Kickoff got pushed back 30 minutes late because of a delay in Senior Night festivities, but the extra time did nothing to temper a Tates Creek team that's turned a corner in the last half of the season.
The Commodores defeated visiting Ashland Blazer — a Class 4A contender — 41-22 on Friday night at Roy Walton Stadium.
The win was Creek's third over its last four games. It dropped a 29-28 heartbreaker to Lafayette at home last week, a game that decided the No. 1 seed in Class 6A, District 8. Creek finished second in the district and will host Bryan Station in the first round of the playoffs, which get underway next week.
Peyton Burke, the leading passer in Class 6A, threw for 244 yards and four TDs in his final regular season game.
Jaren Shelby caught one of those TDs and four other passes, finishing with 92 yards through the air. He added 87 yards and a TD on the ground to lead the Commodores (5-5) in all-purpose yardage.
Robbie Lofton caught two TDs for Tates Creek.
Kurtlen Brown, who got the bulk of the rushing attempts after Quinton Baker left the game for Ashland Blazer, finished with 211 yards and two TDs.
Lexington Catholic 43, Southwestern 14: Andy Thompson was a burner out of the backfield, going for 138 rushing yards and two TDs on only four carries.
"He made a couple of big plays with his feet tonight," Knights Coach Mark Perry said of Thompson.
"I think it's a good sign that we got our run game going, especially with our line blocking," said Knights Coach Mark Perry, who also lauded the blocking by his receivers in the game.
Jaylen Jones added 91 yards and a TD for the Knights, who finished 7-3 in the regular season and take a four-game win streak into the playoffs.
Their first-round opponent was still to be determined, but the Knights will host through the third round if they win out.
Powell County 28, Lexington Christian 23: Lane Rodgers rushed for 184 yards and two TDs, tearing up the Eagles on only 10 carries.
Dillon Wheatley, Class 2A's leading rusher entering the week, finished with 162 yards and a TD on 32 carries for the Eagles. LCA quarterback Brayden Miller went 22-for-37 for 261 yards and two TDs but also threw two picks.
LCA (6-4) dropped two straight to end the regular season.
It hosts Prestonsburg, which fell 27-15 to Lawrence County at home, in the first round next week.
Henry Clay 49, Campbell County 28: The Blue Devils bring a three-game win streak into the postseason when they host Madison Central next week.
Henry Clay (6-4) reeled off 21 unanswered points after falling behind 7-0 on a 10-yard run by Carson Plessinger.
Joquise Buford finished with 117 yards and two TDs to lead the Blue Devils. He also returned an interception 27 yards late in the second half for a TD.
Davonte Robinson added 82 yards and a TD on the ground. Austin Bledsoe had two TDs.
Tyven McWhorter had a 100-yard interception for a TD for Henry Clay's final score. It was the 35th such return in state history and the second by a Lexington player this season (Devon Key of Bryan Station).
Plessinger finished with 92 yards and two TDs for the Camels (1-9). He also threw a TD.
Anderson County 36, Collins 7: Anderson County wasted no time in its bid to finish the regular season with an even record, using a big game from sophomore Tyler Peters to put the Titans away early.
Peters got things started with a 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, then followed that up with a 24-yard catch from sophomore quarterback Gunner Gillis to put the Bearcats up 14-0 on their way to a 30-0 halftime lead.
Gillis added touchdown runs of 16 and 32 yards in the second and third quarters. He completed seven-of-11 passes for just 60 yards and one touchdown, but rushed 10 times for 106 yards and the two scores.
Peters went over the century mark on the ground as well, carrying seven times for 112 yards and a touchdown, averaging almost 15 yards per carry. Anderson County (5-5) out-gained Collins (4-6) 235 yards to 42 on the ground.
Louisville Christian 27, Franklin County 0: The Centurions' defense looked ready for the playoffs Friday, holding Franklin County to just 62 yards of total offense in their shutout victory.
Milton Wright rushed for two first-half touchdowns and added another score through the air in the third quarter, hitting Clay Davis from 44 yards out. Junior Eric Quinton booted field goals of 21 and 27 yards to round out the scoring for Louisville Christian.
The Centurions put up 302 yards of total offense against the Flyers.
Louisville Christian heads into its 2A playoff matchup against Metcalfe County at 8-2, while Franklin County falls to 7-3 as it prepares to travel to John Hardin for the opening round in 4A.
Scott County 56, Covington Catholic 35: The offenses didn't take the night off in the regular season finale between the Cardinals and Colonels. The teams combined for 799 yards and 13 touchdowns in Georgetown.
Covington Catholic pulled to within seven at 28-21 early in the third quarter when A.J. Mayer hit Cam Pitzer for a four-yard score, but the Colonels couldn't keep pace after that.
Kendrick Hamilton scored on each of the Cardinals' next two possessions, rushing for touchdowns of 17 and 57 yards to put Scott County up 42-21.
The Cardinals had two runners eclipse the 100-yard mark. Noah Hughes rushed 18 times for 136 yards. Hamilton gained 123 yards and scored three times on just nine carries.
A.J. Mayer aired it out all night for the Colonels, completing 17-of-36 passes for 252 yards and five touchdowns in the loss. Five of those passes went to Cam Pitzer, who finished with 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Boyle County 21, Paul Laurence Dunbar 14: The Rebels used TDs by Mack Cox and Cory Swanner in the fourth quarter to win their second straight game.
