Bobcats Defeat Morgan County 54- 26. Colton Ritchie six year old Cancer Survivor honored during the game.
David Leveridge- High School Football
Bluegrass Sports Nation game of the Week, KHSAA Football Class 3A District Seven. Morgan County Cougars vs Breathitt County Bobcats, week eight of KHSAA Football regular season.
Tonight’s game of the week featured two undefeated teams, competing in Class 3A District seven. The Morgan County Cougars traveled to Jackson, KY to take on the Breathitt County Bobcats. The game tonight is a district rivalry, and the winner of tonight’s game will go a long way in determining the district Champion of KHSAA Football Class 3A District seven. Morgan County entered tonight’s game with a .500 record consisting of three wins and three losses. Morgan County opened the season with a 36- 54 loss to Rowan County in Week one. Morgan County Dominated the Jenkins Cavaliers 60-0 in Jenkins during week two. The next two weeks Morgan was soundly defeated by Mason County, and Shelby Valley. Entering District play Morgan County has played their best football of the year, and is currently on a two- game winning streak entering Tonight’s matchup with the Breathitt County Bobcats. Breathitt County struggled earlier this year losing five straight games. When the Feeder program of Grade School Football was cut a couple years ago from the athletic program, developing team has Chemistry has proven to be a challenge to the Bobcats. The Last two weeks of the season Breathitt County has played their best Football of the season, and is also on a current two- game winning streak. Breathitt County defeated Knott County Central Patriots on the road in week six with a 50-43 victory. Last week Breathitt played at home defeating the Estill County Engineers 36-22.
Morgan County received the ball to start the game. Morgan County had a strong opening drive advancing the ball past mid field to the Breathitt County twenty- yard line. 8:55 remained in the first quarter and the Cougars turned the ball over on a fumble. Breathitt County #26 Dalton Mann’s recovered the ball at the twenty- yard line. Breathitt had the ball and opened the game with a scoring drive. QB #10 Cameron Stacy kept the ball for a four- yard QB keeper run with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter. Breathitt goes for the two- point conversion and were successful with #6 Brandyn Slaughter scoring. Breathitt County Led 8- 0 over Morgan County. Morgan County turned the ball over again at mid field, again a fumble recovered by Breathitt County. Braxton Eiserman #55 recovered the fumble with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter. The Bobcats were playing extremely confident and again found the end- zone on a scoring drive. Trey Noble #11 had an outstanding catch of thirteen yards gain, and Tyson Gross #19 had a good run advancing the ball into the red zone of Morgan County. Cameron Stacy the QB ran the ball picking up the first down, being brought down at the one- yard line, just before scoring. The next play #19 Tyson Gross scores with a one- yard run. Breathitt Converted with a two- point conversion, running the ball #26 Dalton Manns scored on the conversion. 1:04 remained in the first quarter, Breathitt led Morgan 16-0.
Morgan County had the ball starting the second quarter. On one possession early in the quarter Morgan County was facing a fourth down and two @ the Morgan County forty- four yard line. The Cougars go for the conversion but was stopped, giving Breathitt County the ball back with good field position. The Next play Tyson Gross rushes the ball for a thirty- one yard gain, advancing the ball to the Morgan County twelve yard line. The Bobcats did not score on the drive as the team was stopped on a fourth and nine, giving the ball back to Morgan County. Morgan County started to advance the ball down field with a great pass from # 6 Garrett Adkins to #2 Zach Gilliam. However, just when Morgan County looked like they had found their groove and was threatening to score Morgan County Fumbled the ball for the third time of the night, with Breathitt regaining possession. # 11 Trey Noble recovers the ball at the nineteen-yard line of Breathitt County. Breathitt Capitalized for a third time off the Morgan Turnover, scoring with a one- yard QB run by Cameron Stacy. Breathitt County was off to a commanding lead of BHS 22- MCHS0 with 5:28 remaining in the half. Morgan County gets on the scoreboard with 3:59 remaining in the half as #35 Kaden Ballenger scored on a twenty six yard rushing TD. The last couple minutes of the game featured multiple scores by Breathitt and one more score from Morgan County. Fifty- nine seconds remained in the half and #19 Tyson Gross Rushed the ball for a two- yard rushing TD. Morgan County scored quickly as the QB # 6 Garret Adkins finds #2 Zach Gilliam in the end zone with only 17.8 seconds remaining in the half. As the half was expiring Breathitt County QB Cameron Stacy finds #11 Trey Noble in the end zone for another TD. At the Half Breathitt County led Morgan County 34- 14.
Colton Ritchie and family honored during Half- time.
Heroes and inspiration comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Colton Ritchie, who is the six -year old son of Josh and Shannon Ritchie was honored at halftime during the game tonight. Colton Was joined on the field with Twin Brother Jaiden Ritchie. Colton has become an inspiration to everyone in the Breathitt County area, as he has bravely battled (DIPG) Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, commonly known as a form of brain Cancer for over a year. The kid has been through more at a young age, than some people ever will. Through it all Colton has been brave, continuing to fight the Life- Threatening Disease. Colton has inspired the “Team Colton” t- shirts as people in the County and across the country show their support and encouragement. To help pay for his family expenses travelling back and forth to Cincinnati, Ohio Several Fundraisers have been held including a Disney character Princess Ball, and recently had a super hero ball with his family and friends dressed up as their favorite Super heroes or villains. Although, he suffers a great deal of pain and is pushed by his parents in a wheel chair, he is always seen with a big smile on his face. The type of Smile that can light up a room! Yellow and white Balloons were released into the sky, and the moment was surreal for everyone attending the game. Fans, players, media, and anyone attending the game all applauded Colton and his family. The Balloons are a sign of Pediatric Cancer survivors. The Ritchie family were honorary game captains and once the Bobcats took the field, joined the family at the fifty -yard line. Colton was escorted via a golf cart, along with his family and mascot riding on the back.
