Gavin Hurst, Hunter Morgan Shine in North Laurel Victory Over Henry County
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Gavin Hurst, Hunter Morgan Shine in North Laurel Victory Over Henry County

Barkley Truaxabout 1 month

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Article written by:Barkley TruaxBarkley Truax
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North Laurel/KSR

A chilly night in London, Kentucky played host to one of the two high school football games on Saturday in the state: North Laurel (7-2) vs. Henry County (5-5).

The Jaguars defeated the Wildcats 28-14 to win their second game in a row behind Gavin Hurst’s two touchdowns and Hunter Morgan’s three interceptions.

“Once we started getting going, our guys started to have more confidence,” North Laurel head coach Chris Larkey said post-game. “The big touchdown right before halftime really did it in. Our guys were more physical in the second half and I think that showed a lot.”

First Quarter: North Laurel 7, Henry County 0

The Wildcats’ first drive lasted all of three plays. Quarterback Jordon King was hit on his blindside and Jaguar linebacker Morgan was there for the interception—his first of many on the night.

The Jaguars quickly took advantage of the short field and Tucker Warren quickly found Hurst to break the ice.

Henry County’s nickel and dime scheme strung together a decent drive on their second time out on the field. The Wildcats found themselves in the red zone thanks to a few impressive carries from Trenton Hardy, only for it to all be negated by the second pick of the game thrown by King in the opening quarter. Hurst was the one that came up with the interception. 

A quick possession by North Laurel gave the ball back to Henry County, who were driving inside the red zone as the first quarter ended.

HALF: Jaguars 14, Wildcats 0

A fourth-down stop doesn’t get any bigger than one inside your own one-yard line. That’s exactly what the Jaguars accomplished to start the second quarter.

The two teams traded possessions with little to show for it until the half’s final possession. A big rush from Hurst set the Jags up in Henry County territory and with under three seconds left in the half, Warren found Christian Larkey from 26 yards out to push the lead to two scores before the half.

Third Quarter: Jaguars 28, Wildcats 0

It looked as though penalties were going to end North Laurel’s first drive of the second half, but two-straight chunk plays by Hurst turned a 2nd & 28 into a 1st & 10. Several plays later, Jayce Hacker punched it in from 20 yards out.

After a three-and-out for the Wildcats on the ensuing drive, Hurst found himself in the perfect position to make a play. Hardy’s punt was tipped and it landed perfectly in Hurst’s arms and he took the score past the pylon for his second score of the night.

Hurst said postgame that he was definitely in the right place at the right time. “As soon as I got the ball, I knew where I was going,” he said about the punt return.

FINAL: North Laurel 28, Henry County 14

North Laurel’s attitude in the final quarter was centered around running the clock out. For Henry County—salvage the shutout.

Morgan picked off King for the second time Saturday night with six minutes remaining; King’s third interception of the game. The play set the Jags up at Henry County’s 28-yard-line.

A quick three-and-out for North Laurel saw freshman placekicker Collier Mills hook wide left from 30 yards out. Mills would go 0-3 on field goal attempts on the night but was perfect (4-4) on PAT’s.

With one minute remaining, the shutout was put to bed as Hardy found the end zone from seven yards out with the North Laurel backups in the game.

Henry County recovered their own onside kick, but threw an interception to Morgan for his third of the night. “I was confident that I was going to get a couple [interceptions],” Morgan said. “I practiced all week for it and I was proud of my ability to do it.”

Instead of kneeling for the victory, the Jags chose to let their junior varsity team run the ball, resulting in a fumble and a touchdown for Henry County on the first play of that next drive. Larkey said after the game that the play showed his kids simply aren’t ready for varsity yet.

“It’s my fault,” Larkey said. “Our JV coaches called that, thinking you should be able to hand the ball off and that’s why you don’t do stuff like that … a win’s a win.”

What’s Next For Both Teams?

North Laurel is back in action this Friday for their season finale against Wayne County that will double as their Senior Night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. while the Wildcats will round their season out at Spencer County at the same time.

“I thought Henry County did a great job with their plan,” Larkey said. “Their coaches do a great job with their guys … Hats off to their kids, they played hard the whole entire night. They’re a good bunch of kids, a good bunch of coaches.”

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2021-11-29