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LaRue County High School edged host Warren East 28-26 to end the Hawks’ regular varsity football season Friday night in Bowling Green.
Sophomore running back Alex Lee ran for two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first on a four-yard run and the second coming on a 26-yard pass from junior quarterback Lucas Chaudoin.
Chaudoin’s second scoring pass, a nine-yard completion to junior quarterback Tyler Hornback with 9:25 remaining in the game, put LaRue ahead for good.
“We played better defensively, made plays when we had to,” observed LaRue’s head coach, Rodney Armes. “It was an overall team effort; our special teams played big and we were pretty well balanced on both sides of the ball.”
The win broke a five-game string of losses for the 4-6 Hawks who will begin the first round of the Class 4-A state playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday as they meet Valley High School in Louisville.
Against Warren East, freshman fullback Drew Newberry put the Hawks on the scoreboard first with a one-yard run late in the opening period. Senior Justin Chelf’s kick split the uprights as did his three other PATs for the game.
LaRue led 7-0 after the first period, but Warren East rallied in the second quarter, outscoring the Hawks 14-0 to take a 14-7 lead at halftime. Lee’s two runs in the third period nudged the Hawks ahead 21-14.
The Raiders fought back. With only 1:33 remaining in the third quarter, Warren East scored on a 40-yard pass play that pulled them to within one point of the lead at 21-20.
With only 45 seconds left in the game, the Raiders scored on a seven-yard pass completion. They tried a conversion pass that would have deadlocked the score, but Hornback and other defensive backs knocked the ball down to seal the win. The Raiders made good on only one conversion out of four attempts.
Newberry led LaRue rushing with 19 carries for 105 yards. Lee carried the ball 23 times for 94 yards, Cody Williams 3-9, and Chaudoin 3-(-11). Junior fullback Ryan Wafford, who injured his ankle in the first half and didn’t return to the lineup, carried one time for six yards. LaRue totaled 203 rushing yards to the Raiders’ 128.
Chaudoin completed six of 13 passes with two interceptions for 78 yards. Hornback caught five of the aerials for 52 yards. Lee, who attempted one pass that was incomplete, caught one for 26 yards. Warren East, whose quarterback threw 31 passes with 16 completions and one interception, controlled the air attack, amassing 204 yards to LaRue’s 78.
Valley (6-2) is on a roll with four straight wins. After shutting out Moore in their first game of the season 51-0, the Vikings bruised Breckinridge County 53-6, then lost two in a row, falling to Doss 23-13 and Western 24-12.
Their rally began with a 69-0 thrashing of Iroquois, followed by wins over Atherton (52-6), Fairdale (38-14) and Waggener (49-12).
Gerwan Brewer, a 5-8, 163-pound senior running back, leads the team in scoring and rushing with over 1200 yards gained this season. Other top backs include 5-9, 160-pound junior quarterback Kendrick Lancaster and 5-11, 190-pound freshman running back Lee Hayden.
Armes, who watched the Vikings conquer Fairdale, said, “They won their district and have good size up front.”
He continued, “Brewer is pretty daggone quick with good vision, as good as any running back we’ve faced.”
LaRue entered the Warren East game with five starters out of action because of either illness or injury.
“We’re pretty banged up right now,” Armes said. “Ryan’s got a bad ankle sprain and is questionable for Friday; we’ve got one ill with mono and a few others who are out for the rest of the year, so we’re just trying to do all we can.”