In football, all young men have a chance of success. In football, the more talented player is not always the best player. In football, with the correct attitude and work ethic, any young man can compete. In football, leaders are born and confidence is built. In football, attitudes can be adjusted and low self-esteem can be lifted. In football, all young men get a chance at success.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ryle hunts down the Cougars ...Ryle 49, Conner 6

Ryle 49, Conner 6

New passing scheme puts Hempel at ease, at his best again

By Marc Hardin • Enquirer contributor • October 15, 2010
The Ryle football team put together a long list of positives Friday night while defeating host Conner 49-6.

"I thought we did a lot of good things," said Ryle’s Travis Elliott.
The Raiders (7-1) finally got a victory margin befitting the second-ranked team in the Enquirer Northern Kentucky football coaches’ poll after winning by 3, 5 and 7 points the past three weeks.
"It just means we executed better," Ryle coach Bryson Warner said of Friday’s 43-point margin against Conner (4-5).

Said Elliott, who aided the Raiders’ cause by rushing for 122 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns: "We just wanted to win. It doesn’t matter by how many."

Elliott scored twice on the ground and once on a pass. He scored the game’s first touchdown on an 11-yard run on Ryle’s third play from scrimmage.

Craig Cleveland, subbing for regular extra-point kicker Garrett Mead, who was helping the Ryle soccer team win the district title on Friday at Boone County, nailed the point-after with 9:53 left in the first quarter. That gave the Raiders all the points they would need to beat the Cougars.

But Ryle poured it on, scoring twice more in the opening quarter on a Conner Hempel 17-yard pass to Caleb Lonkard and Deion Mullens’ 8-yard run, which bookended the Cougars’ lone scoring play, an 80-yard touchdown strike from Cy Smith (8-of-23 passing) to Jacob Mullderink (115 yards receiving).

The Raiders led 28-6 at halftime and added three more scores in the second half.

Mullens scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run in the third quarter. Elliott scored his third TD on a 20-yard fourth-quarter pass. Lonkard found the end zone for his second score on a 47-yard run with 6:56 to play after taking over at quarterback for Hempel, who enjoyed his best game of the season.

Hempel finished 17-of-23 passing for 169 yards with two TDs and no interceptions.

"It’s good to have it back. It’s my first complete game," said Hempel, whose numbers have been down this season compared to last year when he completed 60 percent of his passes for nearly 1,900 yards.

He credited his efficient passing performance to feeling more comfortable in a new scheme Warner implemented after the fourth game of the season, against Dixie.

"I went 0-for-7 against Dixie," said Hempel, who indicated the Raiders’ new scheme "is more West Coast (with) route combinations and more short passes."

Coach Warner said he had to find an answer for the team’s early-season passing woes after the Raiders had a hard time adjusting to the loss of two starting receivers. He needed a scheme that would allow for higher percentage passes for Hempel that did not take away running lanes from Elliott.

"We lost two big-time receivers and the new guys had to step up. Of course, it helps Travis is standing back there and they have to stack the box," the coach said.

"We’ve been improving."

With the victory, their sixth in a row, the Raiders put themselves in the driver’s seat for a No. 1 seed in the Class 6A playoffs. It’s their fourth straight win against district opponents.

Ryle goes for an unbeaten district record next Friday at Boone County before taking on Highlands a second time in the regular-season finale.


After winning their last three games by less than a touchdown, the Ryle Raiders’ offense exploded on Friday night as they cruised past the Conner Cougars, 49-6.

Running back Travis Elliott scored the first touchdown of the night of three plays into the contest and Ryle (7-1, 4-0) never looked back. The junior finished the night with three scores and 117 rushing yards.

Quarterback Conner Hempel completed 17 of 23 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Deion Mullens and Caleb Lonkard each added two touchdowns in the victory.

Cy Smith only managed to complete 8 of his 13 passes, but did find Jacob Mullerdink for an 80-yard touchdown in the loss for Conner (4-5, 1-3).

With the win the Raiders inch closer towards a district title. Meanwhile, the Cougars are running out of chances.

Next up, Ryle host Boone County and Conner welcomes Cooper as district play rounds up next week.


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