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By GREG CREWS
ELIZABETHTOWN — Chris Gohman and Micheal Thomas struck a deal prior to taking the field Friday night.
With both Elizabethtown seniors looking to hit some significant numbers in the Panthers’ Class 3-A, District 3 game against the visiting Louisville Moore Mustangs, the two agreed to a little reciprocity.
“I knew I needed about 306 (passing yards), and Gohman told me he needed about 205 (receiving yards),” said Thomas, the Panthers’ quarterback. “I was like, ‘If you get me 306, I’ll get you 205.’”
With a 73-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, the quarterback and wide receiver simultaneously passed their target numbers as Thomas eclipsed 2,000 yards passing for the season and Gohman reached 1,000 yards receiving, while leading Elizabethtown to a lopsided victory over the Mustangs, 52-7.
“This is a big win,” Elizabethtown coach Brad Todd said. “It’s a district win and it helps us as far as getting a home game in the postseason. We still have one (district) game to go, but this puts us in a good position.”
Gohman had the best performance of his impressive career and the 11th-best receiving game (yards-wise) in state history, making nine catches for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
Thomas finished with 358 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-23 passing, while also rushing for 4 yards and a score.
“We worked well together tonight,” Thomas said. “But all the receivers did great and the line did a fantastic job. That right there helped more than anything. They didn’t give up a sack all night.”
Elizabethtown’s defense was nearly as impressive.
After giving up 157 yards of offense in the first half, the Panthers (5-2, 1-1 district) clamped down and held Moore (0-6, 0-2) to a mere 35 yards in the second half as Elizabethtown outgained the Mustangs, 439-192.
“The defense played lights out,” said senior defensive end Thomas Jacobs, who recorded a game-high two sacks. “We executed very well and everyone did what they had to do. We made plays.”
Elizabethtown sprung out to a 21-0 lead within the game’s first 6 minutes as junior running back Cameron Cochran punched in a 1-yard touchdown, junior defensive back Titus Sublett made a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown and Thomas found Gohman on a 20-yard strike.
The Panthers extended their lead to 28-0 in the first quarter on a 13-yard strike from Thomas to senior wide receiver Trevor Deneen before Moore put together a 6½ minute, 12-play, 60-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, capped with a 6-yard run by senior running back Jalen Miller.
Elizabethtown responded 85 seconds later with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Gohman. The extra point sailed wide, and the Panthers headed into the half with a 34-7 lead.
Unlike what it has done in several of its games this season, Elizabethtown wasn’t going to let its opponent back in the game.
“Coach Todd was saying to us before the game that we have yet to play all four quarters this season,” Thomas said. “I think we all just wanted to prove him wrong and show him that we can play all four quarters.”
Gohman’s 73-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, followed by a successful 2-point conversion pass from Thomas to Sublett, gave Elizabethtown a 42-7 lead.
On the Panthers’ following drive, Thomas barreled into the end zone on a 6-yard run for a 49-7 lead, before freshman quarterback Kyle Todd relieved Thomas of his duties.
Todd, who threw for 66 yards on 4-for-5 passing, led Elizabethtown on a 60-yard drive, capped by a 24-yard field goal from junior kicker Josh Plant. The kick gave Elizabethtown a 45-point lead, initiating a running clock for the final 5:39.
“The big thing we want to do is be able to come out and hopefully get out to a good lead and then finish the thing without letting the team back in it,” Brad Todd said. “We have had quite a few games this year where we have had early success, but then let teams back into it. If we are going to be the team we want to be, we can not allow that to happen. So, I was proud of the way the kids played tonight.”
UP NEXT: Elizabethtown plays at area rival LaRue County (3-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Greg Crews can be reached
LOUISVILLE MOORE 7
Louisville Moore 0 7 0 0— 7
Elizabethtown 28 6 8 10—52
E: Cameron Cochran 1-yard run (Josh Plant kick), 10:05
E: Titus Sublett 42-yard interception return (Plant kick), 6:58
E: Chris Gohman 20-yard pass from Micheal Thomas (Plant kick), 6:07
E: Trevor Deneen 14-yard pass from Thomas (Plant kick), 2:29
LM: Jalen Miller 6-yard run (Michael Rickert kick), 2:06
E: Gohman 9-yard pass from Thomas (kick failed), 00:41
E: Gohman 73-yard pass from Thomas (Sublett pass from Thomas), 4:10
E: Thomas 6-yard run (Plant kick), 10:49
E: Plant 24-yard field goal, 5:39
Yards Rush 80 13
Yards Pass 111 424
Total Yards 191 437
Passing 8-19-3 22-28-0
Fumbles/Lost 3/1 2/0
Penalties/Yds 4/29 4/55
Rushing: LOUISVILLE MOORE — Jalen Miller 8-39, Blake Moses 12-31, Ray Smith 9-21, Bristin Odom 2-3, Jimmy Wade 6-(-14). ELIZABETHTOWN — Cameron Cochran 8-13, Micheal Thomas 6-4, Victor Cox 1-4, Jacob Rawlings 2-0, Titus Sublett 1-(-2), Kyle Thomas 2-(-6).
Passing: LOUISVILLE MOORE — Jimmy Wade 8-19-3, 111 yards. ELIZABETHTOWN — Micheal Thomas 18-23-0, 358 yards; Kyle Todd 4-5-0, 66 yards.
Receiving: LOUISVILLE MOORE — Mekale McKay 3-44, Ray Smtih 3-42, Jalen Miller 2-25. ELIZABETHTOWN — Chris Gohman 9-269, Trevor Deneen 5-61, Mitchell Henry 3-26, Titus Sublett 2-30, Devante Clarkson 1-31, Allen Edmund 1-4, Cameron Cochran 1-4.