Football took a back seat. Ivan McGlone didn’t.
Russell’s 37th-year coach stood for his wife, Gloria, on Friday night, and his Red Devils played for her.
“We all really wanted to win the game for Gloria and for Coach,” said Russell senior Tyler Bevis.
Win it, they did, as the Red Devils beat Boyd County 35-6 on Ivan McGlone Field at Henry R. Evans Stadium. Two 100-yard rushers and timely defense helped Russell break a two-game skid.
“We needed a bounce-back game,” Bevis said.
Googie Hayes darted 23 yards for a touchdown on Russell’s first play from scrimmage after a Boyd County punt skied high but not far before taking a favorable bounce for the Red Devils.
Hayes hardly stopped, except for a two-minute stint in which he dealt with a leg cramp in the third quarter. The senior accumulated 129 yards on 13 carries, while fellow senior Troy Huffine paved his way to 106 yards on 13 tries.
“It was good to come out and run like that,” Hayes said. “We haven’t done that since the first game (against Greenup County).”
Hands pressing on his cane, McGlone proudly displayed his pink “Touchdown for a Cure” T-shirt on Breast Cancer Awareness night. A precious picture emblazoned the back of his shirt, for all the home crowd to see. The photograph is of the 74-year-old and his wife, who missed less than a handful of games throughout McGlone’s coaching career, sitting on a porch swing and smiling last summer.
Gloria passed away in April. And McGlone, who had been sitting on his walker seat for the first three games this season due to back surgery this past winter, could not bear sitting on this night. He sat for only two minutes in the fourth quarter.
“My goal was to be able to stand up, let people see the back of my shirt,” he said with a chuckle and a smile. “Special occasions are nice. I appreciate what the community has done.”
The home crowd appreciated an impressive display of football, too.
After Hayes, it was Huffine. A 14-yard TD scoot capped off an 11-play, 74-yard drive that was vintage Wing-T Russell in the second quarter. Hayes accounted for 33 yards on the drive.
While Russell (2-2) took a 14-0 lead into intermission, Boyd County had been moving the ball fairly fluidly.
The Lions (2-2) shot themselves in the collective foot, though, with the botched punt, a fumble and another fumble on their first three possessions.
They were forced to punt twice more as Dylan Campbell and Bevis put a halt to their second-to-last first half possession with a thunderous tackle for loss.
Reid Dearfield slapped Lance Evans, a Boyd County transfer, with his first interception of the season just before halftime. Evans came to Russell for his senior year with his father and Russell assistant, Lee, who was let go as the Lions’ head coach after six seasons.
Dearfield was the Lions’ leading rusher, with 79 yards, as 40 of them came on one dash down the right sideline early in the third quarter. It set up a Gaje Ayres 2-yard score at the 10:50 mark of the period.
Boyd County’s next three possessions resulted in a turnover on downs.
“In the beginning we were moving the ball, but they made some adjustments and took away our toss, which is a big part of our offense,” said Boyd County coach Ray Brooks. “They just shut us down.
“It just seemed like we couldn’t get in a rhythm,” added the Lions’ first-year coach. “And this is a rhythm-type offense.”
Hayes, Gage Stevens and Huffine provided the rest of the scoring for Russell.
The Red Devils and Lions both enter district play next week with .500 records.
McGlone could stand a few more wins.
“A win never hurts your confidence,” he quipped.
And he could stand during a few more games.
“You can’t coach and sit down, it’s just that simple,” he said. “I’m a little tired but I’m OK.”
AARON SNYDER can
be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2664.
Football took a back seat. Ivan McGlone didn’t.
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