Nelson County football coach Jamie Egli was on the field with his team at halftime of last Friday's game at Marion County when the public-address announcer read the first-half statistics.
That's when Egli first realized that Dylan Beasley, his senior quarterback, was having a career night.
"They said Dylan was 18 of 22 for 368 yards and four touchdowns," Egli said. "The coaches were looking around like something was wrong. We thought (those stats) couldn't be right."
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Beasley kept filling the air with completions and TDs in the second half of Nelson County's 59-38 victory, so Egli figured Beasley's final numbers were off the charts. When Egli got home, he reviewed the video twice to confirm Beasley's final passing stats: 30-for-43, 652 yards, eight TDs. "We were in shock," Egli said. "The next morning we looked it up on the KHSAA Web site and saw (652 yards) was a record. You don't expect to ever see something like that. It was amazing." Beasley eclipsed by 1 yard the old state mark set by Jesse Watts of Sheldon Clark 21 years ago.
"It's crazy, kind of a surreal feeling," Beasley told the Lebanon Enterprise.
Khalil Bourn, Austin Lavvorn, Ben Jones and Drew Martin were Beasley's prime targets.
Beasley threw for 2,896 yards and 21 TDs last season, so last week's performance didn't come out of nowhere. "I'll put his arm strength against anybody's," Egli said. "He's smart (3.8 GPA, 27 on the ACT) and makes good decisions. We're so happy for him. He's a great kid and a phenomenal leader."
Beasley has thrown for 1,334 yards and 13 TDs in just three games this year.
■ Northern Kentucky has no shortage of strong football programs. The newest team flexing its muscle is Cooper, a school that opened only five years ago in Boone County. Coach Randy Borchers said his Jaguars got a "signature win" over Conner last year on its way to a Class 5A district title. With seven starters returning on offense and eight on defense, Borchers said his players "felt this could be a special year, so they worked extremely hard in the off-season." It shows. Cooper has beaten 6A Ryle, defending 2A champ Covington Holy Cross and 6A Boone County to start the season.
Cooper's defense has been terrific, as it showed in blanking Boone County 10-0. Borchers said two-way senior lineman Taylor Centers and senior defensive end Dustin Mitchell have "done a great job creating double teams, freeing up our linebackers." Aaron Morgan has been a standout in the secondary with three interceptions. Senior quarterback Tyler Morris and senior running back A.J. Collins spark the offense.
■ Ryan Timmons has touched the ball 22 times (rushing and receiving) for 500 yards and 10 TDs in Franklin County's first three games. Logan Woodside has completed 26 of 33 passes for 761 yards, 12 TDs and no interceptions for the unbeaten Flyers.
■ Lexington Catholic started three freshmen — running back Jaylen Jones, tight end Sam Letton and guard Drake Jackson — on offense in its win over Lafayette last week. "We've got some guys who haven't shaved yet who can play a little bit," Coach Bill Letton said with a smile.
■ Hopkinsville, a state power not long ago, has lost 13 consecutive games over three years. The Tigers just can't catch a break. The Hopkinsville New Era reported that Hoptown has lost its top two quarterbacks to injuries. Senior starter Garrett Fann suffered a broken arm in a scrimmage in August, and junior backup Darrel Oates went down with a high ankle sprain last week and won't play on Friday.
■ Knox Central's Jeffrey Canady, who ran for 203 yards and five TDs in a 39-29 win over Johnson Central last week, has 11 TDs and almost 600 all-purpose yards in three games. He also has intercepted two passes.
■ Bowling Green beat St. Xavier last week for the second year in a row. QB Devin Hayes threw for a school-record 304 yards and three TDs as the defending 5A champs won their 18th game in a row. Junior Nacarius Fant set school records with 15 catches for 239 yards. Fant already owns school records for career receptions (103) and receiving yards (1,906).
