LaRue County was held to a season-low 46 yards Friday night as the Hawks ended their season with a 7-0 loss to the visiting Wayne County Cardinals in the first round of the Class 2-A playoffs.
The Hawks (6-5), featuring a pair of 2,000-yard career rushers in seniors Drew Newberry and Cody Thompson, were limited to 37 rushing yards on 30 carries.
The Cardinals (9-2) ran 59 plays for 307 yards, but turned the ball over five times to the Hawks’ zero. Junior Gabe Shirley intercepted two passes, while Newberry and sophomore Austin McDowell each had one interception and junior Matthew Hornback recovered a fumble.
Wayne County sophomore running back Junior Ruiz capped off an eight-play, 46-yard scoring drive with a 6-yard run with 4:32 left in the second quarter for the game’s only touchdown.
LaRue County committed just one penalty, but it proved costly as a 5-yard illegal formation flag with less than 7 minutes left in the game negated an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Slade Owens to senior Trevor Skaggs on fourth-and-13. The Hawks ran the ball for 10 yards on the next play, but were short of the first down and the result was a turnover on downs.
It was the Hawks’ first offensive shutout in 15 games since a 42-0 loss at North Bullitt in Week 8 of the 2010 regular season.
The game was LaRue County’s first postseason home game since beating Washington County, 29-25 on Nov. 3, 2006, in the first round of the 2-A playoffs. The Hawks had won their last four home playoff games overall and dropped a playoff opener at home for the first time since prior to 1998 (when the KHSAA started tracking scores online). Starting in 1998, the Hawks had won six consecutive home playoff openers.
The loss marked the end of the career of veteran LaRue County coach Rodney Armes, who had announced his retirement before the season. Armes had a 110-74 record in 16 seasons as the Hawks’ head coach. He was a LaRue County assistant for several seasons before taking over.