Second-half effort gives Cards victory
The George Rogers Clark Cardinals traveled to Lexington Friday to take on the Commodores of Tates Creek and left with a 30-12 victory.
Tates Creek took an early lead just four minutes into the game from recovering a fumble from GRC and took it to the house.
The extra point was blocked by Hunter Dunn.
The Cards bounced back after they forced Creek to fumble the first play of the second quarter on their own 47-yard and GRC recovered.
The next play, a 24-yard pass to Farris Shakadih set the Cards up in good scoring position.
Nitavius Thomas rushed in for the touchdown a few plays later from two yards out and the extra point was good to give GRC a 7-6 lead.
After a few empty possessions from both teams, the Commodores regained the lead by a 63-yard touchdown pass with 8 minutes left in the second.
The two-point conversion was no good and Creek led 12-7.
Another couple of empty possessions go by and the Cards finally got their way.
Azariah Israel caught a miraculous 36-yard pass over two defenders before falling out of bounds.
GRC has to settle for a field goal to bring the score 12-10 with 45 ticks left until halftime and the Cards ran away with the game after that.
At the end of the third quarter, an Ethan Thomas interception put the Cardinals on the Tates Creek 28-yard line with 40 seconds left.
A 12-yard pass to Dawson Gay and a 19-yard screen pass to Azariah Israel for a Cardinal touchdown to put GRC up 16-12 after the two-point conversion was no good.
After an empty possession from Creek, a 51-yard break out run by Israel once again put the Cards within scoring range.
Isaiah Nolan’s 33-yard touchdown catch brought GRC’s score up to 23-12 with nine minutes left in the game.
Creek fumbled once again a few plays later and Dunn recovered the ball to give GRC possession.
Ganon Steele helped seal the game away with a three yard touchdown rush with just under 20 seconds left for GRC to go on to win 30-12.
Head coach Oliver Lucas said his team started off slow, but ended up taking care of business.
“It was a game of two halves,” he said. “It was two different monsters. In the first half we just could not get unglued. We made some mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot. Our defense played stellar in the second half until we could get on track for what we had to do offensively.”
GRC’s four-game winning is the longest streak the team has had since 2009 where they won five in a row.
Lucas said the consistency of his team has kept them on track for a winning season.
“We have just kept practicing the same way we started,” he said. “We stayed focus on our goals and things we want to do.”
With only two regular season games left, Lucas likes where his teams stands as contenders.
“I like our chances,” he said. “I have always said there is something special about this team. Same thing that makes you happy will make you cry, but in this case, we are on the other side.”
Lucas said practice will be the key to finishing the season out strong.
“We have to continue to practice hard,” he said. “We cannot get complacent. We are in uncharted territory. We have to accept the victories, but also put them behind us real quick. We have to keep our eyes on the prize.
Azariah Israel rushed with 12 attempts for 108 yards and one touchdown.
Nitavius Thomas also rushed for 108 yards with 23 attempts.
Will Henry threw 4-17 for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Aquavion Lewis led the team with 7 tackles.
The Cards are now 6-2 and will head to Madison Central next week to face the Indians.