BY THE NUMBERS: GRC defense overwhelms Bulldogs

Published 4:39 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

The George Rogers Clark High School football team earned its first shutout win since 2008 when the Cardinals blanked Dunbar in Lexington Thursday night.

The defensive pressure allowed a slow-starting GRC offense to find its spots for a 17-0 win — the second straight victory for the Cardinals this season.

“The kids studied the beast,” GRC coach Oliver Lucas said. “We call it ‘studying the beast’ when the kids watch game film. And tonight, they were dialed in.”

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Here’s a closer look at the dominating defensive effort.


The Cardinals allowed just three first downs to Dunbar Thursday night. According to WL Stats, GRC also gave up 72 yards rushing, but also forced the Bulldogs to lose 69 yards on negative plays — sacks and tackles for loss in the backfield.

That means Dunbar managed just 3 yards of total offense in a game that the Bulldogs were just two scores behind until the final two minutes.


According to WL Stats, Dunbar averaged 0.1 yards per rush. The Bulldogs attempted 34 running plays out of their 43 total offensive plays.

While the zone-read offense of the Bulldogs relied mostly on the run, they didn’t have much success throwing the ball either.

Dunbar completed 3-of-9 passes, but most of those were behind or near the line of scrimmage. The Cardinals held Dunbar to zero yards of passing offense.


Jehdon Jenkins led the charge for the defensive front.

Jenkins had four tackles for a loss — totalling 27 yards lost for the Bulldogs. Three of those were sacks. Landon Langfels also sacked Dunbar quarterback Tanner Cox for a nine-yard loss.

Jacob Smith, Hunter Dunn, Austin Blair and Thomas Mitchell also stopped Dunbar ball-carriers in the backfield, helping keep the Bulldogs moving in the wrong direction all night.


After picking off three passes at Harrison County last week, the Cardinals didn’t force a single turnover Thursday.

Dunbar fumbled only once but the Bulldogs recovered it. GRC lost all three of its fumbles, losing the turnover margin at -3.

That never hurt the Cardinals for two reasons — the fumbles were recovered around midfield and Dunbar’s offense could never keep the GRC defense on the field long enough for the Cardinals to be fatigued when they had to return to the field.


Part of why the Cardinals defense never needed a breather is Nitavius Thomas, Martavious Hooten and the GRC rushing attack. The Cardinals picked up 185 yards on the ground — Thomas rushed for 137 of those — while averaging nearly five yards per rush.

That kept the clock ticking and the chains moving.