High School Football

Henry Clay nips Bryan Station in OT

Henry Clay was held scoreless for four quarters for the first time in seven years, but the Blue Devils still found a way to beat host Bryan Station for the 10th time in a row Friday night.

Jerry Williams threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Shannon Coofer, and A.J. Yewell added the extra point to give Henry Clay a 7-6 overtime victory in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

"This is the best thing in the world, absolutely the best thing in the world," said a happy and relieved Yewell, a sophomore who missed two field goals late in regulation that would have given the Devils a less stressful win.

Henry Clay (10-2) advances to play Scott County (9-3) next week. The Devils won the regular-season meeting 21-7 in September.

Nobody expected No. 13 Henry Clay and No. 18 Bryan Station to be so ineffective offensively on a perfect fall night for football.

Neither team cracked the red zone (the opponent's 20-yard line) until Henry Clay got there midway through the fourth quarter. But the Devils couldn't capitalize.

They had a first-and-goal at the Bryan Station 4, but came up empty. After a penalty, Yewell eventually missed a 23-yard field goal.

Henry Clay had another chance when it got to the Defenders' 10. But Yewell's 27-yard field-goal attempt hit the left upright and bounced back to the field as time expired.

Bryan Station had first possession in overtime, and scored a TD on quarterback Brady Boling's 4-yard run. But Jose Marin missed the extra-point kick.

Henry Clay, which was flagged for a personal foul on Bryan Station's TD, had to start its OT possession at the 25 instead of the 10.

But that turned out to be no big deal.

Williams scampered for 10 yards on first down, then hit Coofer over the middle with the tying TD pass.

"Shannon ran a great route, Jerry stuck it in there like he's supposed to, we had great job blocking up front, and we got it in," Henry Clay Coach Sam Simpson said.

Coofer said Williams "saw the middle wide open, and I was ready to catch it."

Was Simpson sure Yewell would add the extra point?

"I knew it was going through," Simpson said. "That kid deserves a lot of credit.

"He could have walked off this field tonight thinking it was all his fault that we lost. But now people are lovin' on him. God bless him."

Bryan Station, which lost to Henry Clay 27-6 last month, managed only 127 yards in the rematch.

Star running back Tevin McCaden was still nursing an injury and had only 22 yards on nine carries. Chaz Mitchell carried the load offensively. He ran for 68 yards and added 25 yards receiving and 25 in punt returns.

"Can't break a stonewall," said Henry Clay defensive end Weston Johnson, who along with Justin Rivers led the winners in tackles.

The Defenders' defense, led by Kris Bolton and Najee Calderon, was terrific, too. It blanked Henry Clay in regulation, the first time that's happened since Boyle County beat the Devils 35-0 in 2002.

"Our defense played well enough for us to win, but offensively we didn't hit on some cylinders," Bryan Station Coach Oliver Lucas said.

"We had a chance to make plays, but didn't. Henry Clay did."

Williams led the Devils' offense by rushing for 108 yards, and passing for 48.

Henry Clay 0 0 0 0 7—7

Bryan Station 0 0 0 0 6—6

BS—Brady Boling 4 run (kick failed). HC—Shannon Coofer 15 pass from Jerry Williams. (A.J. Jewell kick).

Records--Henry Clay 10-2; Bryan Station 9-3.

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