RICHMOND — Madison Central didn't let Boone County spoil its football season opener as the Indians held on to win 42-33 in the Meijer Roy Kidd Bowl at Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday night.
It was a dicey finish for Madison Central, which probably had flashbacks to last year's playoffs when Boone County scored a touchdown with 13 seconds left to beat the Indians 28-21.
But Madison Central stymied a Boone County comeback in the rematch.
The Rebels trailed 36-31 in the closing minutes when they drove to the Madison Central 9-yard line. But they couldn't score and the hosts regained possession.
Boone County wasn't dead yet, though. It tackled Indians' quarterback Hunter Stocker in the end zone for a safety, making it 36-33.
Boone County got the ball again at the Indians' 43, but the Rebels' threat ended when Madison Central's Ken-Jah Bosley intercepted a pass and returned it 77 yards for a clinching TD with 12 seconds left.
Bosley, the game's MVP, also caught two TD passes from Stocker.
Dominique Hawkins sparked the Indians' offense. He ran 19 times for 132 yards and three TDs.
Tucker Fair led the defense with 11 tackles and a key fourth-quarter interception.
Jeremiah Williams led Boone County. He caught four passes for 106 yards and two TDs, had a 6-yard scoring run, and returned a kickoff 94 yards for a TD.
The teams put on an offensive show in the first half, combining for more than 500 all-purpose yards and nine TDs as Madison Central led 33-24 at the break.
Boone County set the tone by scoring on the first snap of the night on Blake Ingolia's 71-yard TD pass to Williams.
Hawkins, Bosley and Stocker accounted for most of Madison Central's first-half fireworks. Hawkins had three TDs, including a 43-yard dash to the end zone, and Bosley caught two scoring passes from Stocker.
Ben Durham's 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter was important. It came after Boone County had closed the gap to 33-31 on Mustafa Diaw's 1-yard score.
Southwestern 24, Letcher Central 20: Sophomore Austin Smiddy looked like a veteran in his first varsity start at quarterback for Southwestern. He threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help the Warriors to victory.
"I thought he did well. I was proud of him," Coach Andy Stephens said.
Smiddy's highlight play came at the end of the first half. Southwestern, trailing 12-6, had the ball at the Cougars' 32-yard line with one second on the clock.
Smiddy said he told his teammates in the huddle, "Fellas, we gotta do this right here, right now."
So they did.
Smiddy lofted a 32-yard TD pass to Devon Baker to tie the game at halftime.
Smiddy's 12-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter put Southwestern ahead to stay. Logan Campisano added insurance with a 10-yard scoring run with 4:20 left.
Both teams played like it was a season opener. Between them they lost seven fumbles and had 17 penalties. But Southwestern did more things right.
Campisano ran 21 times for 143 yards and a TD. Jordan Maggard carried 20 times for 70 yards. Smiddy completed three of six passes for 91 yards and and a score.
Southwestern's defense, led by Jesse Meece, Wyatt Karter and Dan Lewis, limited the Cougars to minus 44 yards on the ground, most of those negative yards coming on quarterback sacks.
Letcher Central did have 252 yards through the air. Zane Blair threw three TD passes to Keaston Hall, who totaled seven catches for 180 yards.
Paul Rains, in his first year as Letcher Central's coach, said his team looked shaky.
"I don't know how many bad snaps we had, and that pretty much destroyed our offense. And our kids wore down a little bit.
"We've got a lot of growth to do."
Madison Central 42, Boone Co. 33
Boone County 12 12 0 9—33
Madison Central 20 13 0 9—42
BC—Jeremiah Williams 71 pass from Blake Ingolia (kick blocked). MC—Ken-Jah Bosley 8 pass from Hunter Stocker (Ben Durham kick). BC—Williams 6 run (run failed). MC—Dominique Hawkins 43 run (Durham kick). MC—Bosley 17 pass from Stocker (kick failed). MC—Hawkins 4 run (Durham kick). BC—Williams 94 kickoff return (run failed). MC—Hawkins 3 run (kick failed). BC—Williams 24 pass from Ingolia (kick blocked). BC—Mustafa Diaw 1 run (Evan O'Hara kick). MC—Durham 22 field goal. MC—Bosley 77 interception return.
Southwestern 24, Letcher Central 20
Letcher Central 0 12 0 8—20
Southwestern 0 12 0 12—24
SW—Chase Robinson 1 run (kick failed). LC—Keaston Hall 10 pass from Zane Blair (kick blocked). LC—Hall 21 pass from Blair (pass failed). SW—Devon Baker 32 pass from Austin Smiddy (kick blocked). SW—Smiddy 12 run (run failed). SW—Logan Campisano 10 run (run failed). LCC—Hall 32 pass from Blair (Hall pass from Blair).