High School Football

Hooker carries Devils in second half

Tyler Hooker has been injured much of the season.

A bad hip flexor has cost the 5-foot-6, 180-pounder playing time, including all of the first half Friday night, when Henry Clay played host to Clark County.

The second half, Hooker gave what Coach Sam Simpson called "the first indication that he's almost back."

How about 10 runs for 89 yards and two touchdowns, and an 88-yard kickoff return for another TD as Henry Clay whipped the Cardinals 40-13?

The Blue Devils scored 27 points in the fourth quarter. That included 21 points in a span of 1:19, thanks to back-to-back fumble recoveries. In all, Henry Clay had five takeaways to one giveaway.

Clark County's Ryan Williams, averaging 225 yards a game, left with 10:23 left in the first half because of a sprained ankle. He had 45 of the Cards' 125 rush yards, on 10 carries.

"That was huge," Simpson said. "He's one of the best running backs in the state. ... Our defense played a great game to bottle them up."

Mike Federspiel and Ryan McCray led Henry Clay with seven tackles each.

"Being a good defense, you have to come hard all the time," Federspiel said. "And I think we did that tonight."

Clark County Coach Paul Columbia said he hopes to have Williams back for an Oct. 24 game against Scott County. Clark plays Shelby County next, then has a bye week.

The Blue Devils (1-4, No. 12 in Class 6A) beat Clark for the sixth time in a row.

The 11th-rated Cards (4-2) last beat Henry Clay in 1996.

Clark broke a 6-6 halftime tie when Andrew Dini scored on a 2-yard sneak midway through the third quarter.

Hooker took the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to the house.

"I wanted to come in and make a big play," Hooker said. "I'd been waiting. ... (A hole) was there from the start, right when I got the ball. I saw it and just had to make one (guy) miss. It was great blocking, too."

Tied at 13, Hooker took a direct shotgun snap and blew around the right side for a 6-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The same play worked with 7:52 left, Hooker scoring from 26 yards to make it 26-13.

"The 'O-line' did great," he said.

That ignited the 21-point lightning round: Shannan Coofer followed with an 11-yard TD run at 6:41 and Ryan McCray returned a fumbled kickoff 11 yards at 6:33.

Coofer's score came after Jon Baker forced a fumble and Grant Klinkensiek recovered.

Henry Clay's Cole Mielcarek completed 16 of 28 passes for 158 yards and a 17-yard TD to Branden Johnson.

That score was set up when Samuel Simpson, the coach's son, kicked onside to begin the game. James Hendron recovered for the Devils on the Clark 40-yard line.

Clark's first score came on Dini's fourth-and-nine, 30-yard pass to Jarran Thomas.

"At the end, it was guys not making plays," Columbia said. "The effort was good overall, but I guess they had a letdown there at the end."

Clark County 6 0 7 0—13

Henry Clay 6 0 7 27—40

HC—Branden Johnson 17 pass from Cole Mielcarek (run failed); CC—Jarran Thomas 30 pass from Andrew Dini (kick blocked); CC—Dini 2 run (Taylor Moody kick); HC—Tyler Hooker 88 kickoff return (Bruce Price kick); HC—Hooker 6 run (Price kick); HC—Hooker 26 run (kick failed); HC—Shannan Coofer 6 run (Price kick); HC—Ryan McCray 11 fumble return (Price kick).

Records: Henry Clay 1-4, Clark Co. 4-2.

CC HC

First downs 8 20

Rushes-yards 33-125 31-178

Passing yards 54 158

Total offense plays-yards 50-179 63-336

Return yards 27 159

Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-0

Penalties-yards 7-52 9-105

Punts-average 5-35 5-25.8

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