OWENTON — Not even a lightning delay could slow down Western Hills’ football team.
WHHS scored 20 points in one quarter, waited almost an hour to play again, and closed out Friday’s game with 43 points on its way to a 63-13 win over Owen County.
The Wolverines had a simple mindset going into the game.
“Just focus, play as hard as you can, make no mistakes, and just win,” WHHS senior Cody Williams said.
That’s what the Wolverines did, scoring 30 points more than they did last year when they defeated Owen County 33-6 in the first game of the season.
WHHS’ first touchdown came midway through the first quarter on a 21-yard pass from Williams to Daniel Childress.
Before the quarter was over Western Hills scored twice more — on a 12-yard run by Nick Lockett and a 51-yard run by D.J. Green.
Seth Pickard kicked the extra point after the first two touchdowns, and a conversion pass fell incomplete after Green’s score.
Williams started at quarterback after Nick Young was sidelined with an injury. He hadn’t played quarterback since his junior varsity days but responded with two touchdown passes and two touchdown runs.
“We had a little adversity,” WHHS coach Don Miller said. “Nick wasn’t able to play, but Cody Williams did a great job stepping up and playing quarterback.
“It was up in the air,” he added about whether Young would play or not, “but Cody started getting reps on Monday and ended up starting.”
With 1:08 left in the first quarter the game was stopped because of lightning. The stands were emptied, both teams were ordered off the field, and it took nearly an hour for play to resume.
When it did, the Rebels struck first with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Smith to Brady Young, but Owen County wouldn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter.
WHHS answered with three more touchdowns before halftime.
Williams scored on a 42-yard run, a 1-yard run and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Lockett to give the Wolverines a 43-6 lead at halftime.
Pickard connected on two PATs, and Childress completed a pass to Bryan Litterall for a two-point conversion.
“We had the lightning strike delay and had to go back inside,” Williams said, “but we still maintained our focus and came out and kept our foot on the gas pedal.”
And they kept their hands on the ball, avoiding the turnovers that hurt them last season.
“Like I told them after the game, when we played LCA (in a scrimmage) I thought conditioning was a big thing for us,” Miller said. “Another thing is we didn’t have a lot of turnovers in the LCA game, and we didn’t have many tonight.
“That’s big for us, holding onto the ball this season and not having three or four turnovers like we had last year.”
The halftime score was enough for the running clock to be used in the second half.
WHHS put up three touchdowns in the second half. Krishawn Mayes scored on a 3-yard run, and Keagan Newton ran the ball in from 10 yards out to make the score 57-6.
The Rebels added a late touchdown, but the Wolverines responded with a second touchdown from Newton to make the final score 63-13.
“If you compare this to last year’s game, we got up 30 some points, and we left a lot of points on the field,” Miller said. “This year I felt we did a better job of finishing that off.”
WHHS plays its first home game Friday against Franklin County.