• Steve Byrd

2020 FB Week 18 - Kentucky Championships

By Steve Byrd - GLICOD Producer

A six-pack of championship action at Kroger Field on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington put a lid on this rather unusual 2020 high school football season.

Friday's first game saw two teams compete for their first-ever title, as Paintsville won the 1A championship going away, 38-7 over Kentucky Country Day. Tigers running back Harris Phelps ran for over 200 yards and a touchdown, but it was teammate Jake Hyden who got the bulk of Paintsville's scoring, with three touchdown runs from 6 yards or less.

The later games on Friday were perhaps the most competitive of this championship weekend. In the 2A title game, Lexington Christian spotted Beechwood an early 14-point lead before a 26-yard field goal by the Eagles' Andrew Dobbs just before halftime set in motion a 17-point rally that carried through the 3rd quarter. The Tigers answered that with a 35-yard Colin Graman field goal to force overtime. Both teams swapped touchdowns in OT, with the difference being that Beechwood made their extra point, while LCA's was blocked by Tigers safety Brady Moore. The 28-27 win gave Beechwood their 15th football championship, and their 4th in the last 5 years.

Friday's 4A nightcap was a real back-and-forth battle, as each touchdown scored by first-timers Franklin Co. was answered by one from championship-tested Boyle Co. After ending regulation with a 28-28 tie, the overtime saw Rebels' Jackson Smith connecting on a 23-yard field goal. Boyle Co.'s defense then held after the Flyers couldn't convert on 4th down. The 31-28 win makes the Rebels 9-time State Champions.

As Saturday's action began, the last time Ashland Blazer won a title was in 1990. The Tomcats, led by a 258-yard, 3-touchdown game from running back and Army-West Point commit Keontae Pittman, had no problem against Elizabethtown, winning the 3A Championship by a score of 35-14. In the second game, a 279-yard, 1-touchdown passing day for Owensboro quarterback and next season's top recruit Gavin Wimsatt was marred by two interceptions, while Bowling Green put touchdown runs from Conner Cooper and UK commit Jordan Dingle toward their 17-7 win for the 5A title. It was the Purples' first State Championship since 2016, and their 7th in team history.

Closing out the weekend, Trinity lived up to their defensive strength this season with a 28-0 shutout of Male. The Shamrocks' 6A title win, and their state-leading 27th all-time, was also dominated by three touchdown runs from senior Bradley West. As for the Bulldogs, hope for an improved championship run should spring eternal with several key players returning.