GEORGETOWN — Just another routine, mercy-rule, blowout victory for Scott County football.
The host Cardinals, looking seriously under-rated by Dave Cantrall at No. 7 in the state, whipped district rival and 10th-rated Henry Clay 38-14 Friday night.
Scott County led 38-0 late in the second quarter, so there was a running clock the rest of the night.
Jim McKee said it was one of the best halves of football he's seen any of his teams play in 18 years as coach of the Cards.
"I thought we were pretty close to flawless," he said.
The defending Class 6A champs extended their state-best winning streak to 22 in a row, and 18 of those victories have been mercy-rule routs.
Scott County also has a 22-game winning streak against Lexington teams the last five years.
After Henry Clay pushed Scott County to the wire before losing 37-34 in the playoffs last year, the Blue Devils were looking to settle a score Friday night.
Instead, Scott County delivered an early knockout.
"I didn't see it coming," Henry Clay Coach Sam Simpson said. "We've got to regroup and reassess things.
"We've got a lot of good football players, a lot of talent, on this team. We've got to get ready for Dunbar next week."
Scott County junior defensive back Keeshon Brent said he and his teammates heard "a lot of talk" from Henry Clay on social media leading up to the game.
"We showed 'em who we are, and our good Cardinal 'D' brought it to' 'em. We showed 'em who the real dogs are."
Scott County senior quarterback Clay McKee, who figured the Cards could put up a lot of points, said he was "very impressed with our defense, the way it stuffed Henry Clay at the line of scrimmage time after time.
"This was a big statement that we're still here and we're not going anywhere."
Scott County took an early 12-0 lead thanks to McKee's play-action passing. He connected with Theo Price on a 44-yard gain on the first snap of the night. Price scored on a 9-yard run six plays later.
On Scott County's next snap, McKee threw a 61-yard TD strike to Clark Griffith.
Henry Clay's hopes for keeping up on the scoreboard were dashed when its next three possessions ended in interceptions.
Scott County capitalized on Abijah Cox's pick with Noah Hughes 2-yard TD.
Less than two minutes later, Henry Clay quarterback Rhoman James, under heavy pressure from Brent, dumped a short pass that Jameer Womack intercepted and returned 17 yards for a score to make it 24-0.
Worse yet for the Devils, James was injured on the sack and did not return. Simpson thinks James suffered a broken collarbone, which could be a season-ending injury.
After Dylan Smith's pick, the Cards pushed the lead to 31-0 on McKee's 9-yard TD toss to Cooper Watts.
Scott County's last score was Keith Guy's 38-yard run.
Henry Clay used three quarterbacks after James went out. The last one, sophomore lefty Legend Brumbaugh, threw a 32-yard TD pass to Colby Barnes midway through the fourth quarter. The Devils added another TD on Austin Bledsoe's 46-yard run with 1:39 left.
After Scott County outlasted Lafayette 42-38 in its season opener, Jim McKee knew some people were wondering how good the Cards were.
"We probably had a little bit of a chip on our shoulder coming into this game," he said.
And Henry Clay paid the price.
Scott County 38, Henry Clay 14
Henry Clay 0 0 0 14 — 14
Scott County 12 26 0 0 — 38
SC—Theo Price 9 run (kick failed). SC—Clark Griffith 61 pass from Clay McKee (kick failed). SC—Noah Hughes 2 run (kick failed). SC—Jameer Womack 17 interception return (run failed). SC—Cooper Watts 9 pass from McKee (Tyler Dummer kick). SC—Keith Guy 38 run (Dummer kick). HC—Colby Barnes 32 pass from Legend Brumbaugh (Taylor Dunbar kick). HC—Austin Bledsoe 46 run (Dunbar kick).
Records—Henry Clay 5-2; Scott County 7-0