Jumpers have a Happy Homecoming

CALEB LOWNDES I CJ

Somerset High School junior Mikey Garland (right) strips the football from a Russellville ball carrier in the Briar Jumpers' 64-12 Homecoming win on Friday. Garland returned the defensive takeaway for a touchdown.

The Somerset Briar Jumpers football team poured it on the Russellville Panthers and took a 64-12 victory on Homecoming Night at William Clark Field.

The Panthers received the opening kick and moved the ball on the ground a little bit until a snap on third down that sailed over quarterback Lennon Ries's head and ended the drive.

From there, the Jumpers got to work and added four touchdowns in a span of just over three minutes to swing the momentum heavily in their favor and get the homecoming alma mater and other Jumper fans on their feet.

The Briar jumpers started their drive with some quick screen passes and a few carries on the ground. After just three offensive plays, the Panther defense committed two crucial penalties in a row to put Somerset on the Russellville 12-yard line.

Senior Chaz Gilmore punctuated their opening drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown to put his Somerset Briar Jumpers up 6-0 with just over six minutes left to play in the first quarter.

Just three plays into Russellville's offensive possession, junior Kade Grundy picked off a short pass by Ries and took it nearly 40-yards for another Somerset score.

Later, the Panthers had another high snap, and his time Ries was unable to recover it. Senior linebacker Jace Bruner recovered and rumbled all the way to the Russellville 1-yard line where he was stopped just short of a touchdown.

Junior quarterback Kaiya Sheron scored with ease on a keeper following the fumble recovery. After the successful point after attempt by Tommy Wombles, the Jumpers led 20-0.

On the kickoff after the touchdown, junior Mikey Garland stole the ball right out of the hands of the Panther return man and took it the distance for fourth touchdown in around three minutes and put Somerset up 27-0 closing in on the second quarter.

The Jumpers began the second quarter driving as a couple long runs by senior back Alex Miller and a 20-yard pass and catch from Sheron to senior receiver Jayden Gilmore put them at the Russellville 4-yard line.

Miller finished the strong offensive drive with a 4-yard carry that put Somerset up 34-0 within the first minute of the second period.

Later in the second quarter during the Panthers drive, the homecoming game was delayed due to lightning, but around half an hour later the game resumed play with Russellville deep in Somerset territory.

On third and twelve from the Somerset 18-yard line, Ries rolled out and connected with junior receiver Josh Allen in the endzone. The Panthers attempted a two-point conversion but Ries attempt was intercepted by junior linebacker Brandon Jones and Russellville trailed 34-6 with around six and a half minutes left in the second quarter.

Miller later busted off a 35-yarder for his second touchdown of the game and then ran in a two-point conversion to put Somerset up 42-6 nearing the halftime break.

Not only did Miller show out before the break, but on the first offensive play after halftime, he took it up the middle and cut right to take it down the sidelines and into the endzone for the 62-yard touchdown run.

The Panthers wee able to have a successful offensive third quarter as well as they drove down the field and Ries connected with junior Chevis Elliott for the 6-yard touchdown. The Panthers failed on the two-point conversion try for the second time and the Jumpers led 49-12 heading into the final period of play.

Late in the fourth quarter, the freshman twin brothers Jacob and Jerrod Smith both scored rushing touchdowns to further extend Somerset's lead.

First Jacob Smith took a sweep left for a 6-yard touchdown and the caught a successful two-point conversion by fellow freshman Brody Williams. Then after a fumble recovery on the kickoff by senior Riley Emerson, Jerrod Smith took right toss 32-yards for the Jumper's final homecoming score of the night.

Freshman kicker Daniel Richardson sent the point after through just before time expired and the Jumpers won it 64-12.

Senior running back Alex Miller was the Jumper's top performer on the night as he rushed for 181 yards, three touchdowns, and a two-point conversion on just eight carries.

The Jumpers advanced to 5-0 on the season and they will travel to Hazard next Friday to face off with the Bulldogs. The Panthers fell to 0-6 following the loss.

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