Highlights: Big-play Pikeville unable to outlast LCA; West tops East in Jessamine Co.

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Lexington Christian 31, Pikeville 14: The Class A No. 1 Panthers threw a couple of big punches in the first half, but Lexington Christian ultimately showed why it’s considered one of the best teams of any class in the state.

Xavier Brown scored three rushing touchdowns, including a breakaway 66-yarder in the fourth quarter, to essentially seal the victory.

“He about broke a couple in the first quarter,” LCA Coach Doug Charles said. “When Xavier gets to the next level, he’s just got a gear and it’s just a little different.”

But LCA found out that Pikeville’s Blake Birchfield can also get through the gearbox after breaking the defensive line. And they found out in a hurry.

Birchfield scored an 80-yard TD run on the games’ first play from scrimmage. In the second quarter, he got loose again for a 75-yard score. By halftime, Birchfield had 213 yards rushing for the Panthers (5-1).

“The first one, they caught us in a blitz and we just ran right by him. Nobody touched him,” Charles said of Birchfield. “The second play he broke we just missed tackles. … That kid’s for real. He runs hard, he’s athletic and he’s country strong.”

Still, LCA led at halftime 17-14 and shut out the Panthers the rest of the way.

LCA answered Birchfield’s first score with a drive that included a 40-yard run by Jeremiah Riffle and a short-yardage Brown score. On their next series Drew Nieves completed a 14-yard TD pass to Mason Moore for a 14-7 lead. Andrew Dobbs kicked a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter to set the halftime margin. Brown got the second of his TDs late in the third quarter on a fourth-and-1 from the 2-yard line.

LCA (6-0) has emerged undefeated from what could be the most difficult early schedule in Class 2A, notching all of its wins over highly ranked teams — Madison Central, Boyle County, Christian Academy-Louisville, Lexington Catholic and now Pikeville. LCA’s 0.96954 KHSAA RPI rating is the highest of any team in the state by more than a tenth of a point.

LCA begins district play Oct. 8 with a game at Washington County. Then it’s Somerset and a top-10 Danville team before closing the regular season with Class 6A Henry Clay.

“We’re not going to let our guys get complacent,” Charles said. “We can’t just think we’re going to stroll out there and walk around. These kids are going to get everybody’s best shot.”

Lexington Catholic’s Max DeGraff tries to avoid the tackle of Tates Creek’s Kobe Middleton on Friday night.
Lexington Catholic’s Max DeGraff tries to avoid the tackle of Tates Creek’s Kobe Middleton on Friday night.

Lexington Catholic 38, Tates Creek 13: Jack Gohman threw for 212 yards and three TDs and rushed for another 87 yards and two scores as the Knights (5-1) bounced back from a loss last week.

Both of Blake Busson’s catches in the game went for 22-yard touchdowns in the second quarter. Gohmann also had a 6-yard pass to Jack Monday to open the scoring. Gohmann broke away for a 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Tates Creek (1-5) got a 65-yard touchdown run from Matthew Underwood in the second quarter and a 29-yard Ke’shon Douthitt touchdown catch from Andrew Witherington in the fourth quarter.

Paul Laurence Dunbar 42, Russell 10: The Bulldogs (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak with rushing touchdowns from Komarion Robinson, Noah Chapman and Cole Colony and a 15-yard TD pass connection from Colony to Erik White.

The Dunbar defense had its best performance yet, and got interceptions from Grant Angel and Caleb Nelson.

Dunbar Coach Wes Johnson called the win a good reset as his team begins play in their district. All of Dunbar’s losses came against ranked opponents.

“We have plenty of season left. We have teams that are a little more equal to us,” Johnson said. “It’s tough to lose like we have. … We just focused on trying to have a winning record in the second half of the season and our kids responded with a lot of energy and they were really excited to play this game.”

Bryan Station 43, Lafayette 0: The Defenders (4-1) scored on their first five possessions and established the running clock mercy rule before halftime.

Damin Green caught a pair of touchdown passes (25 and 15 yards) from Trenton Cutwright and scored on a 14-yard fumble recovery. Cutwright also scored on a 10-yard run. Jeremiah Mundy-Lloyd and Joseph Bond got the other two TDs.

Lafayette (0-6) was held to 62 yards of total offense and committed two fumbles.

Sayre 42, Harlan 0: The Spartans (5-0) gashed big touchdown runs by Jackson Marshall (60 yards) and Caleb Kern (44 yards) in the shutout of the Green Dragons (2-3).

