CYNTHIANA - Great Crossing's fledgling first-year football team ran into a Mack truck by the name of Devin Lewis Friday night in a 49-0 loss at Harrison County.
Lewis, a 6-foot-3, 239-pound fullback, carried the Thorobreds (2-1) with 115 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns, most of those yards after contact as he carried Warhawk tacklers downfield around his waist.
"We would hit hymn and then he would drag us down the field. He would drag a lot of people," GCHS coach Paul Rains said. "But that is all us having young kids who have not been in the weight room very much."
Great Crossing trailed 20-0 at the half. It also had momentum just before intermission when Caleb Shively intercepted Harrison County's Tyler Hudgins at the 5-yard-line and returned it to the GCHS 34. A late hit tacked on 15 yards more, and from their own 49, the Warhawks went to the Polecat offense and moved to the Harrison County 30 before time ran out.
The Warhawks (0-3) had the ball first to start the second half, but Logan Cummins picked off Kalib Perry's pass on the first play and ran it back 36 yards for the score before folks made it back from the concession stand. The point after from Ryan Anness made it 27-0.
On the ensuing kick-off, Jakeece Patterson fumbled the squib kick, and the Thorobreds took over at the Great Crossing 20.
Next play, Lewis rumbled 20 yards for the score, and another Anness point after made it 34-0.
"Young teams make mistakes, and they cost us," Rains said. "We had a little momentum, and the kids were excited at halftime, but those are growing pains a young team is going to go through."
Harrison County marched down the field on its opening possession of the night behind the thundering Lewis, and the speedier Hudgins and Tayshaun Custard, before Lewis went in from 16 yards out. The PAT made it a quick 7-0 lead.
Perry was picked off on the next possession, and Lewis capped off another Thorobred drive, this time from four yards out. With 4:45 left in the first quarter, Harrison led, 14-0.
The Warhawk defense, led by Cody King and Mason Wiley, had Harrison County on third downs several times, only to see the Thorobred runners break free. On Harrison's third possession of the night, facing third-and-seven from its own 45, LaDarius Conner took a reverse 27 yards, and a personal foul facemask moved the ball to the GCHS 11. This time, Hudgins ran it in for the 20-0 lead after the kick failed.
Great Crossing's defense began to find a rhythm after that, and freshman Evan Guthrie got the Warhawks' first takeaway of the season, recovering a fumbled snap at the Great Crossing 44. The offense converted one first down, but the drive stalled when Perry's pass to Peyton Harris went over his head after Harris was held but no call on the route. GCHS almost caught a huge break when Custard for some reason tried to pick the punt up at his own 1 and fumbled, only to see the ball roll out of bounds. That was one of several plays on which Great Crossing just came up a bit short of making a score or a turnover.
"We seemed to be a day late and a dollar short," Rains said. "But again, just getting a little faster and a little stronger will turn those plays around."
Pinned down at their own 1, the Thorobreds turned to Lewis on three straight running plays that gained 26 yards to get them out of the shadow of their own goalposts. They continued driving when Shively made a great read and jumped the route to pick off Hudgins, and the half ended.
After the disastrous start to the second half, Great Crossing found itself in great shape when Custard again touched a punt that the Warhawks recovered at the Harrison 35. On third-and-five from the 19, Jacob Coulter got free downfield, but Perry had to throw the ball earlier than he wanted because of pressure, and they could not connect.
Harrison County overcame three false start penalties to score on its first play in the fourth quarter, this time on a Custard 8-yard run to make the score 38-0 and start the running clock.
The Thorobreds' final score came with 1.7 seconds left on Logan Cummins' 8-yard keeper. They tacked on the final two points on a conversion rush.
"We played hard and had some guys really be warriors tonight by playing every single snap on offense and defense. Perry is playing safety, quarterback and punting. We just had guys that were real warriors," Rains said. "But I told them I don't want them to start accepting losing. Get better every week."