High School Sports

Lexington Catholic poised for another run to the 3A finals

Lexington Catholic head coach Mark Perry questions a call by the officials in the first half. The Lexington Catholic Knights played the Belfry Pirates in the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, Class 3A Championship, Sunday, Dec. 06, 2015 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.
Lexington Catholic head coach Mark Perry questions a call by the officials in the first half. The Lexington Catholic Knights played the Belfry Pirates in the KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl, Class 3A Championship, Sunday, Dec. 06, 2015 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

Synopsis

Coach: Mark Perry (third year)

Last season: 11-4 (lost to Belfry in finals of Class 3A playoffs)

Outlook: Despite dealing with a three-man quarterback carousel that started spinning when Legend Brumbaugh was lost to a collarbone injury in Week 4, the Knights won eight consecutive games during their run to the Class 3A state championship game. They enter this season with senior Kirk Fagot, who completed 97 of 154 passes for 1,243 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, entrenched as the starting signal caller. The Knights will need to replace the production of Jaylen Jones, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior, and they’ll look to junior Dameon Jones to fill that void. After allowing Belfry’s run-heavy offense to score 43 points in the finals, LexCath has made run defense a point of emphasis.

Other expected contributors: Jack Fagot (sr. S), Austin Pedroche (sr. LB/RB), Ben Buchignani (sr. WR), Dylan Coulter (jr. DL), Austin Lauterbach (sr. S), Woodford Lankford (sr. OL), Sam Hodges (sr. WR), Zach Owsley (sr. DT)

Senior spotlight

Lankford is an imposing presence on the offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound bruiser accepted a scholarship offer from Western Kentucky University after last season, and he’ll anchor an experienced group of Knights linemen.

“We’re gonna have to have a lights-out season but with the group we’ve got I’m sure it can happen. ... (The offensive linemen) have gotten bigger, they’ve gotten stronger and they’ve gotten a lot more athletic. This group of linemen we have this year is gonna be really good, I have a feeling.”

Lankford expects to see some reps on defense this year.

“I’ve been strictly offense, but this season I think there might be some chances where they put me in on third-down and goal-line situations for heavy sets. We did some of that in spring practice ... if they need me on defense I’d be glad to help and I’ll just play wherever they need me. It’s a team competition.”

Coach’s corner

Perry: “We’ve got a lot of good kids and the nucleus of our football team, especially our defense, is back. We’ve got a group of offensive linemen and a quarterback that can help bring along some young receivers ... I expect big things out of our defense that’ll help buy our young skill guys time to grow and mature.

“You’re looking at a group of senior leaders that when you run 10 sprints they ask for one more. That’s a different deal and that’s where you get excited about it.”

Fightin’ words

Senior QB Kirk Fagot: “We’ve got a good team this year, we’ve got a good offensive line and real good receivers stepping up. ... Our whole team is fast-paced and we’re playing with a chip on our shoulder this year. We’re ready to go play and show people what we can do.”

Josh Sullivan: 859-231-3225, @sullyjosh

Schedule

(All times p.m.; home games in capital letters)

Aug. 19: BOONE CO., 7:30

Aug. 26: x-ST. XAVIER, 8:45

Aug. 2: at Johnson Central, 7:30

Sept. 9: at Cov. Catholic, 7

Sept. 16: MADISON CENTRAL, 7:30

Sept. 23: COOPER, 7:30

Oct. 7: at Western Hills, 7:30

Oct. 14: BOYLE CO., 7:30

Oct. 21: at Garrard Co., 7:30

Oct. 28: SOUTHWESTERN, 7:30

x-Bluegrass Bowl

2016 High school football preview

Read more from the Herald-Leader on Kentucky.com today, follow @hlpreps on Twitter for updates throughout the season, and get scores and statistics here every Friday night.

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