Last-minute fumble halts Hawks' hopes for district win

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By Ron Benningfield

A fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the football game spelled disaster for LaRue County as Bullitt East scored on the errant play to win the Class 4A, District Four fight 22-19 Friday at Hodgenville.

Before the miscue, LaRue (3-6, 0-3) was in the driver’s seat. Leading 19-14 and on fourth down, the Hawks needed only one yard to keep their drive alive at the Chargers’ 11 and likely seal the win.

Instead, LaRue fumbled the handoff which Bullitt East defender Zach McCarthy scooped up and raced 89 yards for the go-ahead score. Quarterback Jonathan Bernard’s conversion pass to Adam Herth was good for the final two points.

“Overall, we executed well,” said Rodney Armes, LaRue’s coach. “We had two or three offensive lapses that really hurt us, like the fumble, but defensively we held a high-powered team to, for all practical purposes, 14 points.”

Neither team scored in the opening quarter. The Chargers (4-4, 3-0) lit the scoreboard first when

McCarthy reached the end zone from 26 yards out. Josh Smith’s kick upped their lead to 7-0.

Junior fullback Ryan Wafford drew first blood for LaRue, scoring from the Chargers’ one in the second period. Senior Justin Chelf kicked the PAT, tying the score at 7-all.

After Bullitt East regained the lead with a 51-yard run and PAT in the third period, Wafford snared a 12-yard pass from junior quarterback Lucas Chaudoin for the Hawks’ second score. With the kick failing, Bullitt East led 14-13.

Freshman fullback Drew Newberry’s three-yard jaunt into the end zone put LaRue on top 19-14 in the final frame. The Hawks’ conversion pass was incomplete.

Bullitt East, ranked 177h in the state, topped LaRue in rushing (243-141), but failed to complete a pass in seven attempts while LaRue chalked up 80 yards via airmail.

Alex Lee led LaRue’s ground attack, carrying 12 times for 84 yards. Wafford had 13 carries for 39 yards, Newberry 17-24, and Chaudoin 4-(-6).

Chaudoin competed six of 10 passes with one interception. Tyler Hornback caught three passes for 62 yards. Wafford grabbed two aerials for eight yards and Lee snared one that covered 10 yards.