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Carroll County High School running back Tyshaun Embs is re-writing history during his senior campaign.
Already the new record-holder for most touchdowns in a game with six and most points scored in a game with 36 against Pendleton County in the season-opener, Embs now holds the record for most yards in a single game. That record had stood since 1980, when Lonnie Mumphrey collected 360 yards against Beth Haven.
It now belongs to Embs, as he rushed for 420 yards on 30 carries. He also added two touchdowns to help his team defeat Kentucky Country Day Friday night, 39-29.
While others may gloat about how great they are after earning such a prestigious achievement, Embs was the exact opposite.
In a post-game interview, he decided, instead, to shine the light on his teammates. “Really, you should give the credit to the defense and the offensive line,” he said, when asked about his big game. “If I didn’t have my offensive line, we probably wouldn’t be where we’re at now.”
At the time, word had not reached Embs just how big of a game he had had and that he was the new record-holder. Upon finding out, he remained modest. “It feels pretty good, but like I said before, it (doesn’t) really count without the O-line blocking for me. I just carry the ball; they’re the ones doing most of the work.”
“That’s the great thing about Tyshaun is he is very humble and very appreciative of the people he has around him,” head coach Mike Weedman said. “And I think you want to give Tyshaun credit, but it’s the whole dynamic of the front eight that make up this team is that they work off each other. They want to block for him, and he wants to run for them. So even though it will go down in the record books for Tyshaun, there needs to be parentheses there [with] the offensive linemen’s name in it.”
Embs’ record-breaking performance capped off a great night for the Carroll County football team.
It was a battle of two football titans, both 3-0, and the crowd was hyped for the game.
KCD jumped out of the gate first, scoring on their opening drive on a 42-yard run by Tommy Staffeiri. Both defenses stood tall the remainder of the quarter, posting punts and turnovers by both teams.
The Panthers got theiroffense rolling in the second quarter. Starting their drive from their own 21, Carroll drove the ball all the way down the field, culminating on a two-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback John Michael Adams. After an illegal formation was called on the two-point conversion, the kick was incomplete, 7-6.
The Panther defense forced a punt by the Bearcats, but could not capitalize as time expired in the first half.
After spending more than the allotted time in the locker room at the half, the Panthers’ offense came out on fire in the third, as Embs broke free for a 73-yard touchdown run with 11:06 remaining. He also converted on the two-point conversion, giving Carroll the 12-7 lead.
The Panthers forced a Bearcat punt, and senior Dillon Craig scored from five-yards out, 18-7.
But the Bearcats weren’t ready to quit. After starting their drive on their own 40 yard line, it only took them three plays and they were in the end zone with 4:22 left in the third. The two-point conversion was good, putting only a field goal between both teams.
The two teams exchanged fumbles, as the clock wound down into the fourth. KCD recovered their third-down fumble, and were forced to punt. Craig returned the kick to KCD’s 30 yard-line, setting up another rushing touchdown, this time by Adams, 25-15.
But the celebration was short-lived, as Jordan Duff returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a score, 25-22.
A bad center/quarterback exchange led to another Carroll fumble, which was returned to the Carroll 15 yard-line. Staffeiri punched in a touchdown, giving KCD the lead, 29-25, with 8:30 remaining.
Looking to redeem himself after the fumble, Adams marched his team down the field and scored another touchdown with his feet, 32-29 with 5:33 to go.
The Panther defense stood tall on the next possession, forcing a three-and-out. KCD blasted the ball down the field, pinning Carroll on the 9-yard-line. But it didn’t matter. On second down, Embs spun out of a would-be tackler and bolted down the sideline, 92 yards for the score.
“I was pretty backed up,” he said of the run. “I took it all the way down the sideline, and I (saw) the guy coming up on me and I was kind of slowing down, (saw) him come up on me and I just threw a hand in there and had to make the touchdown, had to win the game.”
After a squib kick, the Bearcats had one last shot. They picked up a first down, but then stalled. Quarterback Robert Schlotz threw two straight incompletions and was sacked on third down. On a fourth and 17, his pass was just too short for his diving receiver to scoop up, giving Carroll back the ball to run out the clock.
“I think that’s what the storyline of the game was, two good teams were playing against each other, and it was a stalemate,” Weedman said. “We would throw a punch and they would counterpunch. I don’t know if it was luck or will, but we came out ahead, and we feel good about the win. We beat a quality team tonight.”
“KCD is a very good team,” Embs said. “They’re well-coached; they’ve played a couple good teams, a couple bigger teams, we’ve played a couple bigger teams. It was just 3-0, 3-0, head to head, [and] we came out on top.”
“Nobody in the state of Kentucky picked us to win, and I didn’t want to tell the boys that because I didn’t want it in their heads. Very proud of this bunch.”
Weedman gave all of the credit to the players, whom he called the “most difficult bunch of players I’ve ever had since I’ve been coaching to read. They frustrate me so much because they never get too excited, and I like a little intensity, and they’re not (intense) until it’s game time. But I think the dynamic of this team is that they don’t get too high and they don’t get too low.
“We never go into a game like we’re going to lose, but after losing so many seniors last year, the talk of the town was that we wouldn’t be able to start off as well as we did last year. Right now we just need to focus on next week and staying humble and taking one opponent at a time.”
When asked how it feels to be 4-0, Embs said, “It’s pretty exciting, but other than 4-0, we’ve got to go 5-0 for it to count.”