By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
A long, disappointing season came to an end Friday night for South Laurel, as Madison Southern came into Gilliam Field and rolled to a 56-0 win.
“They wore us out,” South Laurel coach Larry Welch said. “This isn’t the way we wanted to end our season, not by a long shot.”
The Eagles (6-3-0, 4-1-0) scored at will against an overmatched South Laurel defense. Star running back Damien Harris, who is being recruited by schools such as Michigan and Oregon, just to name two, rushed for 94 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns. He didn’t play a down in the second half.
He didn’t need to.
By the half, Madison Southern was already on top, 42-0. The Eagles scored on their first three possessions: a 48-yard score by Harris, a 60-yard score by Coty Russell, and a 21-yard score by quarterback Adam Simpson.
Meanwhile, all of South’s (1-8-0, 0-4-0) first half possession ended in either a punt or on downs.
A 19-yard touchdown pass from Simpson to Devate Linville made it 28-0 with 6:23 left in the half. A 71-yard scamper by Buddy Harrison upped the lead to 35-0 at the 5:09 mark. Harris capped off Southern’s first half scoring with a 4-yard run with 2:04 left.
“Harris is an excellent running back,” Welch said. “He can take care of himself. From watching film he’s done that to every team they have played.”
The rout continued in the second half. A 59-yard run by Wes Proctor made it 49-0 with 10:20 left in the third. It also meant that there would be a continuous running clock for the remainder of the game. Proctor scored again on a 12-yard run with 4:13 left to make the final, 56-0.
Late in the contest tempers started to flare as several personal fouls were called on both teams, and South’s Tyler Detherage and Seth Stewart were both thrown out of the game.
“It’s been a very tough season,” Welch said. “We had such high expectations for our seniors coming in but that didn’t come through. We had a good senior group and we had a lot of injuries. From the Corbin game on, we lost Austin Rader, who is an exceptional player. We missed him. Seth (Swafford) was injured in that game and just came back. David Byrd, this was his first game back in a while. We didn’t have Juice (Jason Mitchell) this game. Early on we lost Jesse (Thomas) and Devin (Pennington) for a few games. And Austin Schaser was named the defensive MVP of the Cumberland Valley Bowl win over Lynn Camp, but also suffered a concussion and missed several games. My hat is off to him. This was his first year of football and he did an exceptional job.”
Madison Southern 56, South Laurel 0
Madison Southern 21 21 14 0—56
South Laurel 0 0 0 0—0
MS—Damien Harris, 48 run (Garrison Watts kick); MS—Coty Russell, 60 run (Watts kick); MS—Adam Simpson, 17 run (Watts kick); MS—Devate Linville, 19 pass from Simpson (Watts kick); MS—Buddy Harrison, 71 run (Watts kick); MS—Harris, 4 run (Watts kick); MS—Wes Proctor, 59 run (Watts kick); Proctor, 12 run (Watts kick).