In the 113-year existence of the Somerset High School football program, many great players, great plays and historic moments have molded the legacy of the small-school's popular sport.

Great football players like Ray Correll, Bo McMillin, and Tony Massey helped put the small southern Kentucky school on the map, and who could ever forget the Kaiya Sheron winning pass play to Tate Madden for the program's first-ever KHSAA state football title in 2019.

On Friday, Nov. 20, with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter of the Briar Jumpers' first-round playoff game against Danville - another historic moment took place.

Somerset High School senior Madison Ruble became the first female in the Somerset football program history to score a point when she booted the ball through the uprights for a point after touchdown extra point. Seven minutes later, Madison Ruble made her second extra point of the game.

"I will definitely remember being the first girl in program history to score a point," the 115-pound Madison Ruble said with a smile. "It is something I will remember, the image of that ball going through the goal posts, for the rest of my life."

Madison Ruble had always been a kicker, but her kicking abilities were limited to the soccer field with the Somerset High School girls soccer team.

"Kicking is what I like about soccer," Ruble admitted. "I always liked to see how far I could shoot the ball from in soccer practices."

Soccer was Madison Ruble's sport, and football was just a pastime she watched and cheered for on Friday nights at William Clark Field.

"I never expected to be a football player," Ruble laughed. "I knew the basics of football before I started playing, but never really got into it. I just watched and cheered for the team when I came to the game as a fan."

But in the recent Somerset High School Powder Puff football game - which is a intra-school football contest pitting the senior girls against the junior girls - Madison Ruble kicked the game-winning field goal.

"I kicked in our annual Powder Puff game and I ended up kicking the winning field goal, which was EP (extra point) range (of 20 yards)," Ruble stated. "The football coaches noticed that and talked to my dad about me kicking for the football team. I came to a few practices, I liked it and I kept doing it."

Somerset High School veteran football coach Robbie Lucas stated that having Madison Ruble join the football team, as a kicker, was not some kind of gimmick or publicity stunt.

He needed a kicker, and Madison Ruble could kick.

"Her dad, Jason Ruble, has been part of our football staff for several years, and we had always kept up with Madison's soccer career through the years," Lucas stated. "After last year, we had some struggles with our extra-point kicking squad and we missed a lot of EPs last season. Madison had success kicking the ball through the uprights, and her dad kept telling us she could kick from the EP distance. Our program is always open to anybody that wants to come out and being given the opportunity. She has come out, worked at it, and made two extra points for us on Friday night."

But for most of this season, Madison Ruble's existence on the Briar Jumper football team was kicking extra points during team practices, and standing on the sidelines cheering on her teammates on Friday nights.

But in the late stages the Briar Jumpers' opening-round playoff game against arch-rivals Danville High School, Madison Ruble was called on to kick an extra point, after a Chase Doan 22-yard touchdown run.

"I was pretty stressed about playing in such a physical sport," Ruble admitted. "I was nervous the first time I kicked. Obviously, they (the male football players) are a lot bigger than I am, but the second time I kicked I was a little more at ease because we got a great line and they did their job."

"It was pretty nerve-racking - it being a home game and I know a whole lot of people who come to the games," Ruble stated. "I remember Coach Hawkins telling me I was up next, and I was sort of surprised because I didn't really expect to kick. Running out on the field I kind of felt peaceful, I put the block down, and just did what I usually do."

When the ball passed through the uprights at Clark Field on Friday night, Briar Jumper history was being made. But for Madison Ruble, she was doing what she loved to do the most - kick a ball.

"My first kick was not my best kick, for sure, but it went in, so that was good," Ruble said with a grin.

Somerset football coach Robbie Lucas was confident in Madison Ruble's kicking ability, but also concerned for her safety - just like all the other 60 players on his team's roster.

"You always worry about kids getting hurt no matter what," Lucas stated. "We all accept responsibilities and we know what the risks are when we go out on the field. It is a violent sport and you always have intrepidations anytime kids go out there. But we treated her like any other player, and she assumes those risks. She has done a good job working on her game, putting the time in, and she deserved the opportunity."

Yes, Madison Ruble will always remember her historic kick and will probably talk about it for years to come. However, it has been the friendships she has made on the Somerset football team that she will remember the most.

"I have made some really good friends here on the football team,"Ruble stated. "They are great to talk to, and I will miss the relationships I have made once the season is over."

When the first Briar Jumper football players took to the gridiron in 1907, they had no way of knowing the legacy they were creating. On Friday, November 20, Madison Ruble created her own Briar Jumper legacy.

STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at sports@somerset-kentucky.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.

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