cardinals used an impressive defensive effort to defeat the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets 40-12.
The Wayne County defense intercepted Williamsburg quarterback Dalton Sizemore five times in the game, including an 80-yard return for a touchdown by defensive back Alan Brown.
“We did turn it over quite a bit. We’ve got to get some film work done and see what the problems are and how we can fix them,” said Williamsburg Coach Jerry Herron. “It’s frustrating. We really had a good week of practice and knew what we had to do. We just didn’t do a good job of doing it.”
In addition to a stout defense, the Cardinals posed problems for the Jackets with their balanced offensive attack, tallying 444 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tyler Guffey completed 11 of his 21 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown, while also leading the Cardinals with 76 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“Their quarterback played very well. We knew exactly what they were going to do. We just didn’t play with the speed of the game,” said Herron. “He was the difference in the game. He played exceptional.”
Both teams came out firing in the first quarter, as Wayne County struck first with a five-yard touchdown run by Guffey. Williamsburg answered on the ensuing possession when Sizemore found receiver Corey Shelton in the back of the end zone on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Both teams missed on their extra point tries, and the score was 6-6 after the first quarter.
The Jackets would fail to score in the second quarter, but couldn’t stop the Cardinals from finding pay dirt twice – a 24-yard touchdown run by Junior Ruiz and a four-yard touchdown pass from Guffey to Brown.
“We had opportunities in the game and didn’t take advantage of them,” Herron said. “We’ve got to fix our problems. We’ve got some kids who aren’t pulling their weight, and we’ve got to get them ready to play.”
Wayne extended their lead to open the second half, as Brown returned a Sizemore interception for a touchdown. The Jackets responded on the ensuing drive when Sizemore connected with Chase Lowery on a five-yard touchdown pass, to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 26-12 with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
The Jackets would fail to find the end zone for the remainder of the game, while giving up two more scores to Wayne County.
Despite the loss, the Jackets remain one of the top teams in Class A, and will start their district schedule next week against Campbellsville.
“It’s not the end of the world. We’ve won games and we’ve lost games. We see our mistakes,” said Herron. “We could’ve scheduled four easy teams and been sitting here 4-0, but that’s not what we did. We lost to two really good football teams. But our kids are battling and made some play so it’s not a total loss.”