By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
The LaRue County Hawks rushed themselves to a 52-34 win over Washington County on a rainy Friday night. In addition to the football, the field and the players, the hopes of the Commander fans were also dampened as LaRue County was nearly unstoppable with their running game.
Almost 96 percent of LaRue’s offense was with the run, averaging nearly 6.5 yards per carry, netting 18 first downs and totaling 459 total yards on 71 rushing plays. The Hawks were 1-7 on passing plays, with the one completion being a 20-yard touchdown reception by senior Tyler Hornback.
So confident was LaRue County of its ground attack that they scored on five of seven attempted two-point conversion plays following touchdowns.
In comparison, Washington County ran the ball 15 times for a total of 56 yards.
The first quarter started out on a positive note for the Commanders as WC’s Alex Simms intercepted a pass from LaRue County junior QB Lucas Chaudoin and ran it into the end zone. Seth Mattingly added the extra point to temporarily give the Commanders a 7-0 lead.
The Commanders got the ball back on a fumble recovery by Lee Mudd, but then found themselves in penalty trouble and had to punt. LaRue scored on its drive and added the first of five two-point conversions to take the lead 8-7.
Washington County failed to get a first down on its next drive, and LaRue got the ball back, scoring again with 38 seconds to go in the quarter. Another two-point conversion had the Hawks ahead 16-7. The first quarter ended with an Alex Simms kickoff return to the LaRue 46 yard line. Washington County’s time of possession in the quarter was 2:38.
The second quarter opened with Washington County being penalized for an illegal procedure, and a sack of WC quarterback Joe Joe Simms that put the Commanders in a 3rd and 17 situation. After hitting Alex Simms for a first down completion, Joe Joe connected with Alex again for a touchdown with 10:07 left in the half. Mattingly missed the extra point attempt and the Commanders trailed 16-13.
LaRue County added two more touchdowns with two-point conversions in the second quarter to take a 32-13 lead into halftime. WC’s time of possession in the second quarter was 6:18.
As the third quarter began, so did the rain, making for slippery conditions. Washington County received the kickoff and marched downfield to score on a run by Nathan Hood. After another missed extra point attempt by Mattingly, the score was LaRue County 32, Washington County 19.
The Commanders were able to get back into striking distance when LaRue was unable to get a first down. WC took over on downs and, on 2nd and Goal with the ball on the 6-yard line, Joe Joe Simms ran it in for a touchdown. The Commanders added a two-point conversion of their own to make it a 32-27 lead for the Hawks at the end of the third quarter. WC’s time of possession was 4:28 in the third quarter.
As the Hawks got the ball at the start of the fourth period, they were able to add another touchdown with a two-point conversion, taking a 40-27 lead right before the game was stopped for lightning with 11:18 left on the clock.
After a 30-minute delay, play resumed with the Commanders and Hawks trading possession of the ball. With 7:43 left on the clock, LaRue scored on a play where the Commanders thought the ball carrier was down when the referees ruled he was not. WC simply did not complete the tackle and the Hawks were up 46-27 after failing on the two-point conversion.
The next drive by the Commanders was stopped dead by an interception by LaRue’s Caleb Cobb, setting up a big 49-yard run to give the Hawks first and goal on the Washington County 2-yard line. The Hawks found the end zone once again, but missed another two-point conversion attempt to go up 52-27.
Washington County added a touchdown on another reception by Alex Simms. After tacking on the extra point, the score stood at LaRue County 52, Washington County 34 with 3:12 left in the game. Washington County’s time of possession was 2:31 in the fourth quarter. LaRue took possession of the ball and ran the clock down to claim its second victory of the year, and hand the Commanders their first defeat.
Washington County was penalized six times for a total of 80 yards during the game. Those penalties, coupled with the strong running attack of LaRue County, were the Commanders’ undoing.
Joe Joe Simms completed 42 percent of his passes (15 for 36) for 283 yards and one touchdown. He also had 12 yards rushing with one touchdown. Alex Simms scored three touchdowns, one by interception. Nathan Hood had five carries for 33 yards and one touchdown.
Washington County’s record falls to 1-1 as they look to rebound against Green County in the first home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 at Bennett R. Lewis Field.
1 2 3 4 Total
WCHS 7 6 14 7 34
LCHS 16 16 0 20 52
WC Passing - 15 of 36 (41.7%) for 283 yards
WC Rushing - 15 carries for 56 yards (3.7 average per carry)