Cards top Generals behind Washington, 42-point opening quarter

Published 5:00 pm Monday, October 3, 2022

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One week ago, the George Rogers Clark Cardinals (5-1) suffered a difficult defeat to Campbell County. They came roaring back with a 56-7 win over the Lafayette Generals.

“I feel like we really needed that loss. It humbled us”, said sophomore running back Kalen Washington. “We [were] too cocky, but it really set us back [in] place.”

Refocused, the team came out with a vengeance Friday night in Lexington.

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Although he only carried the ball three times, Washington finished as the leading rusher with 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Cards’ rout of the Generals (0-7)

“[I’m] excited our guys came out and played hard from the start,” said GRC Head Coach Joe Chirico. “We had a good week of preparation, and it showed from the opening kickoff.”

After a short kick gave the Cards the ball at their 39-yard line, Washington wasted no time helping GRC find the end zone.

Breaking tackles, he galloped 61 yards down the sideline to give the team a 7-0 lead just 16 seconds into the contest.

From there, the Cards would never trail.

“My O-line and my wide receivers blocked for me really well,” Washington said. “They made the gaps for me, and I just ran the ball.”

Soon after, the GRC offense would get the ball once more, scoring on an 8-yard TD run from junior Bryce Chestnut (6 carries for 71 yds.; 2 TDs) to make it 13-0 with 9:31 remaining in the first quarter.

Due to the Cards’ finishing the day with over 280 yards rushing and over 400 yards of total offense, there was less of a need to go to the air.

However, QB Tyleik Maxwell (2-7; 39 yards) made the most of his opportunities by completing a 34-yard TD pass to Zaydin Turner (2 receptions for 39 yards; TD) and scoring on a 2-pt. conversion play to make the score 21-0 with 8:50 remaining.

The Cards would score again on an 11-yard TD run from Washington following an interception return by Ty Wilburn and a 25-yard TD reception thrown to Maxwell by James-Michael Davis (2-3 for 41 yards; TD) on a trick play.

First-quarter scoring ended on a three-yard TD run from Turner for a 42-0 lead. This initiated a running clock with 2:10 remaining in the opening period.

The Cards would score once more before halftime, as Bryce Chestnut scored in the second quarter on his second 8-yard TD run of the evening for a 49-0 Cardinal lead.

“I thought it was vital that we get started right”, Chirico said. “It’s very important for us to do that.”

Defensively, the Cards were able to create a trio of turnovers thanks to interceptions by both Winburn and junior linebacker Hayden Heath and recovering a Lafayette fumble early on.

“Coach [Matt] Chandler did a good job getting us ready to be prepared for their plays, and the kids responded,” Chirico said.

The Cards also saw productive action from several reserves, including QB Sam Clements (3-3; 38 yards), who would also rush five times for 37 yards. He scored the Cards’ final touchdown on an 11-yard run after Lafayette tallied their only points of the evening.

Other contributors on offense included Blake Gladson (3 carries for 17 yards; 1 reception for 17 yards), receiver Yeremiah Israel (1 reception for 17 yards), and receiver Santi Guerrant (1 reception for 14 yards).

As the Cards (5-1) look forward to future match ups, including Friday night’s 7:30 pm game against Bryan Station (3-3) at Cardinal Stadium, Coach Chirico asserts that the team continues moving forward.

“This game is ever evolving, and we got to keep grinding,” he said.