PARIS — Bourbon County put the final touch — OK, it was more like a roundhouse punch — on its second consecutive undefeated regular season by KO'ing Clark County 41-0 Friday night.
It took the Colonels a while to get their high-octane offense lit, but once they did they torched visiting Clark County for their 23rd regular-season victory in a row.
"It feels great and its very appreciated to go 10-0," senior receiver/running back Snoop Johnson said. "But all of our hard work hasn't paid off yet — we want to get all the way to state."
Bourbon County second-year coach John Hodge has the same attitude.
"When we got here we tried to set expectations to compete for championships," he said. "We won a district, and that's part of the process. We want to move on and hopefully compete for a few more the next few weeks."
Bourbon County, which lost to Belfry in the Class 3A semifinals last year, hosts Fleming County in the first round of the playoffs next Friday.
The Colonels' explosive offense detonated against Clark County with three TDs in the last six minutes of the second quarter to make it 34-0.
After Bourbon County's recently crowned state championship band did its thing at halftime, the Colonels scored on the second play of the third quarter. Brent Holman went 60 yards for a TD to make it 41-0.
That meant a running clock the rest of the night, which was nothing new for Bourbon County. It has had the mercy rule invoked in all 10 of its wins this year.
The Colonels have kept their record spotless despite losing standout senior quarterback Dalton Pope to a broken ankle against Estill County on Oct. 4.
Senior Houston Cox and sophomore Chandler Thomas have been reliable replacements, their jobs made easier by the bounty of playmakers around them.
Those playmakers strutted their stuff against Clark County.
Holman, a junior speedster, ran for 185 yards and four TDs, giving him 1,383 rushing yards and 25 TDs this season. He also had a 69-yard catch-and-run against the Cardinals.
Johnson, a fleet-footed senior, rushed for 83 yards and two TDs, and also had a 44-yard reception.
Sophomore Marquaze Hill flashed his speed, gaining 65 yards on just five carries before tweaking his ankle.
Jaxson Hilander is a go-to receiver, too, although he hasn't gotten as many catches since Pope went down.
"We're very blessed to have lots of ways to attack people," Hodge said. "That makes us tough to defend, as long as we're smart in getting those people the football."
The Colonels can also play defense, as they showed in shutting out a Clark County team that had been putting up lots of points against 6A competition.
Dakota Mitchell, Tyler Ishmael, and Holman were among the Colonels' defensive leaders, along with Hayden Cox, who had two interceptions.
"When (Pope) got hurt, our defensive captain (Mitchell) said we really gotta step it up if we're going to be part of a state championship team because we've gotta have that defense," Holman said.
Hodge seconded that opinion: "We played a physical brand of football tonight, and we'll need that in the playoffs. You've gotta line up and play great defense."
Clark County, 2-8 in the regular season, visits No. 1 Scott County in first round of 6A playoffs next Friday.
Bourbon County 41, Clark County 0
Clark County 0 0 0 0— 0
Bourbon County 13 21 7 0—41
BC—Brent Holman 11 run (Landon Bowman kick). BC—Snoop Johnson 44 run (kick failed). BC—Holman 56 run (Bowman kick). BC—Johnson 9 run (kick failed). BC—Holman 2 run (Holman run). BC—Holman 60 run (Bowman kick).
Records—Clark County 2-8: Bourbon County 10-0
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.