SCOTTSVILLE – Allen County-Scottsville’s offense delivered a lights-out performance in Friday’s 50-28 win over Franklin-Simpson in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Also, the stadium lights went out – again – early in a game that lit up the scoreboard with a combined 11 touchdowns. The home side stadium lights shut off with 10:34 left in the first quarter, resulting in about a 20-minute delay – the second straight home game ACS has dealt with that issue.
The school will have another meaningful week to work on that problem after earning a surprise with the win – another home game, thanks to Warren East’s 33-14 road win over Russell County on Friday. ACS will host the Raiders in the second round of the state playoffs.
The Patriots rolled up 308 rushing yards in the win against Franklin-Simpson, with ACS senior quarterback Trace McIntyre picking up a game-high 139 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Dillon Rookstool chipped in with 89 rushing yards and a TD, and Landon Witcher finished with 86 rushing yards and two scores in the win.
“We came out swinging,” McIntyre said. “The line was opening up holes and the backs were hitting them. We were making big plays.”
The game swung dramatically in the Patriots’ favor within less than a four-minute stretch spanning the second quarter and the start of the third.
Tied at 14-all, ACS (4-3) forced a punt and McIntyre cashed in with a one-play scoring drive by racing 57 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:52 left in the half.
Two plays later, Rookstool came up with an interception of Wildcats quarterback Luke Richardson’s pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. That set up a six-play, 39-yard drive capped by McIntyre’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Jax Cooper with 37 seconds left in the half.
Cooper delivered the knockout blow the next time he touched the ball, taking the opening kickoff of the second half all the way back for a touchdown on an 84-yard return that boosted the Patriots’ lead to three touchdowns at 36-14.
“We answered and we kept answering,” ACS coach Brad Hood said. “I was proud the way we came out in that second quarter – when you score 21 points like that, it helps. But then coming out after halftime, we got a huge kickoff return for a touchdown. Then Franklin came right back. But luckily every time in the second half that they stepped up and did something, we answered right behind it.”
Franklin-Simpson (3-5) answered with Richardson’s 1-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession, but ACS countered on its next drive with a 12-yard TD run by McIntyre.
The Wildcats rallied again on their next drive, finishing the six-play possession with a Branson Andrews 4-yard touchdown run. And just like before, the Patriots matched that touchdown on their next possession, as Landon Witcher’s 23-yard touchdown run pushed the ACS lead out to 50-28 with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
ACS finally got another defensive stop in the fourth quarter when Richardson’s pass to the end zone was broken up on a fourth-and-7 play from the Patriots’ 18. From there, the Pats managed to burn about four minutes off the clock to effectively close out the win.
Richardson finished 7-of-16 passing for 192 yards and a touchdown – an 80-yard bomb to Kyjuan Stutzman in the first quarter that tied the game at 7-all after Witcher’s 10-yard TD run opened the scoring. Richardson also had a pair of rushing touchdowns – his first, a 3-yarder in the second quarter, put the Wildcats up 14-7 with 10:31 left in the half.
ACS answered less than two minutes later on Rookstool’s 14-yard TD run, then went ahead for good on McIntyre’s 57-yard TD on the quarterback keeper.
“I’m just really proud of our team and the effort they give,” Hood said. “I thought they played really unselfish tonight. I thought they played really for one another and that’s something we’ve been working on and something we’ve talked a lot about the last two weeks.”
Omar Harrison led the Wildcats with 83 rushing yards. Jayden Wells added 57 rushing yards, and Josiah Ellis tallied three catches for 90 yards.
“It was a great game,” Franklin-Simpson coach Max Chaney said. “I thought our kids fought hard. I thought they played the entire game and I’m proud of them.”
FSHS 7 7 14 0 – 28
ACSHS 7 21 22 0 – 50
ACS – Landon Witcher 10 run (Thorny Walker kick), 8:08
FS – Kyjuan Stutzman 80 pass from Luke Richardson (Isaac Callis kick), 7:02
FS – Richardson 3 run (Callis kick), 10:31
ACS – Dillon Rookstool 14 run (Walker kick), 8:44
ACS – Trace McIntyre 57 run (Walker kick), 3:52
ACS – Jax Cooper 12 pass from McIntyre (Walker kick), 0:37
ACS – Cooper 84 kickoff return (Brandon Baxter pass from Tanner Stinson), 11:47
FS – Richardson 1 run (kick blocked), 6:07
ACS – McIntyre 12 run (Walker kick), 4:43
FS – Branson Andrews 4 run (Andrew Ogles pass from Richardson), 1:51
ACS – Witcher 21 run (Walker kick), 0:11