BOWLING GREEN — Mayfield's "redemption tour" football season had a rousing final performance as the unbeaten Cardinals raced past Hazard 47-6 to win the Class A championship Friday afternoon in front of a crowd of 5,716 at Western Kentucky's Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
After Mayfield lost to Lexington Christian Academy 55-19 in last year's finals, the Cards were determined to redeem themselves.
Quarterback Luke Guhy was especially driven after throwing five interceptions in the LCA debacle.
He made the most of his second chance to lead Mayfield to its eighth state title.
The off-the-charts-smart senior completed 19 of 24 passes for 303 yards — the first 300-yard passing game in Mayfield history — and three touchdowns.
"I walked off this field last year with a weight on my shoulders because I played terrible," Guhy said. "To come back and end it like this is complete satisfaction."
Mayfield Coach Joe Morris couldn't have been happier for Guhy and his Cards.
"I'd say Luke redeemed himself, didn't he?" Morris said. "He and the whole team set a goal to come back here and win this thing.
"We started the season No. 1 and ended it No. 1. That's a pretty big accomplishment."
Hazard couldn't keep up with Mayfield's quick feet on offense and couldn't escape them on defense.
Sophomore linebacker Jonathan Jackson led the Cards' harassing "D" with eight tackles, including two sacks.
"They were swarming everywhere," Hazard quarterback Jon Combs said. "Every time I turned around, there seemed to be a red jersey.
"That's probably the fastest team I ever played against in my life. They're deserving of this Class A championship."
Hazard was able to move the ball early but couldn't hold on to it. Its first three possessions ended in turnovers, and Mayfield cashed in two of them for a 14-0 lead.
The Cards' first score came on fourth-and-1 at the Hazard 46-yard line. Jackson broke through the line and found lots of green turf in front of him as he raced for a TD.
Guhy's passing sparked the offense the rest of the half. He hit on 13 of 16 throws for 243 yards and three TDs as Mayfield cruised to a 33-0 lead at halftime.
The Cards' strategy was to get the ball to speedy and elusive receivers Devin Jones, William Higginson, Kenny Payton and Javarius Jackson.
Jones had eight catches for 121 yards and a TD and added a 24-yard scoring run on an end-around.
Payton had TD receptions of 24 and 28 yards. Higginson and Jackson combined for eight catches and 118 yards.
"I'm so fortunate to have these guys, these athletes, play with me," Guhy said. "I just have to get the ball to them, and they do the rest."
Hazard Coach Mark Dixon said his defense was all but helpless against Mayfield, which had 457 yards.
"We'd try to take away the deep ball, and they'd throw short. We'd try to take away the short stuff, and they'd throw deep," he said.
"They had us where they wanted. It's hard to match speed like that."
After Mayfield took a 47-0 lead late in the third quarter, there was a running clock the rest of the way. Hazard scored in the closing seconds when Combs shook free on a 55-yard TD run.
Combs completed 14 of 24 passes for 163 yards and two interceptions. He ran for 83 yards and a score.
The lopsided loss was in contrast to Hazard's 14-7 loss to Beechwood in the 2008 finals. But Dixon praised his Bulldogs for "what was a great season.
"It hurts right now, but these kids will look back on all the memories they made this season and be proud of everything we did."
mayfield 47, hazard 6
Hazard 0 0 0 6 —6
Mayfield 14 19 14 0—47
M—Jonathan Jackson 46 run (Marc Wynstra kick). M—Devin Jones 55 pass from Luke Guhy (Wynstra kick). M—Kenny Payton 24 pass from Guhy (kick failed). M—Jackson 5 run (pass failed). M—Payton 28 pass from Guhy (Wynstra kick). M—Jones 24 run (Wynstra kick). M—Decole Noonan 1 run (Wynstra kick). H—Jon Combs 55 run (pass failed).
First downs14 22
Rushes-yards 28-168 33-154
Passing 163 303
Comp-att-int 14-25-2 19-24-1
Return yards 98 60
Punts-avg. 4-28.8 1-36.0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-76 1-36
Time of possession 24:3923:21
RUSHING—Hazard, Combs 13-83, Blanton 8-46, Slone 5-34, Johnson 1-5, Team 1-0. Mayfield, Jackson 11-71, Miles 4-30, Jones 1-23, Noonan 7-20, Richardson 2-18, Ross 1-0, Team 1-0, J. Guhy 2-(minus 3), L. Guhy 4-(minus 5).
PASSING—Hazard, J. Combs 14-24-2-163, B. Combs 0-1-0-0. Mayfield, L. Guhy 19-24-1-303.
RECEIVING—Hazard, B. Combs 4-93, Johnson 3-51, Blanton 3-9, Olinger 3-7, Slone 1-3. Mayfield, Jones 8-121, Higgingson 4-72, Richardson 4-56, Payton 2-52, Love 1-2.