October 26, 2018 – Prestonsburg, Kentucky – NATHAN LYTTLE – Bluegrass Sports Nation Perry Central Football Columnist
As of Friday morning, Perry Central had only one 8-2 season in the program’s history. Friday night, the 2018 Commodores etched their name into the record books by beating Prestonsburg, 35-14.
This team joins the 2011 crew who had the best overall season in school history, earning nine wins and the school’s first playoff victory. That team started off the season by taking down the Blackcats and putting up 35 points as well, but that game was in question until the final second when Quarterback Kyle Huff punched it into the endzone to seal the win, 35-34.
Friday night’s win was much more decisive, but it took the Commodores a little while to get things going.
“I thought we came out still trying to shake last week off of us,” Head Coach Ovie Canady said.
The Blackcats started the season 0-7 but rode a two-game win streak into senior night on their home field.
“Prestonsburg has improved all year long and that was a good win for us,” Canady said. “I’m glad we woke up after halftime.”
The Commodores defense stood strong in the first half, giving up only one touchdown on a shortened field after a kick return brought the ball into Perry Central territory. But fumbles ended two Perry Central drives and the Commodores went into halftime with a slim 14-8 lead.
“I thought we had some kids really grow and learn last night,” Canady said. “Ethan Eldridge had an amazing second half and is starting to really understand things now.”
Eldridge hauled in two interceptions in the second half. He took one to the house, earning the only defensive touchdown of the night.
Jayden Neace had another big night, taking several snaps from the quarterback position.
“We have had a package with him at QB. I think we tried it against Letcher and fumbled the first snap,” Canady said. “Things went really well in it last night. He had the ball in his hands basically every play and that is what we wanted.”
Neace ended up with four touchdowns on the night. A would-be fifth touchdown was called back for celebrating before crossing the goal line.
The Blackcats will take the Mountain Parkway to Lexington next week as they take on Lexington Christian in the opening round of the playoffs. Perry Central heads to Southwestern in hopes of bringing home the school’s first-ever road playoff victory and keep their season alive.
From this point on, it’s win or go home.