HYDEN – Prestonsburg had the tough task of facing Leslie County on the road in a Class 2A, District 8 football game on Friday night. Host Leslie County held Prestonsburg scoreless in two of the district game’s last three quarters to pull away to defeat the Blackcats 41-22.
Leslie County senior Shaun Baker played with a heavy heart after the passing of his father, Vernon Daniel Baker, earlier in the week.
The Blackcats pushed homestanding Leslie County prior to falling short in the end.
“We had our opportunities but came up short,” Prestonsburg Coach John DeRossett commented, following his team’s loss to Leslie County. “We had some special teams errors and turned the ball over. We will work on correcting these areas. Leslie County has a good team and playing at their place is tough. Through it all, our players never gave up and made every attempt to win until the final horn.”
Leslie County arrived on the scoreboard first when Shaun Baker booted a 38-yard field goal. Prestonsburg, however, moved ahead later in the quarter on a 76-yard run from Drake Nunnery. The Blackcats were able to extend their lead out to an 8-3 advantage when quarterback Wesley Hager reached the end zone on a two-point conversion run.
Tightening up defensively, Leslie County held Prestonsburg scoreless in both the second and third quarters. Leslie County led 18-8 at halftime and took a 28-8 lead out of the third quarter.
Bailey McCoy returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown and Ethan Varney hauled in a 20-yard scoring pass for the Blackcats in the fourth quarter.
Leslie County rushed for 278 yards in the winning effort. Lucas Vance led the Eagles in rushing, gaining 164 yards via 20 carries.
Quarterback Darron Whitaker rushed 14 times for 18 yards and four touchdowns for the Eagles. Through the air, Whitaker completed 9-of-17 passes for 140 yards with one interception.
The Blackcats managed to rush for over 200 yards in the loss. Nunnery, Hager and Varney ranked as Prestonsburg’s top three rushers.
Hager also fared well through the air, completing 8-of-14 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown.
Steve LeMaster is the editor of The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.