Breakdown of second round matchups in Alice Lloyd College Mountain Top 10
HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - All ten teams have advanced to the district next round. Here is a recap of the action from last week as we look ahead to this week’s matchups.
1. Johnson Central (8-0)
Last Game: Defeated Harlan County 46-8
Next Game: vs. No. 8 Letcher Central
The Golden Eagles’ journey back to Kroger Field began with a bang against the Black Bears. Jim Matney’s team held its opponent to less than ten points for the fifth time this season. Quarterback Grant Rice threw for 203 yards and three touchdowns. The junior has now thrown for multiple TDs in a game twice this season. Senior Dylan Preston paced Johnson Central in rushing with 75 yards and a score while sophomore Mason Lawson recorded 66 yards and a touchdown. Three different players caught touchdown passes including Preston. The Golden Eagles forced a couple of turnovers and allowed fewer than 100 yards of total offense. Sophomore Chase Price led the team in total tackles with 12.
Johnson Central will play host to Letcher Central on Friday in a Mountain Top Ten battle. The Golden Eagles dominated the Cougars back on October 23rd, 62-0.
2. Pikeville (6-2)
Last Game: Defeated Sayre 49-13
Next Game: vs. Hazard
Chris McNamee’s squad reminded everyone why they are one of the favorites to repeat as Class A State Champions as the Panthers move onto the Region Semifinals for the 19th consecutive time. The reigning state champs had their way with the Spartans, setting the tone early as they took a 28-6 halftime lead and never looked back. The man of the hour in this one was Quarterback Isaac McNamee. The junior completed all but four of his passes for 168 yards and four touchdowns. The signal caller also called his own number on the ground with two rushing scores. Sophomore Blake Birchfield found paydirt twice, once with a rushing TD and another with a receiving score. Junior Zac Lockhart caught two touchdowns and had an interception while junior Brandon Lowe also had a TD reception in this contest. Pikeville held Sayre to less than 150 yards of total offense.
The Panthers are back in action on Friday as they take on a familiar foe in Hazard. Pikeville won the first contest, 43-7 back on October 16th.
3. Belfry (6-3)
Last Game: Defeated Magoffin County 54-12
Next Game: TBD
After falling to Johnson Central in the regular season finale, the Pirates went back to the drawing board and found success against the Hornets. Belfry ran for 342 yards against Magoffin County and tied their season-high for most rushing touchdowns in a game with seven. Isaac Dixon led the way once again for the defending 3A State champions as the senior rushed for 115 yards and two scores. Senior Quarterback Brett Coleman tallied 40 rushing yards and a touchdown while also slinging a 51-yard touchdown pass to Dixon. Defensively, the Pirates picked off Magoffin County three times and held them to just 20 yards on the ground.
Belfry’s next matchup was supposed to be against Lawrence County but the Bulldogs have canceled the rest of their season due to having a positive case of COVID-19 within their program. This means that Belfry will now automatically move onto the Quarterfinals of the 3A State Playoffs.
4. Somerset (6-2)
Last Game: Defeated Danville 48-14
Next Game: at Lexington Christian
The Briar Jumpers bounced back in impressive fashion, making short work of the Admirals. Somerset led 22-7 after the first half and continued to impose their will on Danville, outscoring them 26-7 in the second half. Robbie Lucas’ ballclub tied their season-high for points scored in a game in this matchup. Kaiya Sheron was fantastic as the senior threw for 362 yards and three scores. QB1 also scampered for 91 yards and two TDs. Junior Chase Doan ran for 87 yards and a touchdown while catching five passes for 62 yards. Senior Kade Grundy hauled in three passes for 74 yards. Junior Gavin Stevens had a monster outing, snagging four passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Madison Ruble made history against the Admirals as the senior became the first girl in school history to score points within the football program.
The Briar Jumpers will now head to Lexington for a date with the Lexington Christian Eagles on Friday. Somerset fell to their district rival back in the regular season, 28-21 but the Briar Jumpers have been in this position before. They lost the regular season meeting last season against LCA but got revenge on the Eagles in the playoffs.
5. Corbin (7-1)
Last Game: Defeated Lincoln County 38-14
Next Game: vs. No. 9 Knox Central
Tom Greer’s squad passed its first postseason test with flying colors and completed the season sweep of the Patriots. Corbin led by only 11 in the first half but turned things on in the second, outscoring Lincoln County to the tune of 21-8. Sophomore Cameron Combs threw for 159 yards but it was the ground game that took centerstage in this contest. Running Back Seth Mills tallied a game-high 126 yards and two touchdowns while senior Peyton Addison found the endzone twice. Combs also delivered a rushing TD. Sophomore Brody Wells caught a couple of passes for 108 yards.
The Redhounds take a seven-game win streak into Friday’s Mountain Top Ten tilt against Knox Central. Corbin got the better of the Panthers back in early October with a 34-7 victory.
