Kentucky high school football playoffs: LexCath, LCA, Douglass, Boyle, Franklin advance

Kentucky’s high school football playoffs entered the second round on Friday night. Here is a recap of this weekend’s highlights:

Lexington Catholic 48, Russell 0: Jackson Wasik threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers as the Class 3A No. 9 Knights (8-4) rolled to a mercy-rule margin by halftime over the No. 19 Red Devils (7-5).

Tanner Pedroche, Grant Gambrell, Kaylib Nelson and Aven Blair each caught one of the TD passes while Sam Clements rushed for 73 yards and two scores. Blair added a rushing touchdown and Sam Smith had an interception return for a TD.

Lexington Catholic will travel to No. 7 Rockcastle County (11-1) for next week’s region championship.

Lexington Christian 57, Monroe County 14: The No. 3 Eagles (11-1) rode a 43-point first half to victory in their Class 2A home win over the No. 13 Falcons (6-6).

Running back Brady Hensley got things started for Lexington Christian with a 19-yard rushing touchdown. The Eagles also got first quarter TD receptions from Saxton Howard (13 yards), Nate Barnhardt (13 yards) and Will Rich (10 yards). Hensley opened the second quarter with a 7-yard rushing score and BJ Evans found the end zone on a 2-yard run before Monroe’s Brayden Baxter scored on a 78-yard run.

Briar Bourque scored the third quarter’s lone points with a 9-yard TD catch. Bennett Gudalis rushed 6 yards for a touchdown and Collin Hansley returned a fumble 38 yards to finish Lexington Christian’s scoring in the fourth quarter.

LCA will go to No. 2 Mayfield for next week’s region championship. The game is a rematch of last season’s state semifinals.

Frederick Douglass 50, Madison Central 7: Tay Tay Allen rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns in the No. 9 Broncos’ (7-4) win over the No. 22 Indians (4-8) in Class 6A.

Allen was first to score with a 25-yard run early in the first quarter. Madison Central answered with a fumble recovery return by Cody Morrison. Fourteen seconds later, Douglass quarterback Jaxon Strautman connected with Darion Talbert for a 53-yard touchdown.

Dakari Talbert scored on runs of 11 and 2 yards for Douglass, and Allen scored twice more from 1 and 8 yards. Aveion Chenault caught a 10-yard TD pass.

Frederick Douglass will travel to No. 1 Male (11-1) next week for a region championship.

Lexington Catholic’s Sam Clements (5) recovers a first-half fumble during the Knights’ Class 3A second-round playoff win against Russell at Lexington Catholic High School on Friday.
Lexington Catholic’s Sam Clements (5) recovers a first-half fumble during the Knights’ Class 3A second-round playoff win against Russell at Lexington Catholic High School on Friday.

Franklin County 58, North Oldham 0: The Class 4A No. 2 Flyers (12-0) dominated from the outset as Christian Moore and Jayquan Crawford each scored two TDs in the rout of the No. 10 Mustangs (7-5).

DuRi Trahan completed all 11 of his pass attempts for 212 yards and a TD to Gavin Hurst, who notched 100 yards receiving. Trahan also had a rushing TD. Hunter Gotshall recovered a fumble for a touchdown and Jeremy Walters and Shalom Moore each had interceptions.

Franklin County will host No. 21 Bardstown (8-4) in next week’s region championship.

Boyle County 49, Perry County Central 0: Montavin Quisenberry scored on an 8-yard TD run, a 54-yard screen pass from Sage Dawson and a 47-yard punt return as the Class 4A No. 3 Rebels (12-0) put up a mercy rule 36-0 margin in the first quarter over the No. 12 Commodores (7-5).

Geordon Brown took a screen pass from Dawson for a 64-yard score, Demauriah Brown had a 52-yard TD run. Gage Feltner and Maddox Hager also scored.

Boyle County will host No. 4 Corbin (12-0) in next week’s region championship.

North Laurel 42, Madison Southern 6: Morgan Hunter threw TD passes to Cole Messer, Carter Kelley and Ethan Gregory while Treyshawn Holmes-Evans added a pair of rushing TDs as the Class 5A No. 14 Jaguars (8-4) knocked off the No. 16 Eagles in Berea.

