GEORGETOWN — So, Jose Smith, how do you feel after running around in sub-freezing weather at the Toyota Stadium football field for a couple hours?
"I feel great," Smith said. "We just won and we're one step closer to State."
Smith ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns Friday night to lead Scott County to a 41-35 victory over Fern Creek in the Class 6A football playoffs.
The Cardinals (10-2) take a seven-game winning streak into next weekend's quarterfinals against Male.
Scott quarterback Cory Cronin completed all five of his pass attempts for 70 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown to Anthony Sandoval.
"We did what we had to with the passing," said Cronin, who directed a turnover-free offense and, on defense, came up with an interception.
"He ran a smash route, a diagonal to the corner of the end zone," said Cronin, son of Georgetown College Coach Bill Cronin. "I just waited for him."
Fern Creek quarterback Bryan Hynes didn't do much wrong. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns.
Jerrell Moore caught two TD passes and ran for one.
Hynes just missed hooking up on a game-winning touchdown as time expired. His heave of more than 50 yards made it to the end zone, but a swarm of defenders prevented a catch.
Both defenses gave up season-high point totals, yielding a combined 756 yards.
The Tigers (7-4) battled back from a 41-21 deficit midway through the last quarter.
Hynes hit Victor Terry for a 42-yard score with 6:33 left.
After a Scott punt, Hynes connected with Moore for a 40-yard score with 2:42 left.
Fern Creek got the ball back with 28 seconds left, starting from its 24.
A completion of 14 yards and a 15-yard pass interference call put the ball on Scott's 47 for the final play.
Scott County led 28-21 at halftime, a half that saw touchdowns scored on the first six possessions.
Tied at 21, the final score of the half was set up when Tyler Williams recovered a Fern Creek fumble on the Tigers' 11-yard line.
Smith ran for 4 yards, 4 more and a 3-yard score.
The teams combined to score four TDs over a span of 2:36 in the first quarter.
The Tigers' three first-quarter touchdowns came on a 47-yard screen pass to Moore, a 55-yard run by Moore and an 80-yard pass to Carlos Smith.
Scott County's Josh Walls scored on a 15-yard reverse, and Cronin hit Sandoval for an 11-yard TD. Jose Smith added a 5-yard TD run.
"Our linemen, everybody's blocking good. We're feeling real good on offense," Jose Smith said.
After a scoreless third quarter, Jose Smith added a 3-yard TD with 11:13 left. That came two plays after a high snap foiled what was supposed to have been a Hynes punt. He was buried on his own 6-yard line.
Minutes later, Sandoval blocked a Hynes punt, setting up the Cards on the Fern Creek 18. Sandoval scored on a 9-yard sweep with 7:18 left.
Scott County 41, Fern Creek 35
Fern Creek 21 0 0 14—35
Scott County 14 14 0 13—41
FC—Jerrell Moore 47 pass from Bryan Hynes (kick blocked); SC—Josh Walls 15 run (Jay Willmott kick); FC—Moore 55 run (Victor Terry pass from Hynes); SC—Anthony Sandoval 11 pass from Cory Cronin (Willmott kick); FC—Carlos Smith 80 pass from Hynes (Eddie Nieto kick); SC—Jose Smith 5 run (Willmott kick); SC—Smith 3 run (Willmott kick); SC—Smith 3 run (Willmott kick); SC—Anthony Sandoval 9 run (kick failed); FC—Terry 42 pass from Hynes (run failed); FC—Moore 40 pass from Hynes (Jalen Harrington run).
First downs 18 17
Rushes-yards 15-63 56-238
Passing yards 385 70
Total offense plays-yards 45-448 61-308
Return yards 69 47
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-20 5-45
Punts-average 3-20.7 4-28.5