Third Quarter- After the emotional halftime moment, the game resumed. Breathitt County received the ball to start the second half. On The opening kickoff, the fans witnessed one of the most exciting plays in all of Football a kickoff return for a TD. #11 Trey Noble received the ball at the Breathitt County twenty- four yard- line. Noble mishandled the ball, before running. Once Trey Noble Got the ball in his hands firmly, he makes a move making several Cougars Defenders miss with open field to run. Seventy- Six yards later Noble scored crossed the pylon giving the Bobcats the score. Breathitt County increased the lead with the score BHS 42- MCHS 14, 11:47 remained in the third quarter. The Bobcats found the end zone one more time in the quarter as QB Stacy rushed the ball for a one- yard TD with 6:04 remaining in the third Quarter. BHS led 48- 14. Morgan County kept playing and never gave up, but the Cougars become turnover prone again with two more Fumbles recovered by Breathitt County. 5:45 #11 Trey Noble recovered the ball and 4:03 remaining in the quarter Morgan Turned the ball over again. Tyler Patrick #44 Recovered the ball at the Breathitt County forty- two yard line. Viewing the game from the booth and setting near WJSN Radio host Steven Neace, I was informed of an interesting stat. Morgan County had fumbled the ball six times, losing the ball five times and Breathitt Scoring four times on the turnovers. The Quarter concluded with the score Breathitt 48- Morgan 14.
Although, Breathitt County had a commanding lead Morgan Continued to compete not giving up. Morgan County scored two times in the fourth quarter playing their best quarter of the game. Kevin Howard #1 rushed the ball for an impressive eighty- six yard TD. 10:57 remained in the final Quarter, Morgan County reduced the lead to twenty- eight point. Morgan County 20- Breathitt County 48. Morgan County QB #6 Garret Adkins finds his favorite wide- receiver #2 Zach Gilliam in the end zone for a twenty six yard score. 8:02 remained in the game, Morgan County 26- Breathitt County 48. Breathitt County scored one more time in the game, with the last scoring possession of the game. QB #10 Cameron Stacy finds #6 Brandyn Slaughter in the end zone for a thirty- nine yard score. Morgan County fumbles the ball again for a seventh time during the game, again recovered by Breathitt County. Breathitt County goes on to defeat Morgan County 54- 26.
Stats- Stats have been provided by WJSN FM 97.3 Radio Host Steven Neace.
Breathitt County 54
- First Downs – 26
- Rushing attempts/ net yards- 54 attempts, gaining 317 NET rushing yards.
- Passing- 21 attempts, 10 completions,0 interceptions
- Kickoff returns/ yards gained. 3 returns, gaining 96 yards.
- Fumbles recovered- 6
- Penalties- 8 penalties, 59 yards
- Possesion Time- 25.40
- Rushing attempts/yards #19 Tyson Gross- 30 attempts, gaining 199 yards. #10 Cameron Stacy 13 attempts gaining 63 yards. #26 Dalton Manns- 7 attempts, gaining 41 yards. #27 Jason Noble- 1 attempt, gaining 10 yards. # 59 Nick Shelton- 1 attempt, gaining 4 yards. #12 Braxton Ohara- 1 attempt, gaining 1 yard.
- Passing( Completions, Attempts, Interceptions, Yards) #10 Cameron Stacy- 10 Completions, 21 attempts, 0 int, 163 passing yards.
- Receiving- # 6 Brandyn Slaughter- 4 catches, gaining 98 yards. # 11 Trey Noble- 4 catches, gaining 51 yards. #19 Tyson Gross- 2 catches, gaining 14 yards.
Morgan County 26
- First Downs – 14
- Rushing attempts/ net yards. – 24 attempts, gaining 211 yards.
- Passing- 14 attempts, 10 completions, 0 intercetions.
- Punt Return- 1 return, gaining 17 yards.
- Kickoff returns/ yards- 5 returns, – 13 yards of negative yards.
- Fumbles by team/ lost- seven fumbles, six lost.
- Penalties- 6 penalties, for 42 yards.
- Posseion Time- 14:29
- Rushing attempts/ Net yards- #1 Kevin Howard 3 attempts, gaining 93 net yards. # 35 Kaden Ballenger 12 attempts, gaining 90 yards. # 6 Garrett Adkins 6 attempts, gaining 31 yards.
- Passing (completions, attempts, Interceptions, Yards) #6 Garrett Adkins- 10 completions, 12 attempts, 0 Interceptions, 185 Net passing yards.
- Receiving (receptions/ yards) #12 Michael Prater 4 receptions, gaining 82 yards. #2 Zach Gilliam 4 receptions/ gaining 66 yards. # 21 Payton Hampton 2 reception, gaining 37 yards.
Breathitt County Improves on the season with a record of three wins and five loses. All of the Breathitt County Victories have come in district play being 3 and 0 in Class 3A, District 7 Football. Breathitt County will play next Friday against Powell County who is also undefeated in district play. The game next week will be a deciding game on crowing the District Champion. Being a district Champion guarantees the School to host at least one game of the Playoffs if not two, depending on if the team is able to get past week one. Morgan County drops on the season with a record of three wins and four loses. Morgan County has a record of two wins and one loss in district play. The Cougars will travel to Knott County Central next Friday to play another District seven rival. Good luck to both teams, for the remainder of the season and it has been a pleasure covering your teams. Bluegrass Sports Nation will continue our game of the week coverage next Friday, the game is yet to be announced. Stay tuned as Brendon Miller will do a video announcing the game.