In the six weeks leading up to its bout with Lexington Catholic, it seemed like 7th-ranked Boyle County barely had to break a sweat to maintain an unblemished record.
After holding off a pesky Central Hardin squad opening weekend for a 21-19 win, the Rebels reeled off six straight victories in which they topped 40 points and never allowed an opponent to get closer than 22 at the final whistle.
But Lexington Catholic was in no mood for a coronation on Friday. Taking their 4-3 record on the road, the Knights stunned Boyle County with consecutive touchdown drives late in the fourth quarter to steal a 31-24 win.
After stopping the Knights on fourth and 2, Boyle County took over on offense with 10:29 on the clock. The Rebels then churned out a 13-play, 77-yard drive that chewed 5:20 off the clock and gave them a 24-17 lead when senior quarterback Josiah Robbins hit Mack Cox for a 6-yard touchdown.
Catholic took over with 5:05 left. It took the Knights just 18 seconds to drive for a score, with Kirk Fagot hitting Donovan Morris for a 27-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:02 remianing.
Catholic then forced a punt and proceeded to run a surgical two-minute drill that ended with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Fagot to J.J. Ogbogu. Fagot finished the game 13-of-18 passing for 200 yards and three scores. Ogbogu was a monster all night, reeling in eight catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior Andy Thompson was everywhere on offense for the Knights, completing 4-of-6 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, rushing eight times for 69 yards and pulling in five catches for 28 yards.
Catholic's defense refused to break, holding Boyle County to its second-lowest point total of the season and giving the Knights offense a chance to put the game away.
"Our defensive coordinator came out tonight with a good game plan," said Catholic coach Mark Perry. "Our kids executed throughout the night. If (Boyle Co.) made a play, our kids just played through it."
Senior running back Cory Swanner starred for the Rebels with 29 carries for 174 yards. They'll look to rebound next week against Western Hills while Lexington Catholic will return home to face Garrard County.
Henry Clay 14, Paul Dunbar 6: The end zone proved elusive at Jon R. Akers stadium, but Henry Clay managed to find it twice in the second half to snag a road win against the Bulldogs and even its record at 4-4.
Dunbar finally got the scoring started in the third quarter, going up 6-0 on a 2-yard run by sophomore Jefferson Harkless. But the Blue Devils did the rest of the scoring, taking a 7-6 lead on a 67 yard pass from C.J. Tackett to Tyven McWhorter. Austin Bledoe put the game away with an 8-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
McWhorter finished with three catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Joquise Buford added 114 yards on 17 carries for the Devils.
Harkless was a workhorse in the losing effort, carrying the ball 38 times for 202 yards and a score.
Montgomery Co. 14, Anderson Co. 10: There weren't a lot of offensive fireworks to be seen at Anderson County Friday night, so Montgomery County turned to some sleight-of-hand on the road to send the crowd home unhappy.
Trailing 10-7 in the fourth quarter, the Indians lined up for a fourth-down punt. Instead of booting the ball to try to pin the Bearcats deep, Dillon Akers cocked back the snap and fired off a pass to Mason Gooch, who raced 70 yards to Anderson County's 4-yard line and set up the winning touchdown run by Jake Harvey. The Indians defense held tough for the final two minutes to seal the win.
Tates Creek 43, Clark Co. 14: Peyton Burke and Turner Gentry proved to be a winning connection for the Commodores on the road Friday. Gentry hauled in five of Burke’s passes for 115 yards and a pair of scores in Tates Creek’s blowout of the Cardinals.
Burke didn’t just key in on the junior wideout though. He spread the ball to nine different receivers, going 21-of-28 passing for 323 yards and four scores. He added two first-quarter rushing touchdowns to fuel the hot start for Tates Creek, which held Clark County scoreless until the eight-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
The Commodores will return home to face Lafayette next week, with the No. 1 seed in Class 6A’s District 8 playoffs on the line.
