A season-opening Lexington gridiron showdown became a friendly competition between two of the city’s most dynamic stars.
Henry Clay’s Ramond Jackson and Langston Jackson, both senior wide receivers, scored three touchdowns each in the Blue Devils’ 50-22 dismantling of the Tates Creek Commodores on Friday during the Fayette County Kickoff Classic at Henry Clay High School.
“I’m definitely going to try to beat him in touchdowns,” Ramond said of Langston.
Ramond opened the scoring with a 66-yard catch and scamper. Langston countered with a 78-yard catch and run of his own.
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Both also scored in unconventional ways. Langston put the game out of reach in the second quarter when he intercepted a tipped pass and brought it back for a 23-yard pick-six. Ramond put the nail in the coffin when he snagged a short punt in the third quarter and returned it 41 yards for a score.
According to Samuel Simpson, Henry Clay’s head coach, the pair are just as good off the field.
“Aren’t they great football players?” Simpson said. “Let me tell you something — they’re even better people.
Simpson said they had “great character” and were “good students.”
“It’s a treat for me to be able to coach them,” Simpson said.
Langston led the team in receiving with two touchdowns — both covered more than 70 yards — and 151 yards between his two receptions.
“Just give the ball to him, and he’s going to score,” Ramond said of Langston. Ramond wasn’t far behind with two touchdown grabs and 87 yards on three receptions.
DJ Van Horn, Henry Clay’s junior quarterback, had seven completions on 10 attempts for 249 yards, including the four touchdown tosses.
Henry Clay quickly ran away with the game in a decisive second quarter after two successive Tates Creek passes were tipped and ran for pick-sixes. The Blue Devils led 34-6 at the half.
Luke Duby led the Tates Creek offense, which made most of its noise in the fourth quarter.
Duby, a junior, connected with Elliot Bryant twice late in the game to give him two touchdowns and 113 yards. He was intercepted three times.
Marcus Bosley, the Commodores’ junior running back, scored the game’s only rushing touchdown with a two-yard punch-in during the first quarter. Bosley finished 60 yards on 15 attempts.
Ramond said Henry Clay’s performance was a great way to start the season. His coach gave a slightly more sober assessment.
“We just shut them up, and did what we had to do,” Ramond said, who added that Tates Creek was talking a little pre-game smack.
“Well, we did OK,” Simpson said with a smile, who added that his team obviously had big play potential but added they still “had a lot of work.”
Both teams will face tough matchups in week two. Next Friday, Tates Creek will face last year’s city champion, Frederick Douglass. Henry Clay’s next matchup will be against a highly ranked Covington Catholic squad that claimed the 5A football crown last season.
“We put 50 points on Creek,” Van Horn said. “So we’re going to do the same to (Covington Catholic).
“We’ve got to buckle up and get ready,” Simpson said.