DANVILLE — Ever since Boyle County fell to Bell County in the Class 4A semifinals last year, Rees MacShara has been a Rebel with a cause.
"I thought about it all off-season, about getting a chance to play Bell County again," MacShara said.
MacShara made his wish come true by leading the Rebels past Lexington Catholic 34-20 in the third round of the playoffs Friday night.
No. 5 Boyle County (13-0) will host defending champ and No. 7 Bell County (12-1) in the semifinals next week.
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"It's a great feeling to get to play them again," MacShara said. "We've just got to finish what we didn't finish last year."
MacShara helped Boyle County finish off Lexington Catholic for the fourth time over the past two seasons.
The electrifying 5-foot-9 senior rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns, pushing his season totals to 2,573 yards and 46 TDs.
"I don't think there's another one like him," said Boyle County quarterback Boone Goldsmith. "He's the man. He's as good as it gets."
MacShara jump-started the Rebels with a 69-yard TD run in the first quarter. He added a 30-yard scoring dash in the third quarter to stretch Boyle County's lead to 27-14.
After Lexington Catholic rallied to within 27-20 on Nic Ward's 68-yard touchdown pass to Billy Jack Brown, MacShara sealed the victory with a 6-yard scoring run with four minutes left in the game.
MacShara had plenty of help in eliminating the Knights from the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Goldsmith completed nine of 13 passes for 106 yards and a TD, a 10-yarder to Logan Tritapoe. Goldsmith also ran five times and picked up 15 crucial yards.
Lamar Dawson also starred for the Rebels. The junior running back/linebacker, who has a scholarship offer from Kentucky, ran for 28 yards, had 44 receiving yards and led the winners with six solo tackles.
"No. 2 (MacShara) and No. 5 (Dawson) are special," Boyle County Coach Larry French said. "They played their hearts out tonight."
Tritapoe was a standout, too. Besides his TD catch, he also swatted down a third-down pass attempt by the Knights midway through the fourth quarter. That came with Boyle County nursing a 27-20 lead and forced Lexington Catholic to punt.
Ward, the punter, tried to avoid a rush and his kick went only 3 yards. Boyle County took over at the 50 and drove nine plays for the clinching touchdown.
Lexington Catholic senior running back Greg Raglin carried 24 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. He set a single-season school record with 1,763 yards.
Ward threw for 178 yards and two TDs, and he had two intercepted. Brown had four catches for 95 yards.
Bill Jacoby and Vincent Foright led the Knights' defense.
Lexington Catholic, which won state titles in 2005 and '07, came up short in this odd year. But Coach Bill Letton said he was proud of his team, whose schedule included St. Xavier, Trinity and Boyle County.
"We didn't back down to anybody," he said. "We went toe-to-toe with them all."
Lexington Catholic 7 7 6 0 —20
Boyle County 7 14 6 7—34
BC—Rees MacShara 69 run (Phillip Barsotti kick). LC—Greg Raglin 3 run (Benton Hupman kick). BC—Logan Tritapoe 10 pass from Boone Goldsmith (Barsotti kick). LC—Lee Ramsey 6 pass from Nic Ward (Hupman kick). BC—Chris Cook 2 run (Barsotti kick). BC—MacShara 30 run (run failed). LC—Billy Jack Brown 68 pass from Ward (kick blocked). BC—MacShara 6 run (Barsotti kick).
Records—Lexington Catholic 8-5; Boyle County 13-0.