By Don White, CV&T Staff Writer
The team Estill knocked out of the district playoffs last season in Irvine got their revenge Friday in Somerset.
The undefeated Briar Jumpers took the victory by the deceptive margin of 63-14.
They move on to host Breathitt County next Friday.
Meanwhile, Engineer players and coaches can take satisfaction in a winning season marked by tremendous improvement, knowing several key players will be back on the field in 2010.
Estill played Somerset tough in Irvine this season, and appeared ready to pull off an upset victory in the playoffs, trailing only 7-0 after the first quarter.
Somerset head coach Rob Lucas showed his respect for Estill in post-game comments to a reporter for the Somerset Commonwealth-Journal.
“The bottom line is we’re just happy to survive and advance any way we can.
“I thought we came out and played well early and forced them to play from behind. That’s something that doesn’t fit well with their style,” said Lucas.
Estill ran at will against what had been a potent Briar Jumper defense all reason.
The Engineers racked up 364 rushing yards to Somerset’s 315, many of them coming on long sprints by Kenton Roberts and Davidson.
Roberts had 117 yards on 19 carries and Davidson carried the ball 15 times for 83 yards.
Estill’s fleet-of-feet runners had runs of 48, 46, and 28 yards that came close to pay dirt, but were stopped short of the goal line on several occasions.
“I tell you what, Estill came out running the ball very well,” said Lucas. “They hurt us with some big plays on the ground, and if it hadn’t been for Taylor Sears running them down and erasing two or three touchdowns, it would have been a different game.”
Logan Mize was a hero for the Engineers early on, picking off a Briar Jumper pass and helping his team advance to Somerset’s 19 yard line before a fumble stopped progress.
Somerset came back with an 82-yard drive, ending up with a pass for touchdown that moved the score to 14-0.
On their next possession the Engineers used some outstanding blocking to help Kenton Roberts break away for 48 of the 117 yards he would accumulate on the evening. His big gain helped set up Randy Davison for a six-yard scamper that made the score 14-6.
From that point on, other than recovering a fumble, things began to go downhill for Estill, allowing the Briar Jumpers to take a 28-6 lead into the locker room.
The game was totally out of hand by the time Michael Edmondson was able to break away for a 61-yard TD run in the fourth period, narrowing the gap to 56-14.