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"If we can get some stops, we can score with them," admitted Taylor County High School head football coach Rodney Turpin midway in the third quarter.
However, that was easier said than done as Estill County scored on 10 of its 11 possessions to roll past the home-standing Cardinals 73-28 in the second round of play-off action on Friday night.
The Engineers tallied on four of their first-quarter possessions to lead 30-0 and held a 37-0 advantage with 9:25 left in the second period.
After several dropped passes, Taylor County picked up first downs on Lance Turpin passes to A.J. Wayne to end the first frame and a Turpin connection to Chris Thomas on the first play of the second quarter.
The Cardinals removed the egg from the right side of the scoreboard when Turpin found a wide-open Shane Morris over the middle for a 35-yard touchdown with five minutes left in the half.
However, Estill County responded with scores at 3:58 and 12.8 to lead 51-14 at the intermission. The last two Engineer TDs were sandwiched around a Turpin pass to Leonard Macon for a 21-yard tally.
Taylor County cut the huge gap to 51-22 when Zack Mings recovered the onside kick starting the third quarter to set up Turpin's pass to Macon down the left sideline. Macon turned a first-down reception into a touchdown by breaking numerous tackles.
Estill County tacked on another third-period score and one early in the final frame to lead 65-22 with 10:16 to play. The Engineers, who attempted only one pass from scrimmage but did complete a two-point conversion pass, rushed for 596 yards on 54 rushing tries.
The Cardinals scored their last touchdown with 5:18 remaining when Turpin hurled his fourth TD of the night 54 yards to Macon, for his third score and 20th point.
Turpin finished with 257 yards passing, with 181 of those going to Macon on his six receptions.
The Cardinals finish the campaign, the first winning season since the 1999 regional championship season of 11-3 and only the third in the last 16 years.
Estill County (11-1) advances to play Breathitt County (10-2 with 10 straight victories) in the region title game in Jackson on Friday.