Messer also had a TD catch from Jude McWhorter.

North Laurel will travel to No. 1 Highlands (11-1) for their first region title game appearance since 2015.

Raceland 61, Frankfort 19: Logan Lundy threw for 229 yards and four TDs as the Class A No. 6 Rams (9-3) shook off a hot start from the visiting No. 23 Panthers (4-8) and pulled away to a rout.

Each team scored a TD in the game’s first minute with Jaxon Heighton’s 10-yard TD run for Raceland answered by an 88-yard TD pass from Jonathan Smith to Dakyo Washington for Frankfort.

The Rams took over from there.

Noah Wallace, Parker Fannis, Parker Ison and Bryson Rowsey each caught Lundy TD passes. Isaac Browning had a rushing TD to go with another TD run by Heighton and one by Wallace.

Kamarion Carter had a pick-six and a 46-yard TD pass from Zavian Knuckles for Frankfort.

Central 37, Mercer County 0: Cortez Stone broke through for TD runs of 15 and 29 yards and Keivon Smith notched a 56-yard punt return TD and had a TD catch as the Class 3A No. 16 Yellow Jackets (7-5) shut out the No. 4 Titans (10-2) in Harrodsburg.

Central, perhaps the most underrated team in the entire state because of a ridiculous schedule that includes losses to Class 6A powers Manual, St. Xavier and Bullitt East, controlled the game from the opening kickoff.

The Yellow Jackets will face their district rival, No. 1 Christian Academy-Louisville (11-1), in next week’s region championship. CAL beat Central 13-6 on Oct. 13.

Bell County 24, Belfry 22: In a matchup of the two winningest coaches in Kentucky high school football, Dudley Hilton’s Class 4A No. 3 Bobcats (11-1) ousted Philip Haywood’s No. 12 Pirates (8-4).

Daniel Thomas rushed for 249 yards and the opening TD for Bell, but it was his three successful two-point conversions that made the difference in the game. Blake Burnett threw TD passes of 24 yards to Hayden Dameron and 10 yards to Blake Evans to stake Bell to a 24-16 halftime lead.

Dre Young had 183 yards and all three of Belfry’s TDs rushing, but the Pirates were unable to get the two-point conversion when Young’s last score midway through the third quarter set the final margin.

Bell will host No. 14 East Carter (9-2) in next week’s region championship.

Covington Catholic 35, Ashland Blazer 28: Quarterback Evan Pitzer threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the Class 4A No. 1 Colonels’ (12-0) defeat of the No. 6 Tomcats (10-2).

Pitzer put Covington Catholic on the scoreboard first with a 14-yard touchdown pass to University of Kentucky commit Willie Rodriguez. Owen Leen then rushed for an 11-yard score before Ashland Blazer’s LaBryant Strader connected with Asher Adkins for a 32-yard TD. Pitzer found Rodriguez again to start the second quarter on a 21-yard touchdown reception. Ashland Blazer answered with a 2-yard Strader run TD to close out the half.

Leen rushed for a single-yard score late in the third quarter before Strader ran for a 9-yard Ashland Blazer TD. Pitzer connected with Rodriguez on a 45-yard TD pass in the final seconds of the third quarter. Ashland Blazer scored another touchdown late in the fourth quarter on an Adkins 5-yard touchdown reception.

Covington Catholic will host No. 8 Johnson Central (9-3) next week for a region championship.

Southwestern 41, Pulaski County 13: The Class 5A No. 6 Warriors (9-3) rode a consistent rushing offense to defeat the No. 25 Maroons (4-8).

Southwestern quarterback Owen Campbell got things started in the first quarter with a single-yard keeper. Braxton Walters and Kolton Goff also scored on 3-yard runs in the first half.

Campbell ran 61 yards, Walters 4 yards and Kaeden Flores 21 yards for touchdowns in the second half.

Zak Anderson ran 2 yards for a score for Pulaski County in the second quarter, and Ethan Idlewine rushed 2 yards for a TD in the fourth quarter.

Southwestern will host No. 9 Cooper (10-2) for the region championship.

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