6. Pulaski County (8-1)
Last Game: Defeated North Laurel 33-12
Next Game: vs. No. 7 Southwestern
The Maroons continue their tear as they have now won eight consecutive contests. No Drew Polston, no problem for Pulaski County as sophomore Brysen Dugger tossed the rock for 211 yards and two scores. However, this one had Barek Williams’ name written all over it as the sophomore was scintillating with the run game and in the receiving department. Williams generated 107 rushing yards and a touchdown while snagging 11 passes for 105 yards and two house calls. Senior Tristan Cox crossed the goal line twice as well for John Hines’ unit. The Maroons had three takeaways and held the Jaguars to less than 170 yards of total offense.
Next up for Pulaski County is a Mountain Top Ten rematch with bitter in-county rival Southwestern as the Maroons will be featured in the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week again. In their regular season meeting about a month ago, the Maroons were trailing late in the game but found a way to steal it from the Warriors as Cox scampered in for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown with six seconds left as the final score ended up being 15-12. If the second matchup is similar to the first one, then it should be epic.
7. Southwestern (9-1)
Last Game: Defeated Whitley County 42-15
Next Game: at No. 7 Pulaski County
Jason Foley’s squad improved to 2-0 against the Colonels this season and picked up its fifth win against a 5A opponent in the process. The Warriors produced 464 yards of total offense against Whitley County and have now scored 40 points or more for the third game in a row. Senior Chanler Crabtree threw for a passing touchdown but just as it has been all season long for Southwestern, the bread and butter on offense has been the ground game and that rung true against the Colonels once more. The two-headed monster of Giddeon Brainard and Tanner Wright proved to be too much for the opposition as Brainard racked up a team-high 110 yards and a score. Wright recorded 84 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore JJ Hutchinson had one rushing TD on the season coming into last Friday’s contest but he doubled that number with two against Whitley County. The defense was outstanding, pitching a shutout through three quarters and held the Colonels to less than 100 rushing yards.
The Warriors look to avenge their only loss of the season as they take on archrival Pulaski County in the Appalachian Wireless Game of the Week on Friday (see Pulaski County for more on the regular season meeting).
8. Letcher Central (6-1)
Last Game: Defeated Perry Central 39-0
Next Game: at No. 1 Johnson Central
Out of all the performances that Letcher Central has had this season, Junior Matthews’ crew may have had their most impressive one yet against the Commodores. Quarterback Carson Adams had a solid outing throwing the football as the junior aired it out for 124 yards and two scores. Although they did not have a 100-yard rusher, the Cougars ran for 294 yards as a ballclub. Junior Running Back Hayden Brashear found paydirt three times for Letcher Central while freshman Koby Johnson scored his first rushing touchdown of the season. Senior Sam Little and junior Alex Blair both caught touchdown passes for Letcher Central. The defensive unit has played well for most of the season but was phenomenal against Perry Central, forcing five turnovers and pitching its first shutout.
The Cougars are back in action on Friday, this time as they head to Paintsville to take on Johnson Central in a Mountain Top Ten showdown (see Johnson Central for more on the regular season meeting).
9. Knox Central (5-2)
Last Game: Defeated Wayne County 46-36
Next Game: at No. 5 Corbin
The Panthers pulled off a big time upset in Monticello and have now won three straight games. The offense has been a huge reason for Knox Central’s resurgence as they are averaging 46 points per game in their last three contests. Brady Worley was outstanding as the senior tossed a season-high four touchdown passes. The Quarterback also threw for a season-high 357 yards, ran for another score and even snagged an interception on defense. Senior Ethan Mills had a nice outing on the ground, tallying 155 yards and a house call. Junior Abram Brock caught ten passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Brock also had a pick on the defensive side of the ball for the Panthers. Freshman Steve Partin had a breakout performance with four catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Partin also had 13 tackles and a forced fumble.
Knox Central will now make the short drive to Corbin to take on the Redhounds in a Mountain Top Ten tussle on Friday (see Corbin for more on the regular season meeting).
10. Paintsville (6-2)
Last Game: Defeated Betsy Layne 55-8
Next Game: at Raceland
The Tigers entered last Friday’s action having lost two in a row but rebounded in resounding fashion against the Bobcats. Joe Chirico’s squad racked up a season-high 517 yards of total offense and eclipsed the 50-point mark in a game for the third time this season. The defense also held its opponent to single digits for the fourth time this season. Karsten Poe got the nod at Quarterback in this contest as the senior threw for 170 yards and a score. Sophomore Harris Phelps led the Tigers in rushing with 126 yards and two touchdowns while senior Luke Hyden found the endzone twice. Three other players scored rushing touchdowns for Paintsville. Junior Colby Fugate had the team’s only touchdown reception.
Paintsville heads to Raceland for the second time this season on Friday as they look for payback against the Rams. The Tigers fell to their district rival back on October 23rd as Raceland nailed a 34-yard field goal as time expired, 23-20.
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