Chalk one up for the football champs from Hoosierland over the champs from the Bluegrass.
Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, a three-time defending state titlist, knocked off reigning Kentucky champ Lexington Catholic 31-7 in the Bluegrass Bowl on Saturday night.
Green County outlasted Hazard 48-39 in the opener in a game that featured more than 1,100 yards of offense.
Lexington Catholic hadn't lost in 12 previous appearances in its own bowl, but the visitors from Indiana spoiled that perfect record and handed the Knights their worst defeat since St. Xavier routed them 47-0 two years ago.
"We knew (Chatard) was a strong, phyiscal team," Lexington Catholic Coach Bill Letton said.
"Our kids played hard, but we didn't make any plays offensively. Defensively we lost a gap or two, missed a tackle or two, and they turned it into big plays."
Chatard, which opened its season last week with a 45-6 win over Indianapolis Broad Ripple, looked solid from the first snap. Lexington Catholic looked like a team that graduated 34 seniors, including game-breakers Shane Israel and Winston Guy.
Lexington Catholic had only 132 total yards. Quarterback Nic Ward was 5-for-16 passing for 28 yards. Lee Ramsey led the ground game with 48 yards rushing.
The Knights averted a shutout in the closing minutes. Devon Williams' long punt return set up Ramsey's 1-yard TD run.
Chatard's Aristotle Pappas ran for 178 yards and two TDs in the first half, and didn't carry the ball in the second half.
The schedule doesn't lighten up for Lexington Catholic. It plays host to Scott County next Friday, and visits St. X in two weeks.
"We play a tough early schedule so we're ready at the end of the year," Letton said.
"I hate losing worse than anybody. But I'll hate it even worse if we don't learn from this particular game."
Green County 48, Hazard 39: In this day of pass-happy offenses, the Dragons get the job done with an well-oiled option attack.
The Dragons rolled up 586 yards, including 502 on the ground against Hazard.
Green County quarterback Justin Pendleton not only ran the show, he ran wild. He carried 13 times for 168 yards and six touchdowns.
His backfield sidekicks had lots of running room, too.
Ricky Garrett rushed for 182 yards and a TD, and Zeth Rogers had 144 yards and a TD.
Hazard piled up 502 yards and got a huge game from Greg Adams, but the Bulldogs couldn't overcome five turnovers and an inability to stop Green County's ground game.
Trailing 24-20 early in the fourth quarter, Hazard appeared ready to take the lead when it drove to the Green County 1-yard line. But quarterback Tyler Olinger, who was plagued by cramps much of the night, fumbled on a sneak attempt.
The Dragons recovered the ball at the 1, and on the next snap Rogers bolted 99 yards for a TD.
Hazard's playmakers had their moments to shine.
Adams ran for 117 yards and a TD, and caught five passes for 173 yards and three scores. Michael Campbell had six catches for 120 yards.
Olinger passed for 362 yards and four TDs, and ran for 61 yards and a score.
"We like to play defense and stop people," Green County Coach Mike Griffiths said. "But (Hazard) was better athletically.
Bishop Chatard 31, LEX. Catholic 7
Bishop Chatard 14 3 7 7—31
Lexington Catholic 0 0 0 7—0
BC—Aristotle Pappas 14 run (Cody Dickson kick). BC—Pappas 43 run (Dickson kick). BC—Dickson 27 field goal. BC—Andrew McDonald 6 run (Dickson kick). BC—McDonald 2 run (Dickson kick). LC—Lee Ramsey 1 run (Lane Pumphrey kick).
Green Co. 48, Hazard 39
Hazard 14 0 6 19—39
Green County 6 18 0 24—48
GC—Ricky Garrett 20 run (kick failed). H—Greg Adams 71 run (Austin Delpont kick). H—Adams 28 pass from Tyler Olinger (Delpont kick). GC—Justin Pendleton 3 run (run failed). GC—Pendleton 22 run (run failed). GC—Pendleton 38 run (run failed). H—Alex Hall recovered fumble in end zone (pass failed). GC—Rogers 99 run (run failed). GC—Pendleton 5 run (run failed). H—Adams 80 pass from Olinger (run failed). GC—Pendleton 1 run (run failed). H—Adams 52 pass from Olinger (run failed). H—Olinger 4 run (Delpont kick). GC—Pendleton 3 run (pass failed).