Monday, November 29, 2021

KHSAA Football Finals

Here is the schedule for the KHSAA Football Finals, with all games being played at UK's stadium in Lexington.  All times are Central, and numbers in parentheses are MaxPrep rankings:

Friday, December 3, 2021:
11 A.M.:  (39) Russellville v. (13) Pikeville (1A Final)
3 P.M.:  (4) Lex. Christian v. (11) Beechwood (2A Final)
7 P.M.:  (5) Boyle Co. v. (7) Johnson Cent. (4A Final)

Saturday, December 4, 2021:
11 A.M.:  (28) Paducah Tilghman v. (41) Belfry (3A Final)
3 P.M.:  (6) S. Warren v. (3) Lex. Douglass (5A Final)
7 P.M.:  (1) Lou. Male v. (2) Lou. St. Xavier (6A Final)

It makes me very happy to know that the finals feature four top-11 matchups, that Tilghman has a decent chance to win it all, and that the last high school game of the year in Kentucky will feature the number 1 and number 2 teams in the Commonwealth.


  1. WRUS 610 AM in Russellville is on the air from Lexington, and I, of course, most love the commercials. A furniture store, Crabtree's, has its own jingle, for which the opening line is, "Everyone needs a place to sit at the end of a long day."

    That's true.

  2. This opening, Class A championship pits maroon-and-white Panthers (Pikeville) against black-and-gold Panthers (Russellville).

  3. According to WRUS, the defensive strategy of the local Panthers' coach is to limit the opponent to no more than short gains on first and second downs (as opposed to longer gains), resulting in third-and-long situations. Sound approach.

  4. This is Russellville's first appearance in the final in 31 years.

  5. WRUS says Russellville coach Mikie Benton says he doesn't believe Pikeville has athletes who can keep up with his team's athletes in space.

  6. Pikeville returns a short opening kickoff to the Russellville 45.

  7. Pikeville's first two plays from scrimmage nets three yards and then one yard. So it's third-and-6 ...

  8. ... and Pikeville's pass in incomplete, and here comes the punter. So Coach Benton's defensive strategy absolutely worked on the game's opening possession.

  9. Russellville also is forced to punt on its first possession, and now Pikeville is facing fourth-and-3 from the Russellville 29 ...

  10. Pikeville breaks a couple of tackles and runs to the Russellville 5.

  11. PAT kick is no good, so it's 6-0, maroon-and-white Panthers.

  12. Russellville runs a reverse; one of the black-and-gold Panther athletes get into space, and the play GOES FOR 63 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN!

    Kick is no good: 6-6.

    WRUS's reporting on Coach Benton's analysis for this game has proven spot on.

  13. WRUS: "We're at Kroger Field where we've got ourselves a ballgame."

    Four minutes, 32 seconds to play in the first quarter ...

  14. KHSAA Class A football champions:

    2020 Paintsville
    2019 Pikeville
    2018 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2017 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2016 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2015 Pikeville
    2014 Mayfield
    2013 Mayfield
    2012 Mayfield
    2011 Hazard
    2010 Mayfield
    2009 Lexington Christian
    2008 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2007 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2006 Newport Central Catholic
    2005 Newport Central Catholic
    2004 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2003 Danville
    2002 Mayfield
    2001 Danville
    2000 Danville
    1999 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1998 Middlesboro
    1997 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1996 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1995 Mayfield
    1994 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1993 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1992 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1991 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1990 Russellville
    1989 Pikeville
    1988 Pikeville
    1987 Pikeville
    1986 Heath
    1985 Crittenden County
    1984 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    1983 Russellville
    1982 Paris
    1981 Paris
    1980 Russellville
    1979 Bellevue
    1978 Fort Campbell
    1977 Bellevue
    1976 Fort Campbell
    1975 Ludlow
    1974 Murray
    1973 Paris
    1972 Trigg County
    1971 Trigg County
    1970 Bardstown
    1969 Mount Sterling
    1968 Lynch East Main
    1967 Bardstown
    1966 Dayton
    1965 Erlanger Lloyd Memorial
    1964 Elkhorn City
    1963 Lynch East Main
    1962 Versailles
    1961 Murray
    1960 Lynch East Main
    1959 Lynch East Main

  15. 3:28, Q1: Pikeville 13, Russellville 6.

