2019 Football Week 15 (Ky. Semifinals)
Call it a coincidence, but unbeatens Male and Douglass each relied on two players with the same first name to help punch their tickets to next weekend's KHSAA football championship games at UK's Kroger Field. Running back Jaylin Bross' 5 touchdowns helped the Bulldogs in their 48-18 win over Tates Creek in the 6A semifinals.
The 5A semis saw Broncos safety Jaylin Bybee make two critical second-half interceptions, including a 45-yard "pick-6", in a 28-17 win over Owensboro, setting up Douglass' top-two title showdown with Covington Catholic next Saturday night. The Colonels shut out Bowling Green 28-0 in the other 5A semi.
Trinity was one of three road teams to win a semifinal game, with a 54-7 victory at N. Hardin in 6A. Armon Tucker got three rushing touchdowns plus a TD catch in that game, while the Shamrocks' defense recorded three picks. As a result, that Male-Trinity rematch so many wanted is now a reality for next Sunday afternoon in Lexington.
The other two road wins were from eastern Kentucky teams who traveled west. First, in the 1A semifinals, Kentucky Country Day saw its history-making season reach a rather abrupt end, with a 44-20 home loss to Paintsville. The 1A title game Friday afternoon will see the 11-3 Tigers go up against an unbeaten Pikeville team whose campus is over 30 miles down the road from Paintsville's. The Panthers easily defeated Louisville's Holy Cross Cougars, and their retiring head coach, Bob Bronger, 36-7 in the other 1A semi.
Second, it was Belfry, 13-time finalists and 6-time State Champions, most recently in 2016, who held DeSales scoreless through regulation time in the 3A semifinals, and pulled it out in double overtime with a 15-14 victory. The Pirates, having scored a TD to pull within one, took a chance on the game-winning 2-point play, with RB Isaac Dixon taking the handoff from QB Brett Coleman and getting it just inside the end zone. The 10-3 Pirates take on unbeaten Bell Co. (46-28 winners over Taylor Co.) in Friday's nightcap.
The 2A championship matchup early Saturday afternoon has 12-time champs Mayfield, who eliminated Beechwood 35-7, going up against Somerset, who've been state runners-up 5 times between 1978 and 2009. The Briar Jumpers beat Breathitt Co. 40-25. For the 4A title late Saturday afternoon, the Boyle Co. Rebels, who knocked off Central 31-14, play last year's runners-up, Johnson Central (52-14 winners over Madisonville-N. Hopkins) in the other of two battles of unbeatens.
We'll be in Lexington to cover the big 5A and 6A title games for championship weekend. For details on those, plus the season premiere of our high school basketball coverage, just click "This Week" at GLICOD.com.