With half his backfield either sick or injured, Campbell County High School football coach Dewayne Wells called on a lineman to help win Friday’s war of attrition against visiting District 3 foe Hardin Valley Academy.
Bryan Munsey, who normally plays offensive guard, moved to the backfield and led the Cougars (1-2 district, 2-3 overall) to a hard-fought 13-7 victory over the Hawks (0-2 district, 1-3 overall) when starting fullback Wesley Cook left the game with a shoulder injury late in the second half.
Campbell County’s other fullback, Phoenix Asher, was already out with the flu. Running back Joe Goins was on crutches after breaking a bone in his right shin during a loss to Karns the previous week.
“We bled slowly,” Wells said afterward.
“Both our fullbacks are out. We moved Bryan Munsey to fullback, and he did a great job for hardly any (previous) work (in practice).
“We had a whole lot of inexperience on the field, but we came up with big plays when we had too. We only had one turnover.”
Munsey’s muscle paved the way for touchdown runs of 9 and 23 yards by senior running back Bradley Hicks about a minute apart in the first half.
The Cougars took an early 13-0 lead before officials sent both teams to the locker room with 8:26 left in the second quarter because of lightning.
After a 45-minute delay, Campbell County seemed to have lost its momentum and gave up a touchdown with 7:23 remaining when Hawks’ quarterback Jake Bishop hit tight end Trey Byrd with a 31-yard touchdown pass on third down just two plays after play resumed.
Ryan Batallie kicked the extra point to close the gap to 13-7.
And that’s the way it would end, as both team’s defenses took over during the final 31 minutes of action.
Hardin Valley recovered a fumble at the Cougars’ 38-yard line late in the first half, but mishandled the snap on a field goal try with a minute left that might have made it a three-point game.
Campbell County’s defense thwarted the Hawks again late in the third quarter when defensive lineman Tyler Oakes sacked Hardin Valley quarterback Jake Bishop on fourth-and-17 from the Cougars’ 22-yard line.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Hawks were knocking on the door again at the Campbell County 7-yard line.
The Cougars held their ground and forced Hardin Valley to turn the ball over on downs at the 12.
Wells had to call on his defense one more time when the Hawks got the ball at the Cougars’ 45-yard line with just over 40 seconds left.
Campbell County defensive back Zach Ward was called for pass interference on a third down play from the Cougars’ 20.
After officials marked off half the distance to the goal, Hardin Valley had a first down at the 10-yard line. On second down with time running out, Campbell County’s Tuffy Shoupe came up with one of the biggest plays of the night when he deflected a pass to clinch the Cougars’ second victory this year.
“They picked on our freshmen,” said Wells.
“We weren’t going to get beat deep.”
Hardin Valley actually outgained the Cougars in total offense with 192 yards, but Campbell County’s defense managed to keep the Hawks out of the end zone when it had to.
“Our defensive line played outstanding. That’s the reason we did so well,” said CCHS defensive coordinator Chris Shouse.
The Cougars sacked Bishop eight times. Keenan Evans led the charge with eight tackles and 2 1/2 sacks. Tyler Amburgey was in on seven stops and made two sacks. Tyler Brammer had five tackles and two sacks.
Safety Trevor Nolan recovered an onside kick to set up Campbell County’s second touchdown.
Campbell County finished with 174 yards, all but nine of that coming on the ground. Hicks rushed for 107 yards and two scores on a dozen carries.
Trevor Nolan, who split time with Arnie Meredith at quarterback and also played some running back, picked up 43 yards on 17 carries. Rafael Izquierdi converted 1 of 2 PAT kicks for Campbell County.
The Cougars are now preparing for tomorrow (Fri.) night’s district game at unbeaten Clinton (3-0 district, 5-0 overall) with a roster full of walking wounded players.
“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” said Wells.