David Leveridge- High School Football
The regular season of KHSAA high school football has concluded, and the playoffs have begun. Bluegrass Sports Nation continues our game of the week coverage, with the coverage of the state football high school playoffs. Tonight’s game of the week featured the battle of the Bobcats, Bell County vs Breathitt County competing in the class 3A playoffs. Both programs were once prominent programs with both winning several State Championships in Football, but have struggled recently. Bell County entered tonight’s game with a six win and four loss season, finishing in fourth place of their district. Breathitt County struggled early in the season losing the first five games, before winning four out of the next five. Breathitt County finished the regular season with a four win and six loss campaign, finishing as the district runner up.
The game marked Bell County Head coach Dudley Hilton first time coaching in Jackson since he left Breathitt County in the 1980’s. Hilton is a coaching legend and is one of the winningest coaches in the history of KHSAA football. Hilton has 367 career wins entering tonight’s contest, and is in second place in all time wins, only trailing Belfry’s Head Coach Phillip Haywood. Hilton was the head coach of Breathitt County for eight years, before taking the helm at Bell County. The game was a home coming for Coach Hilton, who was Breathitt County’s first Head Football coach and met his wife in Jackson during the Coaches tenure coaching at Breathitt. Coach Hilton was interviewed during the pre-game coaches interview recounting his time in Breathitt County, and talked about how Breathitt County holds a special place in his heart. The videos are shared on the Bluegrass Sports Nation Facebook site, LIKE the page and feel free to share the videos and pictures.
Bell County received the ball to start the game. On Bell’s first possession they go for the 4th and eight but were stopped by Breathitt County, giving Breathitt County the ball on the Breathitt County twenty -six yard line. Breathitt County quickly turns the ball over as QB #10 Cameron Stacy throws a screen pass, only to be fumbled, Bell County recovers the Fumble at the twenty- seven- yard line. Bell County takes advantage of the mistake scoring on a six- yard touchdown run by # 23 Colby Frazier. 5:06 remained in the opening quarter. Frazier also scores on the two- point conversion giving Bell County an early 8-0 lead over Breathitt County. The score would be the only scoring possession of the quarter. Breathitt County had moments in the quarter that got the crowd excited, but were unable to score. One play that caught the crowd’s attention was an exciting run by #19 Tyson Gross rushing for twenty- five yards, before being brought down at the Bell County thirty- four- yard line. Although, Bell only scored once during the quarter and Breathitt County was still very much in the game. Bell County was getting the momentum and Dudley Hilton’s Forte of rushing the ball was starting to take a toll on Breathitt County. On the last play of the quarter Bell County moves the ball into Breathitt County territory with a forty- four- yard gain by # 27 Jordan Wombles.
Bell County started the first quarter with only one score, the second quarter the Bobcats scored multiple times and were on the verge of forcing a running clock. Bell County’s offense started to click and had a lot of success against Breathitt County. On the opening series of the second quarter Bell County scores with a passing play from QB #12 Isaac Collet to #14 Jason Jones. 11:20 remained in the quarter. Breathitt County continued to throw the ball down field, but the receivers had trouble catching the hard- thrown ball’s from Cameron Stacy. Stacy was intercepted by #2 Antonio Zachary, with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter. Bell County takes advantage of the Breathitt mistake scoring on the possession. Colby Frazier #23 finds the end zone for the second time during the game with ten- yard rushing touchdown. Bell County is off to a commanding lead, leading Breathitt by twenty points. Bell County 20- Breathitt County 0, 8:29 remained in the quarter. Bell County scores again, after Breathitt County goes three and out on the next possession. 6:42 remained in the first half, Bell County hands the ball off to #34 Trevor Kidd. Kidd finds a whole in the heart of the Breathitt County Secondary, makes several linebackers miss and 40 yards later scores a rushing touchdown. Bell County now had a commanding lead with everything going their way. Bell County now led 26-0. Breathitt County was frustrated and become out of sync, taking risky chances, and forcing the ball into coverage, with interceptions being thrown. Bell County scores two more times in the half. Bell scores on a pass from Collet to #2 Antonio Zachary with 2:43 left in the quarter. Bell scores as time expires in the half with a twenty- two- yard field goal by #27 Jordan Wombles. At the half Bell leads Breathitt County 35-0.
As the third quarter started, I can only imagine the difference each team was feeling. Bell County had to be excited having played a great game, with all cylinders clicking and a victory seeming inevitable. Breathitt County playing at home and nothing going right, had to have a completely different perspective. Coach Kyle Moore a former Breathitt County legend and two- time state champion has experienced the High’s and lows of Breathitt County Football. Coach Moore was a reserve on the 1995 Breathitt County State Champion team and become the Starting QB on the team that repeated as State Champion in 1996. Kyle was a vital member of the Breathitt County team that won forty- two straight wins before being defeated by Lawrence County on their home field in 1997. Coach Moore took over the helms from KHSAA legend Mike Holcomb a couple years back and has struggled getting the Bobcats back to being a dominant and prominent program. When the feeder program was cut from Breathitt County athletics, the results were devastating to the program. Former players Kenneth Shorty Combs, Josh Barnett, Chirs Hollan and others have recently developed the North Fork Lumber Jacks Youth Football team. The Lumber Jacks are the Future of Breathitt County athletics, and the future has never been brighter. A lot of people surrounding the Breathitt County Football program are extremely optimistic on the future of the program. I have covered the Lumber jacks in a recent game, and the hype is real. Breathitt County may struggle a couple of more years, but once the Lumber Jacks make their way into high school players, I expect to see a much more competitive program. Bell County is in the second year of Coach Dudley Hilton. Hilton won a state championship at Bell County earlier in his career. Hilton left the Bell County program for a couple of years, and their program began to suffer. With Hilton Being back in Bell County, the future of Bell County looks bright and look to be competitive for years to come.