Lexington Christian 42, Somerset 34: Sophomore running back Dillon Wheatley has been a one-man wrecking crew on the ground all year for the Eagles, and Friday night was no exception. Lexington Christian faced a late charge by the Briar Jumpers, who pulled to within one point at 28-27 late in the third quarter when Castle Hatcher hit Isaiah Cornett with a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Less than two minutes later, Wheatley busted off a 50-yard scoring run to put the Eagles up eight, then followed that up with a game-clinching three-yard score with 2:30 left in the game.
Wheatley finished the game with 277 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries. Quarterback Brayden Miller went 15-of-22 through the air for 221 yards and three touchdowns, while Ryan Stucky added 7 catches for 155 yards and two scores.
Hatcher completed 21-of-41 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns for Somerset.
Lafayette 45, Madison Central 28: A five-point game at halftime turned into a Generals runaway as their weapons became too much to handle for the Indians (4-4).
Lafayette (7-2) built a 19-14 lead before the break behind two TDs from Mason Alstatt, who returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score and had a 7-yard TD reception from Walker Wood. Alstatt, a Wofford commit, added another score in the third quarter to finish with three total on the night and 248 all-purpose yards.
Wood, a junior who commited to UK earlier this week, rushed for two scores in addition to the TD pass to Alstatt.
Johan Williams rushed for 120 yards and a TD on just 10 carries for Madison Central, which led twice — 3-0 after a Landon White field goal prior to Alstatt's return and 14-13 on a 37-yard TD pass from Zach Hardin to Keenan Miller — but couldn't hold on.
Shelby County 42, Spencer County 28: The Rockets handed the Bears (8-1) their first loss this season.
Malik Manica came up huge down the stretch for Shelby County (7-1), scoring its final three TDs, including the go-ahead score.
Collins 42, North Oldham 24: Nasean Roseberry was all the offense Collins needed at home against the Mustangs. The sophomore rushed 19 times for 305 yards and three touchdowns, averaging a whopping 16 yards per carry to help the Titans even their record at 4-4.
Beechwood 62, Ludlow 6: In the first half, Beechwood running back Ethan Stringer did what few running backs can do in two. The senior rushed 11 times for 179 yards and four touchdowns before halftime, putting the game out Ludlow’s grasp.
Senior quarterback Kyle Fieger went eight-of-10 for 158 yards passing and two scores for the Tigers, while junior running back Aiden Justice rushed for 88 yards and added 56 receiving yards.
Holmes 41, Mason Co. 6: The Bulldogs’ offense was in fine form against the Royals. Holmes exploded for 530 yards, including 382 on the ground, while holding Mason County to 164 yards. Andrew Arnold rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries for the Bulldogs, who took a 41-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Ryle 46, Conner 34: After falling down 14-0 and then 22-21, the Raiders avoided their second straight loss after starting 6-0.
Tanner Morgan threw two TDs and rushed for another for Ryle, which ended with 452 yards of total offense.
Kyler Padget stood out for the Cougars (6-2), rushing for 108 yards and two TDs as well as throwing for 220 yards and three TDs (with two interceptions).
Corbin 34, Bell County 20: Cameron Sizemore rushed for all five of the Redhounds' TDs after they fell down 13-0.
Male 27, St. Xavier 24: The Bulldogs improved to 8-0 despite five turnovers, thanks win large part to Devin Gentry's big night. He had 114 yards on the ground and 97 yards through the air. He finished with a rushing and receiving TD.
Shelby Valley 62, Leslie County 28: The Wildcats (7-1) won their seventh straight game while handing the Eagles (7-1) their first loss this season. It was the second straight year Shelby Valley gave Leslie County its first loss.
Manual 24, Pleasure Ridge Park 21 (OT): Christopher Rousell nailed a 22-yard field goal in extra time to help Manual avoid consecutive losses.
The Crimsons (7-1), which fell to St. Xavier last week, had a shot to win the game in regulation after recovering an onside kick but missed a 35-yard field goal.