Saturday, September 25, 1999

Ryle's 20-6 loss ends district title hopes

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION, Ky. — Though its nickname is the Defenders, Lexington Bryan Station has been known mostly for its offense. It averaged 54.8 points in its first four games.

        Ryle's defense did the defending Friday, but its offense couldn't deliver in a 20-6 home loss to Bryan Station. Though Ryle held them almost 25 points below their scoring average, the Defenders kept Ryle nearly as far from its 29.8-point average.

        At 0-2 in Class AAAA's Sixth District, Ryle (3-2) has lost any chance at a district title. The Raiders, ranked sixth in the state in Class AAAA, now find themselves fighting for their playoff lives.

        The good news: The district's two toughest foes — Bryan Station (4-1, 2-0 district) and Lexington Henry Clay (6-0, 2-0) — are in the rear-view mirror. The Raiders might now make hay.

        “We feel like that was a tough schedule, and we have to have the attitude that we can win the rest of our (regular season) games,” Ryle coach Kyle Hockman said.

        Two big plays helped the Defenders, the state's eighth-ranked AAAA team, build a 14-0 lead in the game's first seven minutes.

        Robert Haskins returned the opening kickoff to Ryle's 35, and two plays later brother J.T. Haskins scored on a 3-yard run.

        On Ryle's second possession, senior quarterback Justin Parr threw a pass to Mike Setters that Setters appeared to juggle and drop. Officials ruled it a catch and fumble, though, and Bryan Station's Josh Matney picked it up and returned it 30 yards.

        Then the Haskins brothers worked together on a score, J.T. passing to Robert for a 28-yard TD.

        Ryle, initially stunned, got back in the game by running the ball. The Raiders would outgain Bryan Station 195 yards to 108 in the half, with 160 of Ryle's yards coming on the ground.

        An 11-play, 65-yard drive netted Ryle's first score, which came on a 14-yard Travis Grant run with 7:50 left in the first half. But Ryle's next drive stalled at the Defender 20, and Andrew Lageman's 32-yard field-goal attempt at the halftime buzzer was blocked by Bryan Station's Marquis Johnson.

        Ryle never advanced a drive past its own 46 in the second half. But it held out hope until J.T. Haskins scored on a 58-yard run with 7:22 left in the game.

        “We didn't play together as well as we should,” Ryle se nior linebacker Mitch King said. “We need to function on all three units — special teams, offense and defense. We've got to play together.”

        Grant, a sophomore, totaled 144 yards and a TD on 25 carries. Junior teammate Travis Alig totaled 70 yards on 14 carries.

        Parr, who had totaled 824 yards passing the first four weeks, was held to 8-of-19 for 59 yards Friday. He was playing with a sprained ankle and hadn't been able to practice all week.

        “There's no reason to be worried,” Parr said. “By far, we've had the toughest schedule in the district, but we could have beaten both these teams.

        “This week, we've got to pull together.”

Lexington Bryan Station ....... 14  0  0  6—20
Ryle ....... 0  7  0  0— 7

        BS—J.T.Haskins 3 run (W.Johnson kick)

        BS—R.Haskins 27 pass from J.T.Haskins (W.Johnson kick)

        R—Grant 14 run (Lageman kick)

        BS—J.T.Haskins 58 run (kick blocked)

        Records: BS 4-1 (2-0 District 6), R 3-2 (0-2).


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