Maybe Bryan Station should move its stadium to Richmond?
Under Coach Frank Parks, the Defenders are 5-0 in games played in the city. Four were neutral-site games in the Roy Kidd Bowl; the latest was a 28-25 comeback win at Madison Central on Friday night.
After Gavin Hulberg scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Indians with 1:59 left, Station smoothly marched down the field. Jalen Burbage connected with Chris Jones for a 14-yard scoring pass to lift the Defenders to their second win of the season.
Burbage completed 21 of 29 passes for 278 yards and three TDs. He added 120 rushing yards and another TD on 21 carries.
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The sophomore also threw four interceptions; he “did a great job of not letting those turnovers affect him on that last drive,” Parks said.
Station fumbled a punt with 6:13 left in the game which led to Central’s go-ahead score. Putting together a game-winning drive was a big confidence-booster for the young Defenders, especially with it coming against a defense ranked among the state leaders in points allowed.
“I think if we had lost that one it might have been tough to come back from, after being so close last week then this week dropping a punt and letting them take the lead when we could have had the game in hand,” Parks said.
You take the good with the bad; the same inexperience that led to head-scratching turnovers also begot the fearlessness to take command in the final minutes.
“They don’t know any better,” Parks said. “It’s almost like they’re too young to understand the actual pressure we’re putting on them right there.”
Unfortunately, the Defenders (2-2) don’t play any more games in Madison County this season. They do make their debut at home against Meade County next week, though. It’s the first of just three home games at Bryan Station this season.
LCA derails Engineers
Lexington Christian improved to 4-0 in dominant fashion Friday night, overwhelming Estill County 55-22. It was LCA’s third straight blowout victory, and it the second time the team has scored 50 points or more this season.
The Eagles kept the Engineers’ run game in check, allowing 230 yards on the ground. Estill County didn’t attempt a pass in the game. That was, however, where LCA’s offense excelled.
Brayden Miller started in LCA’s dual-quarterback system, racking up three TDs and 220 yards while alternating snaps with Logan Nieves, who finished with 176 yards and a TD through the air and 52 yards and two rushing TDs. The duo went 22-for-29 on the night.
“With both those guys, we’re almost at 12 starters,” Coach Ethan Atchley said. “They both know we are playing both for a reason. They are both talented enough to be on the field and we’ll continue to do that.
“I’d rather not sit a good player on the bench and they are both good players and we want to make sure they are both on the field as much as possible.”
The Eagles will face Walton-Verona, the team that knocked them down to 4-1 last season, next Friday.
LexCath drops heartbreaker at CovCath
With Lexington Catholic trailing 21-14 on the road, Knights quarterback Kirk Fagot fired his third touchdown pass of the night, a 22-yard strike to Nathan Schnurr with 13 seconds left in the game. But the extra-point attempt failed and Covington Catholic recovered the ensuing onside kick to saddle LexCath with its third straight loss, 21-20.
The Colonels took an early lead on an 80-yard interception return by Kameron Butler in the first quarter. But Lexington Catholic (1-3) scored 14 unanswered points on two Fagot touchdown passes to move in front. Covington Catholic (3-1) went ahead 21-14 after touchdown runs from Casey McGinness and Anthony Best.
Fagot completed 18 of 33 passes for 284 yards and three TDs. Ben Buchignani caught 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, while Schnurr grabbed five passes for 108 yards. Sophomore running back Dameon Jones carried 24 times for 170 yards and recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to keep a Knights drive alive.
Covington Catholic quarterback AJ Mayer completed 20 of 36 passes for 242 yards, and McGinness rushed 19 times for 109 yards and a score.
Other city action
▪ Tates Creek dismantled Henry Clay, 44-0, in the Commodores’ home opener on Friday. It was Creek’s first shutout under third-year coach Antoine Sims and its first shutout of a Lexington team since Oct. 6, 2006.
▪ Eastern used a 27-0 run spanning the second and third quarters to hand Paul Laurence Dunbar its fourth loss to start the season, 33-20.
▪ After trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, Lafayette scored 40 straight points at Boone County and came away with a 40-13 victory. It was the Rebels’ 24th consecutive loss.
▪ Jake Johnson of Pulaski County, who had eight catches for 60 yards and a TD in the Maroons’ 48-8 win at Russell County. The last reception made him the first receiver in Kentucky history to reach 300 total catches for a career.
▪ Breece Hayes, who went 16-for-20 for 319 yards and five TDs in Casey County’s 49-42 win at Lincoln County, the Rebels’ third straight road game to start the season. It was Casey’s first win over the Patriots and its first against a Class 5A program.
▪ Kendrick Hamilton, who had 321 all-purpose yards and a TD in Scott County’s 20-14 loss to Cincinnati Elder.
▪ Joe Jackson, who ran all over South Charleston (W.Va.) in Johnson Central’s 30-6 win. He carried 24 times for 272 yards and two TDs.
▪ Tanner Morgan, who went 16-for-18 for 254 yards and threw three TDs in Ryle’s 50-14 home win over Highlands. Equally deserving was teammate Jake Chisholm, who had a 90-yard kickoff return TD and three catches for 104 yards and a TD.
▪ Brayden Burch, who was 19 of 24 for 280 yards and four TDs in Beechwood’s 57-21 win against Franklin County.
▪ Derek Wellman, who finished with 10 tackles in Belfry’s 41-8 win at Newport Central Catholic. It was the first of three straight road games for the Pirates (3-0).
▪ Tre Homer, who had seven catches for 108 yards and two TDs in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s 33-20 loss to Eastern.
▪ Jackson Caudill and Hunter Janes, who combined for the game-winning score with 14 seconds left in Franklin-Simpson’s 24-20 win against Greenwood.
▪ Western Hills waxed Owen County, 51-19, a week after getting shut out at Madison Southern. The Wolverines next week travel to Frankfort, where they could earn their first sweep of their county rivals since 2009 (Western Hills defeated Franklin County, 36-34, earlier this season).
▪ South Warren again found itself on the ropes but this time survived in a 27-20 overtime finish at Central Hardin. The Spartans, who dropped a 17-16 decision at Greenwood last week, haven’t lost back-to-back games since their program’s first season in 2011.
▪ Paducah Tilghman is off to a rocky start under first-year coach Kurt Barber. The Blue Tornado are 0-4 for the first time since 2008, when they started 0-6 and finished 2-8. The optimistic take? Its opponents are a combined 13-3 and none has more than one loss.
▪ Glasgow is off to its first 3-0 start since 2013. The Scotties defeated Allen County-Scottsville 28-26 on Friday night. Glasgow hosts Warren East next week in the fourth game of a six-game homestand to begin the year.
▪ Bowling Green’s 47-0 win at Owensboro was its first shutout in the annual rivalry since a 62-0 rout on Sept. 16, 2011.
▪ This from Justin Beasley of WPSD-TV in Paducah: After four games in the series, McCracken County leads Mayfield 150-149 in total scoring. Mayfield evened the series at 2-2 with a 46-41 road win Friday.
Josh Sullivan and Anthony Crawford contributed to this article.