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Things went from bad to worse pretty quickly Friday night for homestanding LaRue County.
Committing all five of their turnovers on five consecutive possessions in the first half, with four leading to touchdowns by Russell County, the winless Hawks could never get anything going as the Lakers rolled to a 55-6 win.
The opening kick was squibbed so it wouldn’t go to Russell County’s standout senior tandem of Blake Ellis and Evan Fletcher.
Instead of picking up the ball, senior Mason Short allowed the kickoff to bounce back to Fletcher, who returned it 76 yards for a touchdown less than 12 seconds into the game as the Lakers (5-1) never trailed.
Ellis and Fletcher combined for the Lakers’ first six touchdowns, with Fletcher’s younger brother, junior Wes, scoring the seventh.
Fletcher added a 25-yard touchdown run on the Lakers’ second possession, a 1-yard touchdown run on their fourth possession and a 20-yard scoring run on their fifth possession.
All three of Ellis’ touchdowns came from near midfield. He returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown, scored on a 53-yard run on the Lakers’ last play of the first half and on a 48-yard run on Russell County’s first play of the second half.
Both players entered the game ranked in the top seven in Class 4-A in rushing yards per game, with Ellis averaging 121 and Fletcher 116. Ellis finished with 115 yards on five carries and Fletcher had 92 on seven.
Playing against a larger and tougher team, it made it hard to gauge the success of the Hawks’ new wishbone offense, which they spent their previous bye week implementing. The Hawks finished with 167 rushing yards on 35 carries, but they were limited to 35 yards on 25 plays in the first half.
At one point in the second half, the Hawks’ yards-per-play average dropped to 0.86 before LaRue County put together a nine-play, 92-yard scoring drive which was capped off by a 48-yard run by sophomore Hunter Griffin.
UP NEXT: LaRue County hosts Henry County at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at 270-505-1758 or email@example.com.