Taylor County opened the 2012 campaign with a convincing 42-12 victory over the visiting McCreary Central Raiders on Friday.
The Cardinals tallied three scores in the opening half while shutting out the Raiders, allowing only 18 yards total offense.
The defense was led by senior Jared Peake and sophomore Brandon Williams as they applied pressure the entire contest. Daulton Turpin had three pass break-ups to thwart any big play possibilities by McCreary Central in the first half.
Junior fullback Dylan Bright got the scoring started with an eight-yard run in the first period.
After stalling on their second drive, quarterback Hunter Christie went off tackle for a 19-yard touchdown run, capping a solid seven-play drive. Turpin followed on the next possession, adding a 39-yard score as well.
Despite not scoring a touchdown, senior Alex Gupton led all rushers with 153 yards.
Taylor County was plagued by turnovers, losing three fumbles, two of which stopped late first half drives.
McCreary Central controlled the third quarter scoring on a Noah Duncan 86-yard pass reception and an Arlis Dople 73-yard fumble return to get back in the contest at 21-12. Dople broke up an intended quick-pitch play as he stunted from his secondary position to create the turnover and take it in.
Gupton and Bright led a consistent ground attack that saw the Cardinals amass 455 yards. Bright added a fourth-quarter, 15-yard scoring run and Christie connected with Logan Perry for 57 yards to push the Cardinal lead to 35-12 before Garrett Haggerty finished the scoring on a 22-yard run late in the contest.