Anderson County took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter but surrendered 13 unanswered points in the final period and failed to convert on a 42-yard field goal as time experied. That meant the Bearcats' hope for a title ended on their home field as they fell 20-17 to Pulaski County in the Class 5A semifinals on Friday night.
Riley Hall, a sophomore, threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter, to lead the Maroons (14-0) in the come-from-behind victory. Hall finished 17-for-31 with no interceptions.
Christian Coots and Caleb Cox caught Hall's fourth-quarter TDs, the former a 46-yard bomb to put the Maroons within three points. Cox's score came with 46 seconds left in the game.
Dusty Puckett blocked Derek Burgett's extra-point attempt to keep the score at 20-17 following Cox's TD. Zach Carmichael completed five of six pass attempts in the ensuing Anderson County drive, getting his team to the Pulaski 25-yard line. Joe Rose's field goal attempt was short.
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Carmichael, a junior, finished with 200 yards and a TD on 16-for-29 passing, with one interception.
The Maroons will meet Bowling Green in the Class 5A finals next Saturday at Houchens/LT Smith Stadium in the Purples' home city.
Newport Central Catholic 49, Somerset 48 (2OT): John Caudill's extra-point conversion was just enough to send the Thoroughbreds (10-4) back to Bowling Green to defend their Class 2A state title.
Somerset's Alex Franklin missed an extra point after Bryson Jones scored on a 10-yard TD to open the second overtime period, leaving the door open for NewCath to send the Briar Jumpers (8-5) back home in the state semifinals for the fourth consecutive season.
The Thoroughbreds will meet DeSales, 38-0 winners at Murray on Friday, next Saturday in Bowling Green.
Belfry 21, Bourbon County 13: Austin Hatfield scored two TDs for the Pirates (13-1), who will advance to the Class 3A finals for the fourth consecutive year. The difference this time around is three-time defending Class 3A champion Central will not be there to meet the Pirates. The Yellowjackets lost to Wayne County 17-7 last week.
Belfry fell to Central 46-7 in 2010, 15-14 in 2011 and 12-6 in 2012. The Pirates' title opponent next Friday will be Wayne County, 34-10 winners at Paducah Tilghman on Friday.
Collins 50, Owensboro 14: The Titans (12-2) scored 50 unanswered points in their rout of the Red Devils (10-4) to put themselves in the Class 4A finals for the second consecutive year.
Seniors Ryan Watkins, DeAndre Farris and Lawson Page led the way for Collins. Watkins carried for 160 yards and a TD on 13 carries. Farris carried eight times for 72 yards and a two scores, and also caught a Page TD pass.
Page had three touchdowns on 17-of-23 passing. He also had six carries for 64 yards.
Collins, which is in just its fourth year of existence as an institution, will meet Highlands (49-35 winners over Lexington Catholic on Friday) in next week's finals. The Bluebirds, who will be seeking their seventh straight title, won last year's championship meeting 47-0.
Bowling Green 33, John Hardin 28: A one-yard run by senior Blake Pillow with 35 seconds left prevented a John Hardin upset and extended the Purples' winning streak to 43 games, sending them to their third straight title game, where they will meet Pulaski County.