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The Owen County High School Rebels entered Saturday night with a bad taste in their mouth.
They went to Grant County trying to erase the memory of a week one loss at Lloyd. In the game against the Juggernauts, Owen County jumped out to an early lead only to see it vanish before eventually losing in the late stages of the fourth quarter.
Saturday night was just the opposite.
The Rebels got off to a sluggish start before finally things kicked into gear.
They would come back to Owenton feeling refreshed with their first win of the season after a 44-14 win over the Braves.
Owen County went to Dry Ridge looking for a third-straight win against Grant County.
The two teams would trade turnovers on their opening drives before a second Adam Hazlett interception gave Grant County the ball inside Owen County territory.
The Braves would cash in with a short touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Rebels would get on the board with just seconds remaining in the opening quarter when Michael Wash would take the handoff and rush 12 yards for the score. It would be the first ever varsity touchdown for Wash. The extra point was good and the game was tied at 7-7.
The score late in the quarter seemed to wake the team up and give them the momentum they needed to take control of the contest.
The Rebels would take the lead in the second quarter when Hazlett got good protection and found an open Chris Smith running down the sidelines for a 30-yard touchdown. The PAT gave the Rebels a 14-7 lead with 7:59 to go in the first half.
Late in the second quarter, it would be Chris Day who make his presence known on the field.
The senior picked off his second pass of the night and then made a diving catch at the 1-yard line to set up first and goal for Owen County.
On second down, Hazlett’s pass attempt to Day would get picked off but the play was nullified due to a Grant County penalty, giving the Rebels four more shots from inside the five-yard line.
They would need them all before Hazlett and Day connected for a scoring pass in the back of the end zone with 1:48 remaining in the half to push the lead to 20-7 at halftime.
The Rebels continued to dominate in the second half as well as get some fortunate bounces.
Midway through the third quarter, a Hazlett pass intended for Day would get deflected into the air and hauled in by Collin Beckham for the touchdown. The score was the first of Beckham’s career and pushed the advantage to 26-6.
The lead would quickly swell as on Grant County’s first play following the touchdown, a bad snap would lead to a fumble recover by Wash.
The Rebels would immediately take advantage when on the very next play Hazlett and Day connected for a 30-yard touchdown pass giving Owen County a 32-7 lead.
The fourth quarter would belong to Wash.
The sophomore would again find the end zone, this time from seven-yards out to extend the lead to 38-7.
After a Grant County touchdown made the score 38-14, Wash would carry the ball for 67 yards, cutting all the way across field and outrunning would-be tacklers for his third TD of the night.
Despite scoring three times, Wash gave credit to the guys up front.
“It wasn’t just me. You’ve gotta give props to the offensive line too,” Wash said.
Owen County High School Head Football Coach Adam Fowler liked what he saw from Wash.
“That’s amazing. Michael is primarily a blocking back.” Fowler said. “We will throw him a bone every once and a while and he took full advantage of his bone tonight.”
The sophomore also acknowledged that while the win felt good he and his teammates need to be prepared each and every week. “It feels great to win but we’ve got a good team coming next week. We’ve got to play hard next week and go from there.”
That team coming to Owenton on Friday night is Bourbon County.
The Colonels will bring with them a 2-0 record as well as the Class 3A leading rushing from a year ago in Kentayvous Hopkins. Fowler knows the Rebels need to be ready.
“We have to preach to the kids that this is the real deal,” Fowler said. “This is a division I talent and if he doesn’t go down when we touch him, then he isn’t going to go down.”
Kickoff at Patterson Field on Friday night is schedule for 7:30 p.m..