for Carter County Times
West Carter hosted Bath County as the first round of playoffs began last Friday. It was a back and forth first half until West Carter powered past Bath on the back of Cole Crampton in the third quarter.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with a 25-yard field goal from Bryson Stigall. Eli Estepp connected with Jackson Bond for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Comets their first lead of the game.
The Wildcats took the lead again five seconds into the second quarter with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Justin Easton to Jack Wilson. The Comets scored twice more with an 18-yard touchdown run from Crampton and a 28-yard touchdown pass from Estepp to Blake McGlone.
The Wildcats pulled within two points as Quentin Lewis fought, evaded, or carried practically half of the Comets defense for a 15-yard touchdown run. The Wildcat defense slowed the Comets to bring up a fourth down with 17 yards to go with 50 seconds remaining until intermission. West Carter’s Blake McGlone was unfazed by this as the senior wideout streaked down the sideline and went over the Wildcat defender to snag a 29-yard touchdown from Estepp.
As the buzzer sent the game into halftime, the Comets led 25-17, a lead they would not relinquish.
After a fumble seemed to swing momentum towards Bath County, West Carter’s defense stopped the Wildcats. Out came the Comets offense and their line found their rhythm, Crampton feasted finding the endzone on an 8-yard run and a 22-yard run. The Wildcats had a big blow in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Easton to Hunter McCoy, Easton kept it on a two-point conversion. The Comets needed one play to strike back as Crampton took the handoff and busted through the gap for a 52- yard touchdown run. The Comets capped off a 26-8 second half when Estepp floated a 15 yard touchdown pass towards the sideline that was snagged by Bond.
The Class 2A, District 8 semifinal game ended in a 51-25 Comet victory.
“We had seven different guys up front, they all played good and played physical, that really helped us establish our run game,” said Coach Daniel Barker.
The play of the offensive line shows in the numbers for their junior running back and signal caller as Crampton finished the day with 224 yards on 23 attempts and four touchdowns and Estepp finished eight of 12 for 201 yards and four touchdowns. The Comets senior wideouts Bond, who pulled in five for 131 yards and two touchdowns and McGlone grabbed three receptions and 70 yards with two touchdowns.
The Wildcats’ Lewis finished the game with 51 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts and Easton went 10 of 18 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Zachary Otis grabbed three receptions for 72 yards, McCoy had two for 52 yards and a touchdown and Wilson’s lone grab resulted in a nine-yard touchdown.
West Carter will host Martin County next Friday November 12 in the second round.