Lafayette quarterback Walker Wood scored three rushing touchdowns and threw two in the Generals’ 49-13 win in the second round of the Class 6A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl on Friday night.
The Generals, who defeated Tates Creek 50-28 three weeks ago, set up a rematch with Simon Kenton in next week’s regional round. Lafayette won at Simon Kenton, 42-28, in the 2015 state semifinals to advance to the state championship game for the first time since 1985. The Pioneers advanced with a 57-14 win over Campbell County.
Wood looks forward to next week’s matchup with the No. 6 Pioneers, who were rated slightly higher than the No. 7 Generals in the most recent Cantrall Ratings.
“That’s a great team,” Wood said of the Pioneers. “They’ve got a lot of good players and they got a great quarterback in Cameron Racke. They all make plays, so it’s gonna be a real good game.”
This year’s renewal will happen a round earlier and at Lafayette, which would also host the state semifinals the Friday after Thanksgiving if it were to advance next week. Simon Kenton started 13-0 before falling to the Generals last season.
“We just gotta go out like any other week and prepare and hopefully come out with a victory,” Wood said.
Wood scored three times in the first half to help Lafayette jet out to a 28-7 lead. The University of Kentucky commit finished with 15 carries for 109 yards and Was 16-for-21 passing for 217 yards and two TDs.
Lafayette finished with 538 yards of offense to only 156 for Tates Creek, which was held to 13 net rushing yards.
It was a much cleaner game from a penalty standpoint than the last time these two met. Lafayette was flagged 16 times for 164 yards in the first meeting; the Generals had nine infractions for 70 on Friday. Tates Creek had seven calls against it for 61 penalty yards on Oct. 22 and had just five for 52 in the rematch.
More notes from Friday’s Class 6A action:
▪ Scott County brought the smackdown early against No. 9 Conner, scoring on its first five possessions to win easily, 46-19. Brice Fryman had 132 yards and four TDs for the No. 3 Cardinals, who will host No. 2 Ryle next week.
▪ Talk about a good debut: Rondale Moore, a transfer from New Albany (Ind.) who recently was ruled eligible by the KHSAA, had three catches for 111 yards and three TDs for Trinity in its 49-0 win over Eastern. It was the No. 1 Shamrocks’ fifth straight shutout.
▪ Pleasure Ridge Park jumped out to a 10-0 lead but lost to defending champion Male, 27-24. PRP’s last win over the Bulldogs happened 38 years ago.
▪ Cincinnati commit Desmond Ridder rushed for 203 yards and three TDs in St. Xavier’s 42-26 win over Manual. The senior quarterback was 8-for-19 for 86 yards and two TDs.
▪ Terrance May threw four TDs and rushed for two more, including the game-winner, in Ballard’s 41-35 win over Central Hardin.
Mercer County’s 31-30 overtime upset of Rockcastle County put the Titans in the regional round for the first time since 2013. Funnily enough, that Titans team defeated Boyle County 31-30 to advance to the regional.
The Titans got out to a 3-4 start but have since won five straight. One of those losses was to East Jessamine, which fell 41-20 to Wayne County on Friday. Another was to those Cardinals, 47-23, back in September.
“We played (Wayne County) earlier in the year and they blew our doors off and we’re gonna go play ’em again,” Titans Coach David Buchanan said. “Rockcastle beat Wayne County, and we just beat Rockcastle, so that’s sort of a good indication of how much we’ve improved.”
Trevon Faulkner scored the go-ahead TD in overtime. Faulkner, a junior star for the basketball team, was one of several newcomers to the football team that Buchanan mentioned as having a big impact on Mercer County after figuring out the game and their role.
Grayson Blevins, a senior, made the game-saving tackle for Mercer County as Rockcastle County attempted a two-point conversion to win the game.
“The ball was on the half-foot line,” Buchanan said. “Basically it came down to six inches.”
Buchanan’s excited that his players have a “second chance” after losing out on a district title to East Jessamine and falling hard against Wayne County in a pre-district game.
“Now we’ve got a chance to pretty much wipe those off the books,” Buchanan said. “… That’s a good thing cause you don’t always get those second chances, but we’re sitting here looking for one.”
▪ South Warren set up a rematch with Franklin-Simpson, the only Class 4A team to defeat the Spartans this season, after edging Hopkinsville 28-24 on the road. Franklin-Simpson, the only unbeaten team in the class, defeated Allen County-Scottsville 40-0.
▪ Joe Jackson rushed for 181 yards and four TDs on 12 carries in Johnson Central’s 55-8 win over Greenup County. The Golden Eagles will host Ashland Blazer, which defeated Bourbon County 43-13, on Friday.
Lexington Catholic scored 21 points to start the game and put up 40 in the first half of its 53-14 win over Bardstown in the second round.
Austin Pedroche and Kirk Fagot each rushed for triple-digit yardage for the Knights, who have won six straight. Pedroche ended with 12 carries for 166 yards and a TD while Fagot had 160 yards and three scores on 14 rushes.
Three players — Beau Allen, Fagot and Luke Powell — threw passes but none for TDs, only the second game this season that LexCath didn’t finish with a passing TD.
Allen, a freshman, led the passing attack with 196 yards on 11-for-16 passing. Bo Bennington had three catches for 105 yards.
LexCath hosts Central, who it defeated on the road in last year’s regional after the Yellow Jackets missed a last-chance field goal, on Friday. Both teams got out to inauspicious starts against schedules filled with higher-class teams but have shown out lately. Central blasted Boyle County 37-6.
▪ No. 1 Belfry defeated Fleming County 61-0, giving the Pirates their fifth shutout over the last six games. Belfry has outscored its opponents 277-16 during that stretch.
The slow start Lexington Christian suffered in its first meeting with Somerset seemed far away as LCA blew out the Briar Jumpers, 47-14, in the second-round rematch.
Dillon Wheatley paced the Eagles (12-0) with 229 yards and two TDs on 36 carries. The junior, who’s rushed for more than 1,600 yards this season, also had two catches for 56 yards and a TD.
Brayden Miller was 10-for-16 for 217 yards with two interceptions. He threw TDs to three different receivers — Wade Drake, Ryan Stucky and Wheatley — and rushed for a score.
LCA will host Danville, against which it rallied from a 19-point deficit on the road earlier this season, in the regional round. The Admirals won 34-10 at Leslie County on Friday.
▪ After trailing 17-0, No. 3 Christian County took a 22-17 halftime lead before eventually succumbing to No. 1 Bowling Green, 44-29. The Purples will get Owensboro, which defeated Greenwood 28-17, in the regional round. Bowling Green won at Owensboro, 47-0, in the regular season.
▪ Casey McGinness and AJ Mayer each scored twice in Covington Catholic’s 48-21 win against Doss. The Colonels host Fern Creek, 39-6 winners over Dixie Heights, next week.
▪ Jake Johnson pulled down 11 catches for 145 yards and three TDs in Pulaski County’s 41-28 win at Whitley County. The Maroons travel next week to Southwestern, which handed them their only loss against a Class 5A team last month.
▪ Madison Southern allowed a season-high 54 points to Bullitt East in its loss to the Chargers. The Eagles finished 8-4, their best record since 2013.
▪ Kent Phelps’ 294 yards and five TDs were both career-highs in Paintsville’s 49-14 win against Fairview. Raceland defeated Nicholas County, 48-26, to set up a second meeting with the Tigers this season. Paintsville won in overtime in the regular season.
▪ Hazard reached the regional round for the 11th straight season with its 56-31 win at Williamsburg.