Boyle County football fans, whose Rebels were the winningest program in Kentucky from 1999 to 2005, had a tough time coping when their team went 6-6 and 5-7 the last two years.
Their suffering appears to be over, however.
Boyle County hammered host Henry Clay 31-7 Friday night, a week after the Rebels throttled Warren Central 49-13 in their season opener.
"I think Boyle County is back," said Rees MacShara, who rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns against the Blue Devils.
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The Rebels' defense was the dominant force on this rainy night. It limited Henry Clay to 116 yards, only 34 in the second half.
Lamar Dawson, Jordan Walker, Jeremy Bardin and Grant Aumiller led the suffocating surge.
Aumiller said Boyle County has rediscovered the winning formula:
"Enthusiasm, intensity and chemistry for the whole team," he said. "Everything's coming together again."
Henry Clay got off to a positive start when Tyler Hooker, who missed last week's loss to Bowling Green with a injured hip, looked healthy on a 37-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
But the Devils' offense spun its wheels the rest of the night on the slick turf.
"Tyler can't do it all," Henry Clay Coach Sam Simpson said. "We have to find other people who can make plays.
"We're still learning the quarterback position, and we've got some young linemen up there. But we've got to get better."
Hooker finished with 19 carries for 59 yards. Quarterback Cole Mielcarek hit eight of 14 passes for 41 yards and was intercepted twice.
One of those picks, by MacShara, set up Boyle County's first TD — a 7-yard pass from Phillip Mason to Jacob Smith. J.T. Ross' 24-yard field goal early in the second quarter gave the Rebels a 10-7 lead.
Boyle County capitalized on a botched Henry Clay punt attempt less than three minutes later. Punter Chris Cook couldn't handle a low snap and was buried at his own 1.
Boyle County got a TD on the next snap, with Mason scoring on a quarterback sneak to make it 17-7.
Henry Clay drove to the Boyle County 17 late in the third quarter, but Aumiller, who has committed to Kentucky, intercepted a Mielcarek pass at the 1.
The Rebels then put together a six-minute, 99-yard scoring drive to clinch the victory and end a three-year losing streak to Henry Clay.
"That was a great job by our offensive line, and our backs ran the ball really well through some nice holes," said first-year Boyle County coach Larry French.
"You couldn't draw it up any better than that."
MacShara finished off his big night with a 34-yard TD run with three minutes left.
"I was proud of our defense," Simpson said. "There at the end, I don't think it was fatigue on our part. I think emotion took over. You look up at the clock, there's five minutes left, and you're down three scores.
"But the kids have to learn to fight through that stuff."
Henry Clay, which has started the season 0-2 for the first time since 2004, visits Cincinnati LaSalle next week.
Boyle County plays host to archrival Danville on Friday.
Boyle County 7 10 0 14—31
Henry Clay 7 0 0 0— 7
HC—Tyler Hooker 37 run (Bruce Price kick). BC—Jacob Smith 7 pass from Phillip Mason (J.T. Ross kick). BC—Ross 24 field goal. BC—Mason 1 run (Ross kick). BC—Rees MacShara 1 run (Ross kick). BC—Rees MacShara 34 run (Ross kick)
Records—Boyle County 2-0; Henry Clay 0-2.
First downs 13 8
Rushing yds 276 75
Passing yds 65 41
Passes 17-8-1 14-8-2
Punts-avg 4-33.8 6-30.3
Penalties-yds 6-56 5-55
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1