By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Oct. 16, 2013 — There is something about the second half and the West Carter football team.
The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde approach has been a big problem for the Comets and it happened again this past Friday against Fleming County. The Panthers raced out to a 29-6 lead in the second half before West rallied for 16 straight points in the fourth but ran out of time, losing 29-22.
“It falls on me and I take full responsibility if we don’t play 48 minutes, it’s my fault,” Head Coach Kevin Brown said. “We came out flat like we did last week in a rival game, and when you do that, you fall behind dig a hole. We can’t do that. ”
Fleming County (1-6) did everything in right in the first half, finding open receivers and running backs making plays to get in to the end zone. Fleming’s Jacob Boyd was 13-of-20 for 283 yards. It was the first time all season West had seen a pass happy offense. The Panther offense did rush the ball 40 times for 131 yards.
The Comets made adjustments in the second half and were able to get on the comeback trail as sophomore Quarterback Braden Brown threw two passes two wide receiver Zach Walker, who made two great plays for scores of 81 yards and 85 yards for touchdowns. He finished the days with five receptions and 189 yards.
“That’s what we expect out of Zach,” Brown said. “He made two great plays and that’s what we have to have from our wide receivers.”
Brown was seeing action for the first time in almost a month after an ankle injury. He had 294 of West’s 312 total yards of offense, including a 35-yard rushing touchdown in the first half
“He’s not 100 percent but he’s a tough kid,” Brown said. “He didn’t want to come out of the ball game and we still had a chance to tie the game and perhaps win it.”
Once again, the hot and cold starts in each half caused trouble for West. They made stops when they needed to and had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter but failed to convert deep in Fleming territory.
“In the second half we outscored them 22-6 but we still lost,” Brown said. “The kids gave a tremendous effort in the last 24 minutes. In the first half, when we have a slow start, it falls on me. We will correct that this week.”
West Carter has also been plagued by penalties. They were handed five of them, good enough for 70 yards and stopped a lot of momentum.
“It’s been a big issue all year,” Brown said. “We’ve tried everything we know. A lot of it is from inexperience and a lot of it just from not doing the right technique.”
Brown cannot figure out what it is with the slow starts and fast finishes for his team but he does know his team still has plenty of fight in them.
“They’re not going to quit,” Brown said. “They’re going to play hard. We just need to figure out how to do it for 48 minutes. A lot of it is inexperience.”
West Carter is fighting for their playoff lives. They have two more district games against 7-0 Mason County and 5-2 Lewis County.
“Every game we play means something when October starts,” Brown said. “We’re going to have to pick it up and do a little bit better.”
Mackenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.