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Russell Looks Golden in Win over Raceland

On a night when Russell High School inducted five all-time greats into the school's athletic Hall of Fame, it was the football Red Devils who looked worthy of being carved in bronze. Or perhaps gold.

Russell recovered a Raceland fumble on the opening kickoff and Malakai Anderson scored from seven yards out to give the Red Devils a 7-0 lead just a minute and a half into the game. Russell was hardly challenged from that point forward. Two more first half touchdowns gave Russell a 21-0 halftime lead and from there the rout was on. Unranked Russell pummeled the #4 team in Class 1A, 41-0. Red Devil running back Nathan Conley ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, the first over neighboring Raceland since 2016.

Life gets no easier for Russell next week as they again will battle a neighborhood foe, this time the Ironton Tigers. Ironton, who snapped an eight game losing streak to Wheelersburg on Friday, is one of the top teams in Ohio's Division V. And just like against Raceland, the Russell Red Devils will be looking to beat Ironton for the first time since 2016.

Taylor County Hits Hard and Rises Higher

One of the surprise teams in Kentucky football in 2018 was Taylor County. The Cardinals won twelve games and reached the state semifinals in Class 4A. Even after replacing their head coach and dropping to Class 3A this season, it appears the Cardinals have picked up right where they left off. Taylor County used 133 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Wes Oliver to dominate Larue County, 34-13.

Perhaps even more impressive for Taylor County was the defensive effort. The Cardinals forced two fumbles and also picked off a Larue pass. The defensive unit, led by EKU-commit Tre Goodin, forced Larue running back Jeremiah Belton out of the game early with an injury after a powerful hit, limiting the ability of Larue's offense. Both of the Hawks' touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter after the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Bell County Makes Most of Rare Chance Against a Ranked Foe

Rarely is a Dudley Hilton coached Bell County football team underestimated but that could be the case this time around. With the most recent realignment, the Bobcats were placed in a district without any traditional powers. Their non-district schedule includes mid-level area rivals and a bowl game against a Collins program that is typically good but has fallen on hard times the last couple of years. That's what made Friday night's game against Knox Central, the ninth-ranked team in Class 4A, so important. It was perhaps the one chance for Bell County to make a statement during the regular season.

Make a statement they did. Bell County scored three times in the first half and played stout defense the rest of the night, beating Knox Central, 22-8. The win opens the door for a potential undefeated season as the Bobcats will be favored in every remaining regular season game. But with an old coach like Hilton, who now has 381 career wins, you won't see Bell County looking ahead.