By: Jeremy D. WellsCarter County Times
This Friday East Carter faces off against Estill County, while West Carter has a bye week. But next week the two teams face off against each other in Olive Hill, for the barrel and bragging rights, as well as another tick in the win column on the season for one of them.
If East Carter keeps the momentum they’ve had already this season, they could be coming into the Battle for the Barrel with three wins and no losses. After beating Montgomery County 14-7 in their season opener at the Recreation Bowl on August 20, the Raiders went on to shut out the Vikings with a 34-0 win against Rowan County last week.
Quarterback Eli Estepp had six completions on 13 pass attempts against Rowan County, passing for a total of 210 yards with two touchdown pass completions.
Isaac Boggs scored 14 of the teams 34 total points last week, with two rushing touchdowns and one two point conversion – rushing for a total 209 yards on 16 attempts. Gabe Roberts scored another six points on one of the touchdown passes from Estepp, with Michael Hall scoring the other, and Bryer Holbrook adding another six points to the total with a rushing touchdown. Holbrook added another 68 yards to the East Carter rushing total over four attempts.
Rounding out the team’s score was Ryan Carter, connecting on two extra point attempts.
In defense Rylan Yoak led the team in tackles, with five solo and seven assists, for a total of twelve. Yoak was followed by Cason Adams with one solo and ten assists, Holbrook with two solo and eight assists, Izack Messer with three solo, and seven assists, Dustin Hall with one and six, Gabriel Bernardo with one and five, Jaxon Barker two and four, Evan Goodman two of each, Braiden Bellew with three solo and one assist, Michael Hall with two assists, Ashton Moore, Connor Skaggs, Ryan Carter, and Jared Potter with one assist each, and Isaac Boggs with one solo tackle.
But while the Raiders have started strong, the Comets have struggled.
West Carter lost 0 – 24 in their season opener against Rowan County, and though they at least got some numbers on the scoreboard last week against Fleming County, it wasn’t enough to bring home the win, with the Panthers taking home the win in a 7 – 25 final showing.
The team had four pass completions on 15 attempts, with Hayden Hall connecting on two and Kale Back on the remaining two. Cole Crampton led the Comets on rushing in that match up, with 55 yards over 21 attempts and Back adding another 5 as the West Carter team attempted to find their feet, but losses left the team at a net of 49 yards in that game.
Crampton scored the sole touchdown in that game with Wyatt Martin adding the extra point.
The Comets did show some promise in fumbles, with Ethan Bledsoe picking up a recovery and Jacob Judd forcing one defensive fumble against Fleming.
It remains to be seen if the West Carter team can recover from their recent stumbles, however, rise to the occasion, and hold onto the barrel. Coach Daniel Barker is working with a relatively young team this year, but keeping the barrel at West is powerful motivation.
But Coach Champlin’s Raiders are just as eager to take that barrel home as the Comets are to keep it, and they’ve got the momentum behind them. No matter which way it goes, next Friday’s match-up promises to be another hard-fought and entertaining game.
The East Carter Raiders face the West Carter Comets on Friday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. at West Carter High School.
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