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High School Football – Four things you need to know about Perry Central vs Harlan County

October 18, 2018 – Hazard, Kentucky – NATHAN LYTTLE – Bluegrass Sports Nation Perry Central Football Columnist

The Perry Central Commodores are 7-1 and have a lot of history on the table Friday night when they take on the Harlan County Black Bears. Here are four things you need to know about this game.

Continue reading High School Football – Four things you need to know about Perry Central vs Harlan County


October 18, 2018 – CASEY ALLEN – Bluegrass Sports Nation Breathitt Football Columnist

Breathitt, after starting the season 0-3, has completely taken the Region by storm by winning six (6) straight games and capturing their first district crown since 2013.  The name Breathitt, carries weight in the Mountains, this group of Bobcats are now known.  The Six (6) straight wins also mark the program’s first winning season since 2013.  After making a statement by beating a 6-1 Powell County team 50-34 to snatch the District crown, it would be easy to have a let-down.  Coach Moore and the Bobcats will look to avoid that as they host a hungry Magoffin County team on Friday Night at Mike Holcomb Athletic Complex. Continue reading High School Football – BOBCATS LOOK to FINISH the REGULAR SEASON STRONG

High School Football – Bulldogs will Host the Leslie County Eagles During Homecoming Night

Leslie County v. Hazard Preview

October 18, 2018 – Hazard, Kentucky – JJ Baker – Bluegrass Sports Nation – Hazard Football Columnist

Two out of the last three weeks have been hard on the Bulldogs. Not only have they lost to their cross district rival the Pikeville Panthers, they also came up short against another Class A foe in the form of the Paintsville Tigers. Both games were very close contests that saw the Bulldogs with an opportunity to win on their last possession of each game. Continue reading High School Football – Bulldogs will Host the Leslie County Eagles During Homecoming Night

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Daryl McCleskey-01 (2018_10-13 at UT Martin by Brady McBride)
MARTIN, Tenn. – A kick recovered by Matthew Jackson late in the third quarter allowed the Eastern Kentucky University football team to complete a 13-point comeback to defeat the University of Tennessee at Martin, 35-34, on Saturday in Martin, Tennessee.

Trailing 34-21, Daryl McCleskey Jr. found his way into the end zone with 11 seconds left in the third quarter to get the Colonels (3-3, 2-1 OVC) within one score.  On the ensuing kickoff, Jackson raced down field on a traditional kickoff by Samuel Hayworth and recovered the ball at the UTM 23 yard line before any Skyhawk could field the kick.

The excellent field position set up the go-ahead touchdown.  On 3rd-and-9, McCleskey took it to the house from 12 yards out to tie the game, 34-34.  Hayworth’s extra-point put the visitors in front by one with 13:01 left in the game.

The Colonels’ defense forced a turnover on downs on the following UT Martin drive.  On 4th-and-7, Terry Williams was stopped short of the sticks on a 6-yard reception.  The Skyhawks were then forced to punt on their next possession to keep the score 35-34.  

Eastern Kentucky’s offense remained on the field for the final 5:47 of the game to seal its second win in Ohio Valley Conference play.  Facing a 3rd-and-11 situation with the ball still in UTM territory, Alphonso Howard rolled to the left and fired a bullet to Neiko Creamer on the sideline for 12 yards and a first down.

McCleskey finished with 74 yards and two touchdowns while L.J. Scott rumbled for 106 yards of his own, his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.  Howard threw for 88 yards, had one touchdown toss and one rushing score.

Cornelius Floyd had a stellar performance, recovering a fumble early in the first quarter and later intercepting Skyhawk quarterback Dresser Winn.

After UT Martin scored on its opening drive, Eastern’s offense came to life two possessions later.  Howard found a wide-open Creamer for 30 yards to put the Colonels on UTM’s 11 yard line.  Howard took matters into his own hands, rolling out of the pocket and grabbing an 11-yard rushing touchdown.

EKU only needed two plays on its next drive to find the end zone, as Howard threaded the needle to Alex Cabrera to take the lead.

Tre Turner forced Jaimiee Bowe to fumble on the Skyhawks’ next possession, allowing Gavin Bryant to scoop up the ball and return it 43 yards to give Eastern a 21-7 advantage.

UT Martin rattled off 24 unanswered points in the second quarter to swing the 14-point deficit to a 31-21 Skyhawk advantage at halftime.

Bryant finished with 11 tackles and a sack to go along with his fumble return for a touchdown.  Creamer caught three passes for 69 yards. 

Win finished the day 17-for-27 for 200 yards.  He had two touchdown passes and two interceptions.

The Colonels will be back in Richmond for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 20, against Murray State.  The intra-state match-up is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.


EKU improved to 25-4 all-time against Tennessee-Martin.

Alphonso Howard’s first quarter, game-tying 11-yard touchdown run was his second rushing touchdown of the season.

Howard’s first quarter, 16-yard touchdown pass was his first of the season.

Redshirt sophomore Alex Cabrera’s first quarter touchdown reception was the first of his career.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Tre Turner’s first quarter forced fumble was his first of the season.

