Jayden Davis runs for 347 yards and one score to lead Kenton Ridge to first playoff win in a decade.
PLAIN CITY —Kenton Ridge linebacker Tyler Batten summed it up after Kenton Ridge’s playoff game on Saturday night.
“Jayden (Davis) is our offense,” Batten said. “We go as he goes.”
And boy, did Kenton Ridge go. Davis, a senior running back, ran for 347 yards and scored Kenton Ridge’s go-ahead points in a 33-28 win over Alder in a Div. IV regional quarterfinal on Saturday. Davis put Kenton Ridge ahead with a 64-yard fourth-quarter run, which gave the Cougars a 26-21 lead. Davis also picked off a pass in the second quarter defense.
Davis is battling nagging leg injuries and played little in the Cougars’ regular season finale loss to Tippecanoe last week. Kenton Ridge head coach Joel Marratta said Davis’ health has improved.
“He is about 95 percent healthy,” Marratta said of Davis. “Heck no one’s healthy at this time of the year. But he is near it. He’s not quite into fifth gear.”
After Davis’ touchdown run, Hadden secured the win by intercepting a pass and returning it 30 yards for a touchdown.
“He just dropped back into coverage and they threw it right to him,” Marratta said of the interception.
Alder scored on an 80-yard pass from Preston Eisnaugle to Dean Kraut late in the fourth to pull within five points. Kenton Ridge recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
Alder came back from a two-touchdown halftime deficit to take a 21-20 lead. Pioneer Eisnaugle scored first from two yards out and then wide receiver Trey Pugh caught a 3-yard pass for a touchdown that capped off a 95 yard drive.
The Cougars took a 20-6 halftime lead after Luke Holt scored on 40- and 15-yard touchdown runs, along with one-yard TD run by Kobe Holtz.
“This win redeemed us,” Marratta said. “This was our first playoff victory since 2004 and it feels great!”