Cox caught a 3-yard pass from Josiah Robbins and Swanner rushed in from the 1-yard line, his second after scoring Boyle’s first TD in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Jefferson Harkless and DeRante Sanders scored for the Bulldogs (3-7), who have dropped four straight but hung around late in each game.
LaDarius Morton, primarily a defensive lineman for Dunbar, led the Bulldogs with 96 yards on 11 carries. Harkless ended with 90 yards on 27 carries.
Dunbar goes to Lafayette to open the playoffs. The Bulldogs fell 43-21 to the Generals in the season opener.
Montgomery County 26, North Laurel 14: The Indians spoiled what would have been the first undefeated football season in Laurel County history with their win.
Jake Harvey rushed for 150 yards and two TDs for Montgomery, winners in their last three. They will host Dixie Heights in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs next week.
North Laurel was held to under 36 points for the first time this season. The Jaguars will host South Laurel, whom they defeated 56-0 to open the year, in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
Madison Central 27, Madison Southern 21: Two successful field goals provided the margin of victory for the Indians over the Eagles in their Madison County showdown.
Central’s Landon White broke a 14-14 halftime tie with a kick from 36 yards out in the third quarter. Southern reclaimed the lead on a one yard touchdown run from Landon Stacy with 14 seconds left in the third.
But a 68-yard scoring scamper from Korrion Crier early in the fourth gave the Indians the lead for good, and White provided the final score of the night with a 43-yard field goal late.
The offenses went tit-for-tat all night, with both teams gaining 13 first downs and Southern edging Central in total yards, 273-257.
Crier finished with 84 yards on four carries for the Indians while A.J. Richardson gained 54 yards on seven rushes for the Eagles.
Central 45, Pleasure Ridge Park 19: Stephen Jones paced the Yellowjackets on the ground and in the air in this cross-town Louisville matchup.
The senior carried the ball 9 times for 84 yards, averaging nine yards per carry and scoring two third-quarter touchdowns that blew the game open for Central. Jones also reeled in four catches for 95 yards.
Yellowjackets quarterback Myron Norfleet went completed ten of 25 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Kris Adams rushed 21 times for 100 yards in the loss for the Panthers.
Paris 28, Bethlehem 14: Paris completed its seventh undefeated regular season in history and first since 1983. Fittingly, the victory was fueled by senior running back James Clark.
Clark, whose father played for the Greyhounds and who will end his high school career as the school’s all-time leading touchdown-scorer, rushed 22 times for 172 yards and two TDs.
After the first quarter ended with Bethlehem leading 7-0, Paris scored all 28 of its points in the second quarter to seal the deal and head into the 1A playoffs with an unblemished record.
Pikeville 53, Pike County Central 0: Three Panthers found the end zone twice each in Pikeville’s regular season home finale.
Wayne Battaile had rushing touchdowns of 14 and 28 yards, while Daric Pugh added two more scores on the ground, one from 23 and one from five yards out.
Clay Slone returned a Hawks fumble 24 yards for a touchdown to put Pikeville up 14-0, then capped the night with a 54-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Bowling Green 38, McCracken County 14: Jamale Carothers scored twice for the Purples in this meeting of Western Kentucky stalwarts.
Bowling Green went up 21-7 in the first quarter and led 31-7 at the break. The Purples had a 333-292 edge in total offense and scored 24 points off five Mustang turnovers in the first half.
The Purples host Apollo (3-6) in the first round of the 5A playoffs next week.
Zy'Aire Hughes, a UK commit, rushed for 169 yards and two TDs for the Mustangs, who open the Class 6A playoffs against visiting Muhlenberg County. It defeated Muhlenberg 57-26 last week on the road.
Mayfield 25, Caldwell County 24: Sid Herndon kicked a game-winning field goal for the Cardinals as time expired on the road.
The Cards extended their win streak to six games before hosting Todd County Central in the first round of the 2A playoffs next week.
Caldwell had an eight-game streak snapped. It hosts Hart County in its Class 3A playoff opener next week.
Paintsville 44, Shelby Valley 27: The Tigers earned their first undefeated regular season in nearly 40 years after the home win.
Kash Daniel rushed for three TDs, threw another and had 19 tackles on defense as Paintsville improved to 10-0, going unblemished for the first time since 1978.
The Tigers get 3-7 Bracken County in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
The Wildcats (8-2), who had an eight-game win streak snapped, host Middlesboro in their 2A opener.
Pineville 56, Jenkins 6: Tucker Woolum threw seven TDs on the road for the Mountain Lions, who have won five of their last six and are in a three-way tie for first place in Class A, District 7.
Three of Woolum's TD passes went to Will Adams, who also returned an interception for a TD.
The KHSAA released tentative schedules for the Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl state finals on Friday. Which one is used is contingent on Western Kentucky University hosting the Conference USA championship game, which would fall on the same weekend.
If WKU isn't hosting: The Class A (11 a.m.), 2A (2:30 p.m.) and 6A (6 p.m.) games will be played on Friday, Dec. 4; Class 3A (11 a.m.), 4A (2:30 p.m.) and 5A (6 p.m.) would be played on Saturday, Dec. 5.
If WKU is hosting: Class A (7 p.m.) on Thursday, Dec. 3; Class 6A (5 p.m.) and 5A (8 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 5; Class 2A (1 p.m.), 3A (4 p.m.) and 4A (7 p.m.) on Sunday, Dec. 6.