High School Football

Paintsville, Douglass advance easily in early first-round playoff games.

Frederick Douglass and three other top district seeds got the high school football playoffs going a day early Thursday. They all ended them early, as well.

The first round of the UK Orthopaedics/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl has a reputation for tremendously lopsided games and these proved no exception as the new format that makes the first two rounds intra-district games for the first time since 2007 set up replays of blowouts from earlier in the year.

The rest of the first round slate kicks off Friday night.

Douglass (11-0) routed Class 5A 6th District fourth seed Great Crossing 50-0, the exact score the Broncos beat the 1-10 Warhawks by in the regular season on Oct. 18.

Darius Neal led Douglass with 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Cameron Dunn and Dane Key added two more scores each.

Now, Douglass awaits the winner of Friday night’s game between Montgomery County and Scott County to see who they will host next week in the district championship.

In Class A, Paintsville (8-3) demolished 6th District foe Fairview 67-0. The Panthers, who beat Fairview (3-7) by a score of 56-0 on Oct. 11, racked up 41 points in the first quarter alone to put on the mercy-rule running clock the rest of the way. Paintsville awaits the winner of Friday’s game between Raceland and Betsy Lane.

In Class 2A, undefeated Breathitt County took down Knott County Central 48-6. Breathitt established a 40-0 lead before halftime over the Patriots (2-9) who they beat 56-8 on Oct. 18. The Bobcats await the winner of Friday’s Middlesboro-Leslie County game when they host the 7th District championship next week.

In Class 3A, Belfry (7-3) defeated Floyd Central 46-7 in an 8th District game where the Pirates established a running-clock inducing 39-0 lead by halftime. The Jaguars (3-8) lost to Belfry 41-6 on Oct. 4. Belfry will host the winner of Friday’s Pike County Central-Lawrence County game.

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Jared Peck, the Herald-Leader’s Digital Sports Writer, covers high school athletics and has been with the company as a writer and editor for more than 19 years.
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