Owensboro coach Jay Fallin has said starting each half well is vital for any football team. While it doesn’t always work out that way, the start of the game and the second half Friday night both came up red as OHS cruised by district foe Graves County at Rash Stadium.
The Red Devils used big plays, including a fumble recovery to start the game and a kickoff return to start the second half, to take down the Eagles 42-21 for their seventh win in the series and OHS’ best start since 2008.
Both teams have had battles in recent years, and Friday was shaping up to be no different after teams exchanged scores in the first quarter.
Red Devil senior Austin Gough punched it in from a couple of yards out inside the first minute of the game after OHS forced the fumble on the opening kickoff.
Graves County’s Clink McKee came into Friday with nearly 1,000 yards already on the ground and 16 scores, and he found the end zone again this season from three yards out to tie the game at 7-7 after one.
“They’re good up front and the McKee kid is good,” Fallin said. “He’s really good, he was good last year.”
To start the second quarter, it was Gavin Wimsatt’s turn to score from near the goal line as he dove in from a yard out to give his team a 14-7 lead at the break.
Fallin said they gave the Eagles some breaks with penalties and turnovers in the first half.
“I don’t think the score reflected how the game went in the first half but when you get in the red zone and you turn the ball over, that can happen,” he said.
Just as they did in the first, the Red Devils made a statement to open the second half when Treyvon Tinsley took the kickoff 80 yards to the house.
Tinsley’s score made it 21-7, and the lead the rest of the way was never less than a touchdown.
Fallin said his staff has done a great stop of getting players ready on special teams this season.
“We’ve been really close on (kickoff return) but nobody will kick it to us,” he said. “You see why. I think as far as scheme goes and developing scheme goes, we do as good of a job as anybody.”
Graves’ John Brown had a passing touchdown midway through the qaurter, then Ethan Avery got loose and scored from 26 yards out to give the Red Devils a 28-14 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Wimsatt hit Ben Flahery for a touchdown before the Eagles found the endzone for the final time to make it 35-21 inside of 5:00 left.
Flaherty continued his hot play on the defensive end when he picked up a fumble and took it 60 yards to the end zone to put an exclamation point on the victory.
Fallin has said balance for him is having multiple players that can hurt an opposing team on the field at once and on Friday, they achieved that.
“If you’re one-dimensional and you only have one star that has to be taken away, that can be pretty easy to defend,” he said. “We want the defense to have to be concerned about all six of the guys that are eligible to carry the ball on any given play.”
The Red Devils now sit at 6-0 and other than their victory over Daviess in Week 2, Graves’ 21 points were the most they’ve given up this season.
“I think this team is probably very comparable to Daviess County,” he said of the Eagles. “That shows me we’ve improved a great deal since Daviess County and Apollo because they’re very comparable to Apollo too, in terms of a big offensive line and physical downhill runner. Even though the stats may not show it, I thought we got some crucial stops that we had to get, much better than we did in weeks one and two.”
The Red Devils hit the road next week as they take on Grayson County in another district tilt.
Owensboro 42, Graves County 21
GC (4-2) 7 0 7 7—21
OHS (6-0) 7 7 14 14—42
11:06: (OHS) Austin Gough 2-yard run (PAT Good) 7-0
3:48: (GC) Clint McKee 3-yard run (PAT Good) 7-7
11:19: (OHS) Gavin Wimsatt 1-yard run (PAT Good) 14-7
11:46: (OHS) Treyvon Tinsley 80-yard kick return (PAT good) 21-7
6:38: (GC) John Brown 13-yard pass to Kyler Madding (PAT good) 21-14
4:38: (OHS) Ethan Avery 26-yard run (PAT good) 28-14
10:00: (OHS) Gavin Wimsatt 21-yard pass to Ben Flaherty (PAT good) 35-14
4:57: (GC) John Brown 7-yard pass to Kendall Lawrence (PAT good) 35-21
4:41: (OHS) Ben Flaherty 60-yard fumble recovery (PAT good) 42-21