2020 Football Week 17 (Kentucky Semifinals)
High school football in Kentucky reached its penultimate period this week, as the 24 teams who made it this far competed to find out who gets that big trip to Kroger Field on the UK campus in Lexington for Championship Weekend.
The two 6A semis were unsurprising blowouts. Male's Nic Schutte threw two touchdown passes, while Daniel Swinney added a couple more to squash Dunbar 49-6. Defending champs Trinity opened their scoring with Jack Dingle recovering a blocked punt in the end zone, then built on that mainly with touchdown runs from seniors Brad West and Branden Stearman, for a 24-0 shutout of rivals St. Xavier. So, for the 2nd straight year, and 6th time since 2000, the big-school championship will feature the Shamrocks and the Bulldogs.
Another flawless victory came at Boyle County, where last year's 4A runner-up Rebels got 55 points while leaving Hopkinsville empty. For their 4A Championship opponent, Boyle County will deal with a Franklin County team which upset last year's winners, Johnson Central, by a score of 20-12. Nick Broyles threw for a couple of touchdowns in the Flyers' big win.
In 1A, Kentucky Country Day made it to the finals for the first time ever, after a 27-7 victory over Williamsburg. They will face last year's runners-up, Paintsville, who defeated Newport Central Catholic 21-7. The 3A semifinals saw Elizabethtown earn its first championship game berth since 2003 by eliminating CAL 39-20. Facing the Panthers will be Ashland Blazer, who got in with a 10-3 upset of defending champs Belfry.
Lexington Christian quarterback Drew Nieves was responsible for 24 of their 48 points as they beat Murray 48-13 in the 2A semis. The Eagles will play for their first championship since winning 1A in 2009, against perennial powerhouse Beechwood, which escaped with a 35-34 semifinal win at West Carter.
While last year's 5A champs, Covington Catholic, were denied a chance to repeat after being blanked at home, 20-0 by Bowling Green, another candidate for closest game of the night had to be the other 5A semifinal. Douglass overcame a three-touchdown deficit with 27 unanswered points. The Red Devils' Gavin Wimsatt then offered more proof of why he's Kentucky's best high school quarterback since Tim Couch with a 7-yard game-tying touchdown pass to Ethan Avery. State extra-point leader Andrew Lanz kicked one in for a 28-27 lead. The Broncos had enough time to drive the length of the field, but a missed 27-yard field goal with 23 seconds left sealed Owensboro's win.
GLICOD's coverage of Championship Weekend will feature the 6A title game rematch next Saturday at 7 pm Eastern between Male and Trinity. And as we transition into basketball season, keep up with all the area scores by going to GLICOD.com's homepage and follow our ticker.