Somerset, Johnson Central, CovCath collect state football titles


LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – Somerset took advantage of an untimed down, completing a game-winning touchdown pass to stun Mayfield, 34-31, on the last play in the UK Orthopaedics/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl Class 2A championship Saturday.

It was the Briar Jumpers’ first state championship on their sixth try.
Kaiya Sheron threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Tate Madden from 20 yards out to make Somerset a state champion. The Briar Jumpers used a couple of penalties, including a pass interference call on what would have been Somerset’s last play of the game but provided them with an untimed down and the improable victory.

Somerset led 28-17 with 11:35 left to play on a 4-yard run by Mikey Garland, the junior’s third TD of the day. Mayfield answered at the 6:56 mark with an 11-yard strike from Jaden Stinson to Tate Puckett, standing wide open in the back of the end zone.

Somerset failed twice to collect the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Mayfield’s Gabe Spaulding at the Briar Jumpers’ 7-yard line. Kylan Galbreath rushed for a TD to put Mayfield in front for the first time, 31-28.

Sheron was sacked for a 12-yard loss to start Somerset’s next drive and it failed to get back to the original line of scrimmage. Mayfield got the ball back and forced the Briar Jumpers to use all three of their remaining timeouts. They finally stopped the Cardinals and Somerset had the ball back at its own 14 with only 28 seconds remaining and no timeouts.

Sheron rushed for six yards, threw an incomplete pass and then hit Kade Grundy for a 7-yard pickup. Madden was able to out of bounds after reeling in a 38-yard throw from Sheron with three seconds remaining.

What would have been Somerset’s final play — an incomplete pass from Sheron to Madden in the end zone — was followed up by an untimed down after Mayfield was called for defensive pass interference. It moved the Briar Jumpers to the Cardinals’ 20-yard line.

Sheron, a junior with a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky, was named MVP after completing 10 of 15 passes for 175 yards and rushing for 36 yards on 11 carries.

CLASS 4A: Johnson Central 21, Boyle Co. 20

Johnson Central continued the Mountain Magic in the UK Orthopaedics/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridron Bowl with a stout victory over Boyle County in the Class 4A champion Saturday at Kroger Field.

Johnson Central’s Cody Rice, who scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter separated the football from a Boyle County receiver to snuff out the last-ditch comeback effort.

Johnson Central (15-0) held the Rebels to their lowest offensive output of the season and took advantage of five Boyle County turnovers. The Rebels were held to their lowest point total of the season in finishing 14-1.

Coach Jim Matney employed a wishbone offense for the Golden Eagles that generated 270 yards rushing and 15 first downs. The ball-control effort and a hard-hitting defense was enough to give a mountain team a fourth state championship over the weekend. Somerset, Belfry and Pikeville also won titles.

Boyle County had allowed only 550 rushing yards in the previous 14 games combined. Dylan Preston gained 97 yards on 15 carries.

Johnson Central won its second title in its fifth straight appearance in the state finals.

CLASS 5A: Covington Catholic 14, Frederick Douglass 7

Covington Catholic outlasted Frederick Douglass in a defensive struggle during a battle of 14-0 teams.

The Colonels scored late in the first half and again in the third quarter on short scoring runs.

Frederick Douglass was trying to become the first Lexington public school to win the state championship since 1981.


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