Marshall also had a pair of TD catches from Cole Pennington in the first half as Sayre built a 35-0 halftime lead. Kern added a pair of short-yardage scores, as well.

The Sayre defense got interceptions by Charlie Slabaugh, Brock Coffman and Cole Pennington.

Boyle County 49, North Hardin 6: Jagger Gillis threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns, both to Cole Lanter, and ran for another as the Rebels (4-1) rolled.

Lanter had 145 yards receiving with TD catches of 45 and 31 yards. His leaping catch of a 31-yard TD pass came on a fourth-and-25 play for the Rebels.

Boyle also scored via a blocked punt and return by Tommy Ziesmer, a fumble recovery in the end zone by Daulton Perez, and TD runs by Avery Bodner and Sage Dawson.

North Hardin (1-5) got a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown by Micah Parmes.

Danville 23, Hazard 7: The Admirals (4-2) got a defensive fumble recovery in the end zone by Ryan Clarkson and a 71-yard pick-six by Corydon Crawford to pull away in the fourth quarter.

The game was stopped in the fourth quarter when Danville’s Caleb Burns, a standout running back/linebacker, was injured and stretchered off the field. Both teams knelt together in prayer for Burns as he was being attended. WYMT’s Camille Gear posted a Twitter update from the game that “Caleb has regained feeling and is in good spirits.”

Danville remained undefeated on the field as both of their losses have been due to COVID-19 protocol forfeits.

West Jessamine 26, East Jessamine 7: Ernest Stanfield took a swing pass from Jacob Jones 85 yards for a touchdown on the Colts (3-2) first play from scrimmage and caught a 38-yard TD bomb from Jones in the fourth quarter.

The Colts also got short-yardage scoring runs from Jones and Bryce Chestnut in West’s second straight win in the 24-year rivalry.

East Jessamine’s Tajii Jackson bounced a 25-yard TD run to give the Jaguars (1-5) a 7-6 lead in the first half, but couldn’t scratch in the second as West scored 19 unanswered.

Franklin County 56, Shelby County 8: The Flyers (3-3) got a pair of pick-sixes, including a 109-yard interception return by Gavin Hurst just before halftime, that all but stuck a dagger in the Rockets’ hopes for an upset.

Franklin County’s Peyton Ledford had the other pick-six and caught a TD. Kaden Moorman scored two touchdown runs, including a 50-yard scamper in the first half.

Dylan Maynes scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown for Shelby County (1-5).

Christian Academy-Louisville 42, Mercer County 0: Quarterback Cole Hodge had TD runs of 36 and 1 yards and a 36-yard pass to Gavin Copenhaver for the Centurions (5-1).

CAL’s Easton Messer grabbed a 37-yard interception return for a TD on Mercer County’s (4-2) first drive. Copenhaver also had a 2-yard score to go with a Jaylen McRoberts 4-yard TD run.

Collins 27, Madison Southern 19: The Titans got all of their scores in the first half and held off an Eagles rally.

Collins quarterback Kenyon Goodin scored three short-yardage rushing touchdowns to go along with 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mark Hudsell.

Stephen Whitehead scored three touchdowns for Madison Southern (1-5).

Covington Catholic 31, Cooper 24 (4OT): The Colonels (3-3) outlasted Cooper as Preston Agee scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the game and second of the extra frames for CovCath’s final tally and Rob Sandfoss picked off the Cougars fourth-down pass in the end zone to end it.

Agee finished with 127 yards rushing to lead the Colonels, who also got a 36-yard field goal in overtime from Eli Nally. The game was tied 14-all at the end of regulation after Agee’s 19-yard TD tied it midway through the fourth quarter.

Tye Brendon scored twice for Cooper (3-2), including a 97-yard run on the first play of the second half. Eli White added a 5-yard touchdown in the first OT.

Ashland Blazer 53, Bourbon County 14: Bailey Thacker threw for 141 yards and three touchdowns and Vinincio Palladino rushed for 88 yards and two scores for the Tomcats (3-3). Ricky Padron caught two of Thacker’s scoring throws. Josh Moody and Kamren Smoot scored for Bourbon (2-3)

Fleming County 28, Paris 18: The Panthers (2-4) scored 14 unanswered points on TDs runs by Levi Denton and Zeke Conn in the fourth quarter to rally over the Greyhounds (3-3). Jakari Ranson scored three TDs for Paris.

Devastating defense helps Frederick Douglass shut out Scott County

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