The Spencer County High School football team pounded another opponent with its wing-T rushing attack, but the Bears’ defense proved the difference in what some fans were calling the biggest victory in program history.
Kadin Smith’s 46-yard interception gave Spencer County the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter and sparked a run of three touchdowns in 87 seconds for the Bears in a 35-14 victory over visiting Collins on a rainy Friday night.
Spencer County, which began varsity play in 2004, improved to 6-0 for the first time in program history. The Bears also posted their first victory over Collins, which had won the previous five meetings.
“I told the kids that this was the biggest game in the state of Kentucky tonight because everybody’s wanting to see if we belong,” Bears coach Mike Marksbury said. “I think we do.”
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Spencer County entered the game averaging a state-best 456.6 rushing yards per game and topped that with 541 yards on 56 attempts (9.7 yards per carry) against Collins.
Junior Branden Leff led the Bears with 248 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Senior Logan Holbrook added 154 yards and two scores on 21 attempts, and Smith added 151 yards on eight carries.
The Bears attempted just three passes and didn’t complete one.
Sophomore Nasean Roseberry rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to lead Collins (2-3), which has lost three straight and dropped to 0-1 in a very competitive Class 4-A, District Four race.
“We feel like we have a chance to win the district and roll on,” Titans coach Jerry Lucas said. “I think we’re right there with anybody.”
Collins led 14-13 at halftime and had the momentum after a key goal-line stand at the end of the half.
After Spencer County quarterback Jacob DeRudder was stuffed for no gain on third-and-goal at the 1, Nick Eades tossed Leff back for a 6-yard loss on fourth down to preserve the Titans’ lead with 7 seconds left before the break.
“We were out of sorts,” Smith said of his teammates’ attitude at halftime, “but I knew when we came back out we’d be focused and ready.”
Collins had a chance to add to its lead early in the fourth quarter after driving to the Spencer County 9-yard line. But on third down, Spencer County’s Thomas Semla tackled Roseberry for a 5-yard loss. Noah Brunner missed a 31-yard field-goal try with 9:15 left.
Spencer County turned the ball over on downs with 6:44 remaining before Smith made the play of the game. On third-and-9, Collins quarterback J.R. Lucas lofted a pass that was tipped and then intercepted by Smith.
Smith raced 41 yards for a touchdown, and DeRudder’s two-point conversion pass to Brandon Meyer gave the Bears a 21-14 lead.
“I know my teammates rely on me to make a play, and I had the opportunity and couldn’t pass it up,” Smith said.
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Collins fell apart the rest of the way. After the Titans turned the ball over on downs, Smith raced 51 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-14 with 3:55 left. After Dakota Waldridge recovered a Roseberry fumble on Collins’ next play from scrimmage, Holbrook broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown run to make it 35-14 with 3:36 left.
It was an exciting finish for the homecoming crowd and added some vindication to the Bears’ ranking among the top teams in Class 4-A.
“The whole community was out here,” Smith said, “and we didn’t want to let them down.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPENCER COUNTY 35, COLLINS 14
C – Nasean Roseberry 43 run (Noah Brunner kick); SC – Branden Leff 93 run (Zack Stevens kick); C – Leland Cardwell 3 run (Brunner kick); SC – Logan Holbrook 3 run (pass failed); SC – Kadin Smith 46 interception return (Brandon Meyer pass from Jacob DeRudder); SC – Smith 51 run (Stevens kick); SC – Logan Holbrook 38 run (Stevens kick).