Week 3- Bluegrass Sports Nation Game of the week: Knott County Central Patriots vs. Perry County Central Patriots.
Week #3 of the KHSAA High School football occurred this past weekend. Bluegrass Sports Nation has chosen a game of the week with Perry Central battling Knott Central, in which we offer complete media coverage of the action on the field. The coverage includes pre- game interviews with the coaches from each school, videos of each team entering the field, progress via social media during games, quarterly updates, excellent photography work from Brendon Miller, and an article detailing the game action.
This weeks game of the week featured two undefeated teams entering week three of the season, Class 3A Knott County Central Patriots taking on the home team Class 5A Perry County Central Commodores. Knott County Central entered the game with victories over Lynn Camp in week one, and a shut out win over Sheldon Clark in week two. Perry County Central also undefeated had victories over McCreary Central and Breathitt County last week.
The game was a great game to attend for anyone that loves a hard hitting game on both sides with a rapid scoring attack. Both teams are improved from last season and both teams have at least one player that is expected to play Football at the next level. Knott County Central has 6’8” 257 lb Junior Quarterback #14 Cameron Jones. Jones’s size and arm strength will likely draw interest from Division 1 schools, although just a Junior I anticipate recruiting to pick up for the Knott Central big man. Perry County Central features 2 running backs that are as good as any in the mountains. Jayden Neace # 34 and Jacob Woolum # 19 are a pair of dynamic running backs and both may have the opportunity to play at the next level if they desire.
The game started with Perry County Central receiving the ball, marching down the field with a strong opening series, until the ball was fumbled in the red zone at the opponents 20 yard line. Knott County Central gained possession of the ball, and on the very next play scored on an 80 yard run by Hunter Hammonds #7. Knott County Central took an early 7-0 lead with 10:37 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Perry County Central would counter with 3 consecutive and unanswered touchdowns all in the first quarter of play. Jacob Woolum # 19, Jordan Caudill #19, and Jayden Neace #34 each scored in the opening quarter. At the end of the first quarter Perry County Central had a 2 touchdown lead with the score Perry County Central 21, Knott County Central 7.
The last play of the opening quarter saw a moment that left the crowd speechless. Knott County Central had a player injured playing a game he loves, Mitchell Pollard #54 laid flat on the ground with very little movement. The player had to have direct medical supervision with an ambulance and medical personnel entering the field. It was reported that Pollard had a problem with his shoulders and neck and was unable to stand or be lifted on to his feet. Pollard was directly transported to nearby ARH hospital via an ambulance from the field. Coaches from both teams came over to check on the young man, and players all bowed their heads praying for Pollard. Anyone that competes in athletics want to win, but no one wants to see a student athlete injured requiring medical attention. Great class and sportsmanship by both teams, to me. It was later reported to the public address booth that Pollard was doing ok, and ARH was thoroughly checking him out. We wish Pollard a speedy recovery and hope the young man is able to resume to playing football.
Once the game resumed, it was evident that Knott County players and coaches had their injured team mate on their mind. With 3 quarters of the game left to play, It appeared that Knott County had lost some of its focus. Perry County Central would score often during the second quarter with several long runs by # 34 Neace and Woolum # 19. Jayden Neace had 2 more touchdowns in the quarter breaking several tackles and making the Knott County defenders miss. Knott County wasn’t shut out of the quarter as they scored on two possessions during the quarter. The Best play of offense for Knott came with 7:03 seconds left in the quarter. Quarterback Cameron Jones was facing a third and long and lined up in the shot gun formation. Jones sent several receivers deep and connected with #6 Tyler Kidd on a 56 yard touchdown. The play was amazing and showed why Jones is expected to be a highly regarded prospect. At the half Perry County Central had a commanding lead over the Knott County Central Patriots of 51- 19.
After the half, the game turned into a defensive battle with multiple turnovers by both teams. The offensive arsenal that was in display during the first half had turned into a game that was driven by the defenses. Perry County would continue their strong running game, but lost the ball at the end of plays, giving Knott County Central possession of the ball. Knott County was facing a huge deficet and went for it fourth down on more than one occasion. On a couple of occasions Knott County just couldn’t convert on fourth down, turning the ball over to the Commodores. The third quarter ended with the same score as halftime PCC 51- KCC 19. Perry County Central would score one more touchdown in the fourth quarter as Ethan Eldridge #5 scored on a fifty yard run. The play would be the last scoring play of the game and Perry County Central would win the game with the score of PCC 57- KCC 19.
The Commodore victory tonight was a special moment for Perry County Central Head- Coach Tom Larkey. Larkey is a legend in KHSAA football, having been a head coach for 37 years. Larkey has been a head coach at Rockcastle County, Harlan County, and Laurel County before taking the helm @ Perry County Central. Tonight’s victory gives the legendary coach 299 career wins. I’m sure he will get his 300th win this season, possible as soon as next week. Congrats to Coach Larkey on nearing completion on another major milestone in your storied coaching career.
Key plays/ stats
Stats are courtesy of www.khsaa.org
Perry County Central 57
Rushing 588 yards rushing the ball tonight
#34 Jayden Neace 24 carries, 3 TD, and 297 yards rushing
#19 Jacob Woolum 12 carries, 3 TD, and 167 yards rushing
# 5 Ethan Eldridge 1 carry, 1 TD, 50 yards rushing.
#15 Devin Hill 1 carry, 1TD, 37 yards rushing.
Passing QB # 25 Jack Sluss 1 completion on one attempt for a net gain of 26 yards.
Receiving – 1 reception to # 19 Jacob Woolum for 26 yards.
-11 rushing yards allowed, 326 passing yards allowed.
Interceptions: 1 interception by #23 Cameron Fugate, 0 net yards.
Fumble: 1 fumble recovery by #59 Sam Turner, o net yards.
Tackles- Top 4 leading tackles.
#8 Colten Walker, 8 tackles in total, 2 solo, 6 assisted.
#19 Jacob Woolum, 7 tackles in total, 4 solo, 3 assisted.
# 3 Chandler Caudill, 7 tackles in total, 4 solo, 3 assisted.
#59 Sam Turner, 6 tackles in total, 2 solo, 4 assisted.
Knott County Central- at the time this article was wrote no stats are available from www.khsaa.org
The Perry County Central victory gives the Commodores a 3 and 0 record, heading into another home game against the Clay County Tigers next week. Knott County Central drops to a 2 and 1 record with Shelby Valley coming to Hindman next weekend. Good luck to both teams, as it has been a pleasure covering your teams. Bluegrass Sports Nation will continue our game of the week coverage next week in week 4 of the KHSAA season. We will be traveling to Paintsville, KY to cover the game between Paintsville Tigers and the Pikeville Panthers.