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Playoff chances take big hit in 42-18 loss

McKinney’s offensive expoits in vain as Raiders fall to Garrard Co.

Senior Maddux McKinney pulls away from a Garrard County defender trying to hold on by his arm sleeve in the Raiders’ loss Friday Night. McKinney was responsible for nearly 300 yards of total offense in the game. Photo by Gunner Perry



Despite a Herculean offensive effort from Maddux McKinney, the Raiders couldn’t contain Garrard County’s running game, falling 42-18 in their second district contest of the season.

The loss is a big hit for the Raiders’ chances of making the playoffs with two more district games looming against good teams.

While a win would have made the road to post season a lot easier, it will now take a win over either Estill or Rockcastle counties and help from Garrard to propel McCreary beyond the regular season finale against Lynn Camp.

What may hurt even more is the fact Garrard County was a beatable team. Coming in, there was little secret what the Golden Lions would do — simply hand the ball to its two-headed monster of Malachi Simmons and Cameron Peak, stand back and watch them run.

Problem is, like other teams this season, the Raiders couldn’t stop them.

While the two racked up their yards on the ground, McKinney and the Raiders were taking their offense to the air to stay in the game.

In fact, the passing game was impressive with three different players combining for a total of 418 yards through the air with starting quarterback Peyton Higginbotham leading the way completing 12 of 20 passes for 235 yards a touchdown and an interception.

Those added to the impressive numbers of McKinney 10 catches for 202 yards, a 90-yard touchdown pass) only resulted in 18 points for the Raiders. And each time McCreary Central seemed to climb back into the game, the Golden Lions had an answer.

After jumping out to a quick lead on their first drive with a touchdown at the 7:40 mark the Golden Lions stretched the lead to 16-0 and the Raiders could never get back in the game despite chipping away at the lead until early in the fourth quarter before falling 42-18.

The loss drops the Raiders to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in district play and also moves Garrard to 2-5 after winning their last two games after beginning the season 0-5.

The Raiders will try to pull back into the district race playing on the road at Estill County Friday night before hosting Rockcastle County and Lynn Camp.

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