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Raiders beat Cardinals: Will face Greenup in Class 3A finals

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

East Carter couldn’t play on their rain saturated field last Friday. So, instead, they took the field at KCU to dominate the Martin County Cardinals in a runaway 49-20 victory that puts them in fifth for win-loss records in class 3A, with eight wins and three losses. 

The Raiders set the tone for the evening early, when Charlie Terry scored the first touchdown of the game for East Carter, less than 30 seconds into play, on a 60-yard rush. Kozee’s two-point conversion put the score at 8-0 as Martin County took possession. 

The Cardinals took their first down on the 25-yard line, and almost answered Terry’s break-away touchdown with one of their own, but their carrier was brought down by the East Carter defense five yards shy of the goal. Martin County fought up to the two-yard line before turning over the ball to the Raiders on downs. 

Then it was the Raiders turn to give up the ball on downs, but they weren’t going to give the Cardinals any ground. Martin County lost yardage on their first play under the pressure of the East defense, and fighting their way to third and four on the 49-yard line before turning over the ball again on downs, and setting up Terry for touchdown number two, and a second two-point conversion from Kozee, for a score of 16-0. 

The quarter ended with the score at 16-0, but not before an interception by Connor Goodman set the Raiders up to score within five seconds of the clock starting on the second quarter. With the clock showing 11:56, the Raiders took the score to 23-0 on andother touchdown, this one from Izack Messer, and a good kick for the extra point. 

The Cardinals finally answered the Raiders’ challenge with just over seven minutes left in the half, taking the score to 23-7. But Terry answered with the Raiders fourth touchdown – and his third on the night – taking the score to 30-7 on the extra-point. 

East took the ball back from Martin County on their next possession, on a fumble recovery, but then lost possession when Kozee’s loose ball was scooped up by Martin County, who took over possession on the 36-yard line. 

An interception from Nikk Barnett gave the ball back to the Raiders, on the 43, and when Kozee couldn’t find an opening for a pass, the quarterback broke through the line and ran the ball for a first down on the opposite 44-yard line. 

The Raiders then gained steady yardage, despite some incomplete passes, for Barnett to score the touchdown and take the score to 36-7 as the first half came to a close. 

Martin County scored first in the third quarter, taking the score to 36-13. But that touchdown was answered by another Barnett touchdown, and a successful kick, taking the score to 43-13. 

Martin County continued to dig for yardage, and with just over two minutes left on the clock the Cardinals found themselves nearing scoring position, with a first down on the 15-yard line, but a flag on the play led to a loss of ten yards, and the Martin County offense continued to lose yards to the East defense, as the clock ran out on the quarter. 

As the final quarter started, East Carter took possession on the 18-yard line, and steadily gained yardage – sometimes a yard at a time – for Bryer Holbrook to score the Raiders final touchdown of the night, for a score of 49-13. 

Martin County’s Kolby Sparks did come back to score one more for the Cardinals, putting the score at 49-20 after the extra-point kick, but it was too little, too late as the Raiders lined up to shake hands with the final seconds of the clock counting down. 

Quarterback Kanyon Kozee had seven pass completions for the evening, four to Isaac Boggs and three to Connor Goodman, for a total of 158 yards passing. The Raiders game against Martin County was more of a running game, though. Charlie Terry led the pack, in rushing yards and touchdowns, with 147 yards and three of the team’s seven touchdowns. Two more courtesy of Nikk Barnett, who had 11 total yards rushing, and one each from Bryer Holbrook, and Izack Messer rounded out the TD total for East Carter. Kozee also ran the team’s two successful two-point conversions, and Dawson Kelley added three extra-points with successful kicks. 

On defense, Boggs, Barnett, and Evan Goodman each forced a defensive fumble, and Boggs, Barnett, and Kozee each recovered a fumble. Goodman and Barnett each had an interception. 

Rylan Yoak led in tackles, with 11 total, followed by Kozee and Kiser with eight each, Terry with six, Messer with five, Barnett with four, Cooper Tussey and Devin Carver with three each, and Boggs, Cason Adams, Goodman, Dustin Hall, Garon Castle, and Ryan Carter with two each. 

Skyler McCormick, Connor Skaggs, Jaxon Barker, Gabe Roberts, Braiden Bellew, Holbrook, and Ethan Holifield each had a single tackle, for a total of 67 East Carter tackles. 

The Raiders next game is against Greenup County, at home, on November 5, at 7 p.m. for the Class 3A 2021 Finals. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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