Bell County has the game in hand and only needed one more point to force a running clock. Bell County achieves the goal, forcing a running clock with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter. Jordan Wombles scores on a seven- yard rushing touchdown. Bell now lead 42-0 over Breathitt County. The score was the only scoring possession of the quarter. Breathitt County continued to compete and had two great plays during the quarter but again were unable to score. #19 Tyson Gross had a solid run gaining twenty- two yards, and #27 Jason Noble had a great run almost scoring on a forty- five- yard run, before being brought down at the Bell County fifteen- yard line.
Breathitt County avoids the shut out scoring on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Jason Noble set Breathitt County in excellent field position, with an outstanding run in the third quarter. QB #10 Cameron Stacy finds #11 Trey Noble in the end zone for a nine- yard touchdown. Breathitt Converts on the two- point conversion, as Stacy finds Slaughter in the end zone. 10:39 remained in the game Bell County 42- Breathitt County 8. Bell County finds the end zone one more time late in the game with a seven- yard TD run by #5 Hunter Bailey. Bell County goes on to defeat Breathitt County by forty points, Bell County 48- Breathitt County 8.
Stats- Stats of the game have been provided By WJSN 97.3 FM Radio Host Steven Neace
Bell County Bobcats 48
- First Downs 26
- Rushes/ Yards (net) 53 rushes for 370 net yards
- Passing Yards 61
- Total Offense plays/ Yards 63 plays for 431 net yards
- Fumble returns/ yards 1 fumble return for -1 yard
- Interceptions forced/ Return yard 2 interceptions for 7 yards net gain.
- Time of possession 19:30
- Rushing #23 Colby Frazier 15 attempts rushing for 106 net yards. #27 Jordan Wombles 11 attempts rushing for 104 net yards. # 32 Tyson Thomas eight attempts, rushing for 40 net yards. #34 Trevor Kidd 1 attempt rushing for 40 net yards. #5 Hunter Bailey 8 attempts rushing for 35 net yards. #15 Tanner Asher 5 attempts rushing for 22 yards. #14 Jason Jones 1 attempt rushing for 21 net yards. #24 William Dean 3 attempts rushing for 2 yards.
- Passing – #12 QB Isaac Collett five completions, 9 attempts, 0 interceptions, passing for 58 NET yards. # 20 Jonathan Lankford 1 attempt, 1 completion, 0 interceptions, passing for 3 NET yards
- Receiving – # 14 Jason Jones 2 receptions, gaining 26 NET yards. #2 Antonio Zachary 2 receptions, gaining 23 net yards. #27 Jordan Wombles 1 reception, gaining 9 NET yards. #7 Chandler Mink 1 reception, gaining 3 yards.
- Interceptions- #2 Antonio Zachary 1 interception, gaining 7 net yards. #14 Jason Jones 1 interception, 0 NET yards.
Breathitt County Bobcats 8
- First Downs 8
- Rushes/ Yards NET 14 rushes gaining 84 net yards.
- Passing yards 111
- Total Offensive plays 36 plays, gaining 195 NET yards.
- Time of Possession 20:53
- Rushing – #27 Jason Noble 1 attempt, gaining 45 net yards. #19 Tyson Gross 9 attempts, gaining 35 net yards. #12 Braxton O’Hara 2 attempts gaining 7 net yards. #10 Cameron Stacy 2 attempts, -3 net loss.
- Passing – #10 Cameron Stacy 12 completions, 21 attempts, 2 interceptions, passing for 96 Net yards. #12 Braxton O’Hara 1 attempt, 1 completion, 0 interceptions, passing for 5 net yards.
- Receiving- #6 Brandon Slaughter 7 receptions, gaining 58 NET yards. #11 Trey Noble 3 receptions, gaining 29 Net yards. #19 Tyson Gross 3 receptions, gaining 24 net yards.
Bell County advances to the second round of the KHSAA Class 3A playoffs with a rematch of district Rival the Corbin Redhounds. Corbin won the first matchup with a 42-8 victory over Bell County on October, 13, 2017. Bell County improves on the season with a 7 and 4 record. Corbin will host Bell County next Friday November, 10, 2017. Breathitt season is now over and their season ends with a four win and seven loss season. Good Luck to Bell County Bobcats in their quest on winning the Class 3A State Championship. Bluegrass Sports Nation will continue our game of the week coverage next Friday, Tune in as Brendon Miller will announce the game and location.