On Halloween eve, Lexington Christian's football team probably put a scare into the rest of Class A by beating Corbin, one of the top teams in 2A, Friday night.
"That was our plan, to send a message, and I think we did just that," quarterback Lucas Witt said after the Eagles rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Corbin 41-21.
"We showed we can play with anybody, and we feel if we play to the best of our ability, nobody can stop us."
LCA's marquee senior trio of Witt, Domonique Hayden, and Branden Burdette treated the Senior Night crowd to an entertaining game.
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Witt threw for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 52 yards and a score. He banged up his knee in the first half, and suffered a thigh bruise late in the game. But he said he'd be fine for next week's first-round playoff game against Berea.
Hayden, the state's all-time leader in TDs and points, carried 33 times for 261 yards and two TDs, and also had 63 receiving yards.
Burdette caught a TD pass in the second half, but his biggest play came when LCA trailed 14-0 midway through the second quarter.
"We were down, and I could see the look on everybody's face," he said. "I knew I had to make a play."
And what a play it was — a dazzling 58-yard punt return for a TD.
"That got the fire ignited," LCA Coach Paul Rains said.
Until then, Corbin had dominated the game with star running back Caleb Watkins leading the way.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound senior caught an 8-yard TD pass from Roman Mitchell, and added a 4-yard TD run to put the Redhounds ahead.
Watkins finished the night carrying 25 times for 202 yards, including a 67-yard TD sprint in the second half.
But that was about the only highlight for Corbin in the second half.
Coach Steve Jewell thought the key play may have been early in the third quarter when his team failed to convert on fourth-and-2 at the LCA 20. "That really made a big difference," Jewell said. "Because going into the second half I knew they were going to get their points.
"Their fast-break style got to us tonight. We just weren't used to that pace."
LCA KO'd Corbin with three TDs in a little over two minutes.
After Witt capped an 80-yard drive with a short TD run, Corbin lost a fumble two snaps later. Witt made them pay by throwing a 26-yard TD dart to Sam Duff.
LCA's defense then forced a quick punt by the 'Hounds, and two plays later Hayden broke loose for a 56-yard TD to finish the Eagles' run.
"To put up that many unanswered points on a great 2A team like Corbin was a pretty good accomplishment," Rains said.
Corbin pulled to within 28-21 on Watkins' long scoring run, but that was the extent of the visitors' comeback.
LCA got standout defensive performances from Clay Mossbarger, Will Thomas Collins, Scout McCamy and Beau Baker.
"From the second quarter on, we pretty much controlled the game defensively," Rains said.
Corbin, which opens the playoffs at home against Morgan County, also got 85 yards rushing from Ryan Fritts.
Corbin 7 7 7 0—21
Lexington Christian 0 7 21 13—41
C—Caleb Watkins 8 pass from Roman Mitchell (Saxon Okuma kick). C—Watkins 4 run (Okuma kick). LCA—Branden Burdette 58 punt return (Chaz Witt kick). LCA—Lucas Witt 4 run (Chaz Witt kick). LCA—Sam Duff 26 pass from Lucas Witt (Chaz Witt kick). LCA—Domonique Hayden 56 run (Chaz Witt kick). C—Watkins 67 run (Okuma kick) LCA—Burdette 8 pass from Lucas Witt (kick failed). LCA—Hayden 1 run (Chaz Witt kick).
Records: Corbin 8-2; LCA 9-1.