BOWLING GREEN — It didn’t take long for Mayfield to stun Williamsburg with the cold reality of championship football in the Russell Athletic/KHSAA Class A title game Friday afternoon.
Traditional power May-field, in the finals for the 19th time, scored touchdowns on its first three snaps, led 35-0 late in the first quarter, and went on to beat the first-time finalists Yellow Jackets 42-0.
Williamsburg Coach Jerry Herron had seen other newcomers suffer the same fate.
“I’ve spent my whole career coming out here to these games and watching first-year teams do exactly what we did today,” he said.
“We got under the big lights, had a bad quarter and got down 35 points. We settled down and played better after that, but we can’t get that first quarter back.”
Mayfield won its third championship in four years and 10th overall. Joe Morris now has four titles as coach, the same number his dad Jack collected in his legendary career with the Cardinals.
“This senior class wanted to be the first in school history to win three state titles,” Joe Morris said. “They were 57-3, got to four finals and won three. That’s a great career for them.”
Mayfield gave Williamsburg a bracing welcome to the finals, which were played in equally bracing weather — 27-degree windchill and light rain/sleet — at Western Kentucky’s L.T. Smith Stadium.
Less than a minute into the game, Mayfield’s Chase Sevic blocked a Williamsburg punt, giving the Cards the ball at the 1-yard line. Stuart Mills scored on the next play.
“It was all downhill after that,” Herron said.
Mayfield’s next two plays were long-distance TD passes — 65 yards and 54 yards — from Jake Guhy to Deion Jackson that made it 21-0 less than four minutes in.
“I knew we’d make some big plays, but I didn’t know they’d come that early,” Guhy said. “We had a mismatch out there (with Jackson), and we took advantage of it.”
Herron saw the mismatches, too. “Their team speed is phenomenal and we weren’t ready to play that speed in the first quarter and it showed. They’re probably the fastest team we saw all year.”
Even when Williamsburg did something right, things went wrong. After a nice punt pinned Mayfield back on its own nine, freshman Trajon Bright broke off a 91-yard TD run to push the lead to 28-0.
Mayfield went up 35-0 on Mills’ 15-yard TD run.
Williamsburg got a break early in the second half when it got the ball at the May-field 5 after a bad snap on a punt attempt. But the Jackets failed to score. On fourth-and-goal from the 4, quarterback Dalton Sizemore was sacked for an 11-yard loss.
Sizemore was under intense pressure all day. He completed seven of 22 passes for 93 yards and one interception. He also had 44 yards worth of losses on sacks.
Corey Shelton and Chase Lowrie had six catches between them for 89 yards.
Williamsburg made history with its best season in eight decades of football, but the Jackets had hoped for a better showing in the finals.
“Football is my livelihood, it’s my job,” Herron said. “But for these kids it’s a game, and we want them to have fun. They didn’t have fun today and they’re unhappy, but that’s life. That’s part of it.
“We’re headed in the right direction, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to compete on the next level.”