By MacKenzie Bates - Sports Editor
Oct. 16, 2013 — The East Carter football team traveled to Vanceburg to take on Lewis County in Class 3A District 6 play Friday.
The Radiers, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, succumbed to the Lions 41-23 after giving up several turnovers at crucial times in the second half.
“We had difficulty holding on to the ball,” Head Coach Zack Moore said. “We had to make adjustments due to injuries and we were on our fifth string fullback. Lewis County crammed people on the line because when we get lower on the depth chart, the inexperience starts to show.”
East Carter did not go out quietly. After defeating rival West Carter last week, the Raiders came out with the same intensity they did in the first half of the Comet’s game.
East trailed 14-7 after the first quarter on a Que Davis 80-yard kickoff return, quarterback Zack Cathey scored a pair of two-yard touchdown runs to make it 20-14 late in the second quarter.
But the injuries continued to mount. The Raiders lost the hero from last week’s game, Chase Steele in the second quarter who was having a nice game, rushing 11 times for 84 yards.
“Not just all year but the last three years and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Moore said of being bit by the injury bug. “Injuries come during games and not practice. Sometimes you don’t get some great breaks and right now we’re on a string of those.”
Lewis County took East out of their game in the second half, outscoring the Raiders 20-3, including a ten-yard pass from Lewis quarterback Isaac Weddington to Chase Parker to give the Lions the lead for good.
“We just didn’t have the same level of athleticism,” Moore said. “We had to throw a little bit more but we don’t have anything deep in our passing game. Our plays on offense aren’t geared for 70 yards plays, they are short quick passes to get the ball out in our passing game. It was just poor execution.”
Lewis County tacked on two more scores, an interception return by Jordan Davis and a Jordan McCann 75-yard run.
“We are just as good at full strength as Lewis County,” Moore said. “We were playing with 2’s and 3’s all over the field and more than that and give credit to our backups for giving us a chance to win that game. If we’re at full strength, it could have been a different outcome.”
East Carter did force a few turnovers of their own but at times, gave it back to Lewis on their own miscues.
“Our defense did good job forcing but offensively we gave it back to many times,” Moore said. “I attribute some to inexperience other lack of execution.”
Now if East Carter wants to make the playoffs, a win over Fleming County on senior night would help put them in better position for the postseason.
“Our back is always against the wall,” Moore said. “We had a chance to get ahead and felt like we were in complete control just before halftime. Then bad things happen and we didn’t respond to it and didn’t get it done. We just have to find someway somehow and find a way to beat Fleming on Friday. “
Mackenzie Bates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.