BOWLING GREEN — Mayfield's Jonathan Jackson was a one-man wrecking crew in demolishing Fairvew's dreams of a state football title on Friday afternoon.
Jackson, a powerful 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior, starred on both sides of the ball in leading Mayfield to a 55-8 rout of previously unbeaten Fairview in the Russell Athletic Class A finals in WKU's L.T. Smith Stadium.
This was Mayfield's fourth consecutive appearance in the title game, its second championship in three years and ninth in school history.
Jackson, who started all 60 games the last four seasons, capped his career in style. He ran 19 times for 278 yards and three touchdowns, caught a 56-yard TD pass, and was an enforcer on defense at linebacker.
"If Jonathan Jackson's not the best player in the state, I don't know who is," said Mayfield Coach Joe Morris. "This is what he does every game. He runs the ball, plays every snap on defense, and is in on special teams.
"It was another great performance."
Jackson, who is getting recruiting looks from Arkansas State and Western Kentucky, among other smaller programs, said he was motivated by last year's loss to Hazard in the finals.
"We didn't want to end on a sour note again, so we worked hard in the off-season and did whatever it took to get back on top.
"It feels surreal right now."
Jackson sparked the Cards early. He caught a short pass from Jake Guhy and turned it into a 56-yard TD on their first possession. The next time they got the ball, Jackson covered 41 yards in three consecutive carries, the last one a 17-yard TD. He finished off Mayfield's third possession with a 31-yard run.
Guhy, whose brother Luke quarterbacked the Cards to the 2010 state title, earned a ring of his own by directing the offense on this championship run.
Guhy threw for 175 yards and two TDs, and credited Jackson for his presence.
"He takes so much pressure off me and the receivers because other teams respect him by bringing an extra guy in the box," Guhy said.
"I can't describe what he means to this team. I think he's definitely the best player in the state."
Fairview came into its first finals boasting the most prolific running attack in state history, led by 1,000-yard rushers Chris Brewer, Devon Turner and Elijah King.
After spotting the Cards a 14-0 lead, the Eagles rallied on King's 26-yard TD, and Turner's two-point conversion to make it 14-8.
They kept the momentum by recovering an onside kick, and driving to the Mayfield 15.
But then they fumbled — a sign of things to come.
It was the first of six Fairview turnovers, an impossible handicap to overcome against a powerhouse like Mayfield.
The Eagles rushed for 275 yards, led by Brewer's 148, and pushed their single-season state record to 6,098.
"This isn't a sad thing," Fairview Coach Nathan McPeek said. "It's a good accomplishment to be second. We'd like to win a championship, but Mayfield was the better team today.
"I'm very proud of my team for getting here. It's a great learning experiene and I hope we get back here."