Redshirt senior linebacker Gavin Bryant.

The interception by Leodis Moore III in the third quarter was his third pick of the season.

Daryl McCleskey’s six-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter was his fourth rushing score of the season.  He added his fifth of the season on a 12-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

LJ Scott finished with 106 yards on 25 carries.  It was his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

2018_10-13 (at UT Martin) Stats & Information

Bengals Football – Oh No, Not Again—By Dr. John Huang

Mixon ties game for Bengals – Photo by Brendon Miller for BSN

(CINCINNATI, Oh.) – For the Cincinnati Bengals, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers has been likened to a recurring nightmare. To say that the series has been one-sided is probably a bit of an understatement. When you lose the last 7 in a row, 10 out of the last 11, or 15 of the last 18—and when your head coach is 8-25, including 2-16 at Paul Brown Stadium with a pair of embarrassingly freakish playoff losses—the word domination seems much more appropriate.

On a misty, dreary Sunday afternoon, the horrific dreams continued as Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown on a 31-yard TD pass with ten seconds left in the game for another unfathomable 28-21 Steeler victory. Whether heart-stopping or heart-breaking, the loss drops the Bengals season record to 4-2, and leaves their legion of long-suffering fans wondering what they did to deserve such prolonged misery.

“It’s frustrating to lose games at home, particularly division games,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said when asked about any personal frustration he feels losing time and time again to their hated rivals. “We lost this one today. We just got to rebound back. We don’t get a chance to whine about it or whatever. We gotta get ready to go…It’s unfortunate we lost the game today, but we got another one in Kansas City come Sunday night.”

There were no 24-point fourth-quarter comebacks needed in this one as Cincinnati clawed its way back from only a six-point deficit late in the game. When Joe Mixon plowed into the endzone from four yards out with a mere 1:18 left on the clock, visions of a streak-busting celebration appeared briefly on the fog-shrouded horizon. According to the well-known script, however, we all knew it wasn’t to be. Big Ben, when left with too much time to throw and too much time on the clock, will ultimately deliver the dagger that pops all your party balloons.

For the afternoon, Andy Dalton completed 26/42 passes for 229 yards and 2 TDs. Tyler Boyd continued his breakout season with 7 receptions for 62 yards and 2 TDs. Joe Mixon led the team in rushing with 64 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. The Cincinnati defense, which won the game against Miami last week, gave up 481 total yards and couldn’t make the crucial stop when it needed to.

In sports—even on the professional level—the mental aspects of the game frequently play a huge role. A smart opponent will try to get into your head, looking for the possibility of gaining any slight advantage. I daresay the Steelers, for the past decade, had successfully burrowed into the Bengals’ brains—leaving them gasping game after game as if hexed, cursed, and jinxed by the terrible towel waving hordes from Steeler Nation.

How else could you explain the Monday Night meltdown from last year, when the Bengals blew a 17-0 lead? Or what about in 2015, when the Bengals were poised to post their first post-season victory in twenty-five years, only to fumble and bumble their way to an embarrassing 18-16 loss? Rewind another decade, and thoughts of Kimo von Oelhoffen’s season-ending hit on Carson Palmer only adds to the harrowing narrative of anybody old enough to remember.

My hope was that the ignorance of youth would be the key to the success of this year’s Bengals—that they’d be too young for historical scars to affect their psyches. After all, thirty-five of the players on this year’s fifty-three-man Bengals roster are younger than 25. Nineteen of them are in their first or second season. Thus far this campaign, some of the biggest plays have been from the Bengals’ kiddie corps, especially on defense. Clayton Fejedelem, Sam Hubbard, Jessie Bates, Nick Vigil, Carl Lawson, and Jordan Willis have all contributed one way or another to the Bengals’ wins. Unfortunately, they may now just be another generation of players who continue to lose to Pittsburgh—a footnote in the record books for consecutive losses and decades of pain.

“We’re better than them,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said afterwards, when asked about another loss to the Steelers. “They ain’t better than us. Period. They ain’t better than us; we’re better than them. I’m gonna be a team player…they went out there and they fought. They got the win; we got the loss.”

And so it goes.

Dr. John Huang covers the Cincinnati Bengals for Bluegrass Sports Nation. He’s currently working with former LEX18 sportscaster Alan Cutler on his new book. If you enjoy his writing, you can read more at or follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs.

High School Football – Bulldogs Lose Despite Second Half Comback Against Paintsville

Hazard fall to Paintsville in nail biter – Photo by Larry Robinson – BSN

October 6, 2018 – Phelps, Kentucky – JJ Baker – Bluegrass Sports Nation Hazard – Football Columnist

As the season progresses, it seems as though there are four teams that have the ability to represent the eastern half of the state in the class 1A state finals. The preseason favorites Pikeville Panthers and Raceland Rams have not disappointed so far this year. Both teams have won games they should have and also competed against larger class schools as well. Continue reading High School Football – Bulldogs Lose Despite Second Half Comback Against Paintsville