McQueary scores three TDs as Cardinals crush Hart

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By Josh Claywell



Taylor County was dominant in all three phases of its season opener Friday, forcing six turnovers and racking up nearly 500 yards of total offense in a 56-0 win over Hart County in the Forcht Bank Bowl at Campbellsville University.

The Cardinals forced the Raiders into four fumbles and two interceptions and rolled up 496 yards on offense as they kicked off the season with a blowout victory.

“We just wanted to come out and play well, and we were really excited about our first game of the season and all the work we put in,” second-year coach Jason Foley said. “It’s my year two and the kids are starting to understand what we’re trying to do better than last year. It was a great team win and we got a lot of players involved in all three phases.”

Taylor County wasted little time jumping on Hart County, scoring its first two touchdowns 38 seconds apart in the first quarter.

Junior Shaun Mankin scored on a 1-yard run with 8:31 left in the opening period for a 7-0 lead. The Cardinals then forced their first turnover of the night, recovering the ball on a short kickoff that the Raiders failed to field.

With 7:54 showing on the clock, senior quarterback Grant McQueary scored on a 5-yard keeper to build a 13-0 lead.

“I think it started off with Coach Foley getting us ready to play,” McQueary said of his team’s focus entering the game. “The practice week we had was a good week. Once we got out here, the adrenaline was rushing and we were ready to go. We used our athleticism to do the best we could.”

The lead swelled to 20-0 as McQueary scored on a 4-yard keeper with 4:08 left in the first period.

“I thought our discipline was better than last year and it was just a good start,” Foley said.

The good vibes continued into the rest of the game.

Senior tailback DeJhon Irvin then got into the act, scoring on a 13-yard burst to make it 27-0 just 39 seconds into the second quarter.

With 4:42 remaining until halftime, Irvin hauled in a 36-yard scoring pass from McQueary to push the lead to 35-0. McQueary then showed his versatility as a receiver, catching a 22-yard scoring pass from junior Tre Goodin to make it 42-0 and start the KHSAA-mandated running clock – which starts when a team leads by 36 or more points.

Foley said the plan was to put McQueary out wide at some point against the Raiders.

“We have some packages where he’ll go in at receiver,” he said. “He’s definitely a playmaker at that spot as well, and he did have a good night. He threw the ball well and made some great passes. He was a great leader and had great awareness on the field. He just guided our team in a great manner.”

McQueary was the clear choice for the Cardinals’ game MVP. He completed 8-of-9 passes for 163 yards, rushed two times for 9 yards and the two scores and caught two passes for 72 yards.

“It’s a humbling experience,” McQueary said of winning MVP. “I love playing this game, I love my teammates and (I have to give) props to my front line. They helped me do everything I needed to get this award. I couldn’t do anything without my team. All props to them.”

Freshman Tanner Wright scored on a 7-yard run and freshman Joey Holloway caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Ethan Coghill to set the final margin.

Foley said the turnovers proved huge.

“We want to win the turnover battle every game; it’s a big key,” he said. “You get to those district games later on and the turnover battle is huge. I was very pleased about our turnover differential.”

McQueary said the first win will be huge going forward, but the Cardinals can’t rest on their laurels.

“It was very exciting,” the senior said. “It’s just great to see all the players getting together and having a lot of heart and playing together. We clicked and we got the ball in the end zone. I’m just so proud of my team. I love seeing them do what they love and having good energy when they play.”

Taylor County returns to action Friday night, when it hosts rival Adair County at 8 p.m.

“We know we’ve got to move forward and get ready for Adair County,” Foley said. “That’s always a rival game and it’s going to be a challenge. We’re looking forward to coming in on Sunday and Monday and preparing and getting ready for our first home game.”