Raiders kicked off season with 4 overtimes
By: Steve LeMaster
The McCreary Central Raiders’ season opener turned into a marathon. McCreary Central came up short in their opener on Friday night (Aug. 18) as visiting Perry County Central pulled out a hard-fought 64-58 win in four overtimes.
McCreary Central, under the guidance of head coach Lucas Ford, battled back after facing an 18-0 deficit early.
“We didn’t give up; we had chances to fold when we were down 18-0 but didn’t,” Ford commented. “I’m proud of the effort. We saw some good things but also saw things that we need to work on. We made too many mistakes. Defensively, we have to improve in order to win. We did a decent job of shutting down the run. They were able to throw the ball on us, though. We gave up too much.”
Picking up where he left off in the 2016 season, senior running back Brandon Troxell led the Raiders offensively, rushing for 200-plus yards. Troxell averaged 219 rushing yards per game for the Raiders during the 2016 season.
Defensively, Ryan Jones and Jordan Williams led McCreary Central in the season-opening game. Jones recorded two sacks and two pass deflections while Williams kept pressure on Perry County Central’s offense throughout the game, charging hard from his defensive line position.
The Lucas Ford-coached McCreary Central football team returned to practice earlier in the week and has been busy preparing for another non-district opponent.
The Raiders have regular-season games remaining versus South Laurel, Clinton County, Fort Knox, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Bell County, Corbin, Casey County, Jackson County and Lynn Camp. Poised to play at home for the second time in a week, McCreary Central will host South Laurel in its next game.
Coaching staffs from both high school football programs were still logging stats from the game at press time on Wednesday. Complete statistics from the McCreary Central-Perry County Central football game were unavailable at press time and will appear in next week’s edition along with compete coverage of the Raiders’ matchup versus South Laurel.