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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nathan Davis scored four times to lead Ryle over Boone County. 
Written by
Richard Skinner
Enquirer Contributor
As the Ryle defense continued to show it’s plenty good enough to stop teams from Kentucky, junior quarterback Nathan Davis continued to show he might just be able make up for the loss of standout junior running back Travis Elliott.
Davis rushed for 175 yards on 27 carries and scored four touchdowns, three in the first half, and Ryle held Boone County to only three first downs through the first three quarters as the Raiders rolled to a 27-13 win on Friday at Clifford Borland Stadium in Union.

Davis, who rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-6 win over Simon Kenton, had 152 yards rushing in the first half alone.
“This is a team effort,” said Davis. “We want to show what we can do and that even though we’ve been knocked down we’re getting back up.”

Ryle (4-2 overall, 2-0 Class 6A, District 6) is now 4-0 against Kentucky teams this season and has won two straight after losing to Ohio powers Colerain and Columbus St. Francis DeSales by a combined score of 79-7.

After the losses to the Ohio teams, Ryle head coach Bryson Warner and his staff opted to go to an unbalanced offensive line in hopes of providing a spark to the running game. The last two weeks they have often moved 6-foot-1, 250-pound left tackle Lex Sowards to the right side in between 5-foot-10, 220-pound senior right guard Mac Vollett and 6-foot-3, 280-pound right tackle Brad Weber. That leaves only 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior tight end Ryan Smith and 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior left guard Mitch Howes to the left of 5-foot-9, 205-pound senior center Alex Arnett.

“It’s been real effective,” said Warner. “You have to do some things when you don’t have that guy (Elliott) in the backfield. Our guys are doing a great job of believing in what we’re doing at the line of scrimmage.”

Davis also made a couple of great runs, too, including his second TD run of the game, a 41-yarder in which he started right and cut all the way back across the field after a few yards and outran the Boone County defense.

“He’s getting better each week, but we always knew he had that kind of running ability,” said Warner. “He led our team in sprints the entire summer and he certainly is a guy that’s tough as nails.”

That toughness showed in the fourth quarter when Davis went out for three plays after he got hit under his jaw, then came back and finished the game, including scoring on a six-yard run with 1:23 remaining to put the Raiders up, 27-7.

A stiff wind prevented either team from passing much and Boone County (4-3, 0-2) had a tough time running against the Ryle defense, which hasn’t allowed a first-half touchdown in any of its four games against Kentucky teams (Cooper scored on an interception return). Boone County had just 104 yards rushing on 33 attempts in the game and senior quarterback Kameron Schwartz completed just 4 of 18 passes for 61 yards.

Davis completed 6 of 10 passes for 64 yards.

The only time Boone County reached Ryle territory in the first three quarters was when it took over on the Raiders 13 following a bad snap on a Ryle punt attempt. The Rebels then turned the ball over on downs.

“I can’t give (defensive coordinator) Mike Woolf enough credit,” said Warner. “Our guys understand we’re not going to be as explosive offensively so our defense has to buckle down and get three and outs a lot and they’re doing a great job of that.”

Boone County, which finished with 194 yards of total offense, 118 in the fourth quarter, cut the Ryle lead to 20-7 with 4:41 remaining on a 13-yard TD pass from Schwartz to Denzel Cain.

After Davis scored to make it 27-7, the Rebels marched 83 yards in seven plays and scored on senior wingback Bryson Thompson’s 24-yard TD run with five seconds left.

Ryle rolled up 247 yards in the first half, but Boone County limited the Raiders to just 26 yards and three first downs in the second half.

Boone County 0 0 0 13 -- 13
Ryle 6 14 0 7 -- 27

R-Davis 11 run (bad snap)
R-Davis 41 run (Mead kick)
R-Davis 9 run (Mead kick)
BC-Cain 13 pass from Schwartz (Black kick)
R-Davis 6 run (Mead kick)
BC-Thompson 24 run (run failed)

Records: Boone County 4-3 (0-2 Class 6A, District 6), Ryle 4-2 (2-0).


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