By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Aug. 21, 2013 — West Carter got one of its toughest games in 2013 out of the way Saturday. The Comet's only scrimmage of the seasons put the team in front of Raceland in the EKC Gridorama.
The Comets fell to the Class 1A power, 34-14, which will not go towards the team's record with the regular season beginning this week.
“It was about what was expected,” Comets coach Kevin Brown said. “Early on, we didn’t execute very well but we needed to see that. They were more experienced than us up front.”
Brown added about the miscues: “If you (turn the ball over) against Raceland, they capitalize, scrimmage or no scrimmage. They made us pay. We forced them to turn it over (three interceptions) but we didn’t capitalize.”
West started out well in the first half but had trouble moving the ball. As turnovers mounted, so did the scoring for Raceland. Scores on an interception and a fumble made it 14-0 in the first quarter on a seven yard touchdown run from Daylin Beech and an Adam Elkins to Connor Messer 14-yard touchdown pass.
“It is difficult for us to get something going, and when we did, we turned it over,” Brown said. “We were trying to get in to the flow of things and just had trouble all night. We’re not going to make excuses but they did a great job up front and we just have to get used to taking on a lot of things better.
Our players were shocked they were as good up front.”
The Rams would force two more touchdowns on the ground in the second quarter from Kane Snyder and Bailey Walker on four and six yard runs, respectively.
The second half allowed West to get in to the flow of the game, limiting Raceland to one scoring opportunity in the third quarter on a Elkins to Bryce Wellman 22-yard score.
The Comets finally broke pay dirt early in the fourth quarter when Ethan Brown scampered into the end zone on a 22-yard run with 10:17 left in the ballgame. The two-point conversion failed making it 34-6. Brown then broke off a 77-yard rush to the goal. Tack on a two-point conversion to Dalton Thornsberry from Brown to bring the game to its final score.
“It was good for our players to see the things we need to work on to be a successful football team,” Coach Brown said. “I’m happy our young kids came in at the end and did exceptionally well. We played a lot of kids and hopefully that pays off. I’m happy with a lot of things we did but now we have to learn from it. It is not good for any team if you get beat and don’t learn anything.”
The host gained 296 yards on 52 plays, including 181 yards in the air and 115 on the ground and 22 first downs. West forced 219 yards on 41 plays, gaining 177 yards on running the football. Brown called that a “win-win.”
“Raceland was an excellent football team, probably one of the best I’ve seen in the grid,” Brown said. “It gave us a great chance to see where we’re at as a team. When we go against each other, we’re not going to get a good look at what you need. Playing Raceland opened eyes with things we need to do.”
The Comets have this week off before hosting Bath County next Friday in their home opener.
Mackenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.