Trinity 24, St. Xavier 14: Behind a pair of first-half takeaways and three touchdowns from senior quarterback Spencer Blackburn, No. 1 Trinity knocked off No. 3 St. Xavier in the Class 6A semifinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville to secure a spot in the state championship game for the 14th time in the last 17 years.
Blackburn completed 15 of 25 passes for 187 yards. He ran for a six-yard touchdown to tie the game after St. Xavier took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 23-yard run by Desmond Ridder and threw two touchdowns to Rondale Moore to put the game out of reach.
The Shamrocks will face No. 4 Lafayette, which stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 11 seconds left to edge Scott County 48-47, next Saturday.
Danville 42, Covington Holy Cross 35: After the visiting Indians reeled off 14 fourth-quarter points to make it a one possession game, Danville’s defense rallied for a stop on fourth and inches to seal the game and send the Admirals to their first championship bout since 2006. Danville will face Louisville Christian next Sunday. The Centurians knocked off 2015 champion Mayfield 48-24 on Friday and haven’t lost since their season opener.
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Belfry 42, Corbin 17: Early on it looked like the Pirates were in danger of suffering their first loss to a Kentucky school this season, as host Corbin jumped out to a 17-0 lead. But Belfry woke up and slammed the door in blowout fashion, ripping off 42 unanswered points to a secure a shot at their fourth straight Class 3A championship. It’ll mark the seventh consecutive title game appearance for the Pirates. They’ll face a surging Central squad next Saturday in a rematch of the 2014 finals, which Belfry won 14-7. Central has won nine of its last 10 games after starting the season 0-4.
Hazard 20, Paintsville 7: Corey Smith put the Bulldogs on his back Friday night, rushing for 216 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries to lead Hazard into the Class A championship. Smith’s scores gave the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. He’s now sitting at 38 rushing TDs and 2,777 yards on the year.
Quarterback Bailey Blair found Jason Johnson from 27 yards out for a 20-0 lead in the third quarter. Johnson caught seven passes for 146 yards. Paintsville, which suffered its first loss of the season, got on the board with a 69-yard touchdown run by Ken Phelps in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs will face last year’s runner-up, Beechwood, which throttled Bowling Green 35-0, next Friday in Bowling Green.