The Russell County Lakers (1-0) will look to make it back-to-back wins to start the season when they host the Warren East Raiders in a district matchup Friday night at Finley Field.
The Lakers are coming off an impressive showing in Week 1, in which the Lakers jumped out to an early lead and defeated the Casey County Rebels by a score of 46-7. A balanced offensive attack led the way for the Lakers with 199 yards on the ground and 185 yards through the air.
The Lakers rushing attack was led by the trio of Collin Darnell (70 yards, 2 touchdowns), Dylan Bland (53 yards, 1 touchdown), and Gavin Gossage (46 yards, 1 touchdown).
Gossage also completed 10 of 15 pass attempts for 185 yards and a touchdown, which came on the opening drive to junior Kelby Grider. Senior C.J. Vonfumetti led the Lakers in receptions and yards with three catches for 62 yards. Darnell added two catches for 57 yards and Grider totaled two catches for 37 yards.
Darnell added to his standout night with a punt return touchdown.
As impressive as the offense was, the defense put together a standout performance on Friday night. The Lakers defense held strong against Casey County, limiting the Rebels to only 93 yards of offense on the night, with 63 of those coming through the air and 30 on the ground.
Senior Mason Hinkle paced the Lakers defense, building upon a solid junior campaign in which he was among the top tacklers in Class 4A. Hinkle led the way Friday night with a total of 13 tackles. Gage Hicks recorded six tackles on the night, while Vonfumetti and Colton Feece each finished with five tackles.
The Lakers defense was also able to put some points on the scoreboard, with Gossage returning an interception 36 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.
Freshman kicker Yarley Medrano came through with a solid debut for the Lakers, converting four of five extra point attempts in his first game.
With the win behind them, the Lakers look ahead to the Raiders, who struggled in their week one matchup with cross-town rival South Warren.
The Raiders were blanked on the scoreboard Friday night, falling 40-0 to South Warren.
Last year, the Raiders defeated Russell County by a score of 31-14 in Bowling Green as Raiders QB Nolan Ford ran for 219 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 101 yards and another score.
In what is expected to be a competitive race in District 2, this early season matchup could play a pivotal role in how the district shakes out.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night and you can catch all the action live on your home for Laker Football, WJRS 104.9 FM Laker Country with Tony Kerr and Josh Branscum on the call.