Scott County assumed pole position in the Class 6A, District 7 race with a 40-24 win over Bryan Station at Toyota Stadium on Friday night.
The Cardinals gutted the Station defense all night on the ground, rushing for 352 yards to just 77 for the Defenders.
Cards quarterback Josh Davis handed off to Noah Hughes most of the night after Keith Guy went down with an ankle sprain on the first play from scrimmage.
Hughes ended the night with 36 carries for 242 yards and three touchdowns. He didn't lose a yard all night.
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Guy, though, will be in a boot for at least the next couple of weeks, McKee said.
The Cardinals went three-and-out on their first possession and missed a field goal wide left on their second after a blocked punt gave them positive field position.
A controversial intentional grounding call on Station's Davis after the Defenders took over resulted in a safety that seemed to spark the Cardinals. (Photos after the game showed Davis' feet outside of the end zone as he released the ball.)
Hughes scored TDs on three straight Scott County possessions in the first half after the safety, a stretch that ultimately spelled doom for the Defenders.
The senior fullback chipped in scores from the 1-yard line twice before going untouched on a 9-yard score that put the Cardinals up 23-8.
"He's a hard runner and has good balance," McKee said of Hughes. "He takes care of the ball. ... Not many teams have a fullback anymore, and even less have a fullback who's their leading rusher."
Station got on the board minutes after Hughes' second TD. Andre Davis scampered for a 27-yard gain then found Rafael Few on the next play for a 17-yard TD pass. The Defenders converted a two-point pass on the score.
Bryan Station also lost two-way star Devon Key, who committed to Western Kentucky this week, early in the opening minutes to what was later revealed as an MCL sprain.
"Football's a funny game," McKee said. "It seems like it almost always happens to your best player. I want to wish Devon the very best and a speedy recovery. Hopefully he can get back for the playoffs in a couple of weeks. Same for Keith."
Bryan Station added TDs from Andre Davis and K-Ci Carmichael to get to within two scores in the fourth quarter.
Threatening to score again midway through the fourth, two Defenders tipped a pass near the end zone that ended up in the hands of Scott County's Cooper Robb. It was Station's last trip to the red zone of the game.
Scott Co. 40, Bryan Station 24
Bryan Station 0 8 8 8—24
Scott Co. 9 21 10 0—40
First quarter: SC—Safety. SC—Noah Hughes 1 run (Tyler Dummer kick). Second quarter: SC—Hughes 1 run (Dummer kick). BS—Rafael Few 17 pass from Andre Davis (Ke-I Carmichael pass from Davis). SC—Hughes 9 run (Dummer kick). SC—Simon Bond 9 pass from Josh Davis (Dummer kick). Third quarter: BS—Davis 15 run (Davis run). SC—Bond 2 run (Dummer kick). SC—Dummer 32 field goal. Fourth quarter: BS—K-Ci Carmichael 4 pass from Davis (Few pass from Davis).
Records: Scott Co. 7-1, Bryan Station 6-3.