■ A few weeks after Mike Glaser announced this would be his last season as St. X's football coach, the Tigers have already named his successor: Will Wolford. "I'm following the greatest coach in Jefferson County and St. X history," Wolford told the Courier-Journal. A 1982 St. X graduate, Wolford played in the NFL for 13 years. He was a St. X assistant for three years, but has been out of coaching since 2007.
■ Stay-safe wishes to Steve Tressler, who was part of the Kentucky Army National Guard's deployment to Africa this week. Tressler has done play-by-play for Lexington Catholic football for Real Life radio (1380-AM) the past few years. Tressler did a tour of duty in Iraq in 2007-08 and wrote a blog — Letters from Iraq — from there. He intends to blog during this nine-month tour, too, and will call it A Kentucky Fan in Africa. "Being away this time is going to be tougher" he said, because he and his wife, Lindsay, now have two children — daughter Kenadee and son Trey. T.G. Shuck, who had been doing color on the Lexington Catholic radio broadcasts, will take over calling the games. Shuck played football at Lafayette and Georgetown College. Nick Nash, whose brothers Casey and Alex play for Lexington Catholic, is also on the radio team.
■ Lawrence County had a fantastic finish to beat Prestonsburg 42-41. A.J. Cyrus threw an 11-yard TD pass to Morgan O'Brian as time expired to get the Bulldogs to within 41-40. Ricky Goble ran for the two-point conversion.
■ Anderson County sophomore QB Zach Carmichael and junior receiver Ross Cox teamed up on a 93-yard TD pass play — longest in school history — in a 35-34 win over Shelby County last week. The host Rockets had an even longer score. QB Zach Shipley hooked up with Michael Barry for a 98-yard TD.
■ Gallatin County improved to 3-0 with a 52-16 win over Bellevue. Austin Chapman threw for 351 yards and five TDs. Brady Lawrence had five catches for 214 yards and three TDs. Nick Brown ran for 108 yards and a TD, and had 15 tackles, five for losses.
■ Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin, and Franklin County play-makers Ryan Timmons and Logan Woodside, and Bourbon County running back Kentayvus Hopkins are among 12 seniors nominated to play in the National Guard Border Bowl, an all-star football game matching senior stars from Kentucky and Tennessee. Also nominated: Joey Bloomfield of Ballard, Domonick Brown of John Hardin, Boston Bryant of Whitley County, Jeffrey Canady of Knox Central, Jacob Hyde of Clay County, Michael Jones of Danville, Tony Messer of Belfry and Jake Middleton of Harlan County. The Kentucky team will be coached by Tom Larkey of Harlan County. The Border Bowl is set for Jan. 12, 2013, at the University of the Cumberlands.
■ Letcher Central has lost to Southwestern, Breathitt County and Franklin County, but senior Keaston Hall has been a bright spot for the Cougars. He has almost 500 receiving yards and five TDs.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar's boys won three golf tournaments in a row in August — the Lexington Catholic Invitational at Greenbrier, the Pikeville Invitational at Stonecrest in Prestonsburg, and the Commodore Classic at Tates Creek. Dunbar is led by seniors Corey Lockridge and Cameron Holland, juniors Kevin Klein and Steven Klein, and sophomore Harrison Clarke. Also playing for the Bulldogs are seniors Jake Sanchez and Wade Bailey.
■ Mark Starns is stepping into a great situation as the new boys' basketball coach at Fleming County. The Panthers, led by junior standouts Darion Burns and Troy Steward, are pre-season favorites in the 16th Region. "There's a lot of promise, a lot of potential, and it's my job to get it out of them," said Starns, who previously coached at Henderson County and Johnson Central, and was an assistant at Mason County. Starns played at Lexington Catholic for his dad, Tommy Starns, and was an assistant on the Knights' 1985 Sweet Sixteen team. Tommy Starns is his son's biggest fan, and already has his Panthers regalia. "Oh my goodness, they took care of him the day (of the press conference)," Mark Starns said. "They got him shirts and everything. He was like a kid in a candy store."