Defense Leads Lexington Over Bengals

 

The Lexington defense brings down Blythewood quarterback David Isreal. (Photo/Kristy Kimball Massey)

LEXINGTON – Lexington needed every one of Slade Carroll’s rushing yards at Wildcat Hollow Friday night. In a defensive battle against Blythewood, Carroll bullied his way through for 188 yards on 28 carries and the game’s only two scores in the Wildcats’ 13-0 shutout of the Bengals.

“We told them to stay the course and eventually the dam would break,” Lexington head coach Josh Stepp said. “We made some mistakes, but I’m proud of our guys for staying the course.”

Blythewood (1-2) quarterback David Isreal felt the defensive pressure all night. He completed 27 of 50 passes for 298 yards, but was intercepted three times. Add to that the Wildcats’ (1-1) effort to put their hands in Isreal’s face and his body on the grass. Lexington pressured Isreal and the Blythewood front five throughout the game, compiling 11.5 sacks on the night.

“I can’t say enough about that defense,” Stepp said. “That group as a unit played tremendous. The staff had a great game plan going in and they did a heck of a job.”

Michael Manning had 5.5 sacks on the night to lead the assault. Trey Mitchell had 2.5 sacks and Aubrey Walker sacked Isreal twice. Nick Graves came down with two interceptions, which, among other turnovers, kept Blythewood off the scoreboard.

“We couldn’t punch it in,” Bengals’ head coach Dan Morgan said. “We did pretty good between the 20-yard lines, but I tell you what, Lexington did a heck of a job. They played physical, they got after us, they did a great job tackling. Offensively they ran it down our throats and they wore us out up front.”

After a scoreless first half, Lexington finally put some points on the scoreboard on its first possession of the third quarter.

Jordan Carr took the opening kickoff at the Lexington 2-yard line and returned it 40 yards to the Lexington 42. The Wildcats then knocked out a 10-play, 58-yard drive loaded with Carroll runs. His 5-yard TD run broke the stalemate with 7:49 left in the third.

Blythewood threatened early in the fourth quarter, reaching the Lexington 22. The Wildcats defense clamped down, however, and Isreal was sacked twice on the last two downs.

When Lexington took over on downs, Carroll’s 59-yard run with 5:37 left in the game iced it.

“I have to do whatever the team wants me to do and I’ll step up for anything,” Carroll said.

Neither Lexington nor Blythewood found an opportunity to score in the first half. Both teams moved up and down the field, but both the Bengals and Wildcats saw drives stall out before crossing the opponent’s 20-yard line.

Carroll led the rush-heavy offense for Lexington in the first two quarters, with 89 yards on 13 carries.

Isreal was 15-for-24 in passing for 183 yards and an interception in the first half for Blythewood.

Both teams combined for 15 first-half possessions, but drives died out because the Bengals were 3-for-9 in third-down conversions and the Wildcats were just 1-for-7 on third down. Neither team converted on fourth down.

 For the Bengals, injuries took their toll.

“We ran out of bodies in the second half,” Morgan said. “We’ve lost a lot of guys to injuries last week (in a 20-5 win over Ridge View) and this week. But we’ve got a bye week coming up and we have a chance to evaluate these guys and see where we’re going.”

 

Blythewood    0          0          0          0          —          0

Lexington       0          0          7          6          —          13

Third Quarter

L – Slade Carroll 5 run (Christian Kinsley kick) 7:49

Fourth Quarter

L – Carroll 59 run (kick blocked) 5:37

 

                                                                                            BHS                                        LHS

First Downs                                                                        18                                           12

Rushes-Yards                                                                     25-56                                     44-221

Passing Yards                                                                     298                                         58

C-A-Int                                                                                 27-50-3                                 9-17-0

Fumbles-Lost                                                                     1-1                                         1-1

Penalties-Yards                                                                 9-74                                      6-47

Punts-Avg.                                                                          6-34.7                                    8-33.9 

 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BHS—Adams 2-13, Thomas 5-16, Isreal 15-18, Wright 2-6, Brunson 1-3. LHS—Carroll 28-188, Baker 10-7, Wells 4-27, Hopper 1-1.

PASSING: BHS—Isreal 50-27-3. LHS—Baker 17-9-0.

RECEIVING: BHS—Weber 4-23, Richardson 6-89, Evans 7-75, Churn 3-46, Thomas 3-32, Benton 2-10, Wright 2-23. LHS—Hopper 4-24, Hopkins 3-29, Wells 2-5.