  16. Russellville throws a bomb; one of the black-and-gold Panther athletes gets into space, and the play GOES FOR 44 YARDS AND A TOUCHDOWN!

    2:25, Q1: 13-13.

  17. WRUS: "We're at Kroger Field where we've got a shootout going on!"

  18. Pikeville throws a 53-yard touchdown pass!

    2:12, Q1: 20-13, Pikeville.

  19. Apparently, Logan County and/or Russellville has privatized garbage collection. A commercial on WRUS for a waste company urges residents to move their garbage cans to within three feet of the curb the night before their scheduled pickup.

  20. Russellville is forced to punt from midfield; the punter has to cover the fumbled snap, and now Pikeville has first-and-10 from the Russellville 39 ...

  21. Oh, my! Final: Pikeville 30, Russellville 27.

  22. After I went to lunch, Pikeville scored the game's next 10 points to move ahead 30-13 late in the first half. Russellville then scored two touchdowns and reached the Pikeville 18 with about three minutes to play. But then black-and-gold Panthers lost several yards and were stopped on a fourth-and-22 by the maroon-and-white Panthers. Pikeville then was able to run out the game's final two minutes to win its third state championship since 2015. What a game!

  23. So, in conclusion, congratulations to the West Paducah Heath Pirates, 1986 Class A KHSAA football champions!

    1. Still the only school west of Hopkinsville with state championships in football and boys' basketball.

  24. In the postgame show, WRUS runs a commercial for a local funeral home that explains, in sports, the final score never tells the whole story. "What about the great comeback or that heart-breaking play?" Then it says the funeral home prides itself on providing the services that help tell "the whole story."

    The timing of this commercial for the home crowd back in Russellville was pretty interesting, and I will have to say that I am interested to learn more than 30 seconds of the picture that the funeral home was painting about itself here.

  25. Russellville's final possession started at its own 7 before stalling out after reaching the Pikeville 18.

  26. Sweet. Now WRUS is reading the names of Russellville's senior football players.

  27. WRUS: "This will eat at us for a while ... heartbroken today, but, long term, we'll think back, 'What a year 2021 was.'"

  28. Programming note: Beechwood and Lexington Christian are about 15 minutes from kicking off the 2A final, about the time I am heading out for a poetry reading.

    KHSAA Class 2A state champions:

    2020 Fort Mitchell Beechwood
    2019 Somerset
    2018 Christian Academy of Louisville
    2017 Danville
    2016 Christian Academy of Louisville
    2015 Louisville DeSales
    2014 Louisville DeSales (Murray)*
    2013 Louisville DeSales
    2012 Newport Central Catholic
    2011 Covington Holy Cross
    2010 Newport Central Catholic
    2009 Fort Campbell
    2008 Fort Campbell
    2007 Fort Campbell
    2006 Mercer County
    2005 Russell
    2004 Belfry
    2003 Belfry
    2002 Breathitt County
    2001 Bardstown
    2000 Boyle County
    1999 Boyle County
    1998 Caldwell County
    1997 Bourbon County
    1996 Breathitt County
    1995 Breathitt County
    1994 Danville
    1993 Mayfield
    1992 Danville
    1991 Danville
    1990 Fort Knox
    1989 Danville
    1988 Fort Knox
    1987 Danville
    1986 Mayfield
    1985 Mayfield
    1984 Newport Catholic
    1983 Fort Knox
    1982 Corbin
    1981 Bardstown
    1980 Corbin
    1979 Fort Campbell
    1978 Mayfield
    1977 Mayfield
    1976 Corbin
    1975 Scott County
    1974 Owensboro
    1973 Paducah Tilghman
    1972 Lexington Tates Creek
    1971 Lexington Bryan Station
    1970 Fort Thomas Highlands
    1969 Elizabethtown
    1968 Fort Thomas Highlands
    1967 Ashland Paul Blazer
    1966 Hopkinsville
    1965 Hopkinsville
    1964 Fort Thomas Highlands
    1963 Caldwell County
    1962 Danville
    1961 Fort Thomas Highlands
    1960 Fort Thomas Highlands
    1959 Henderson

  29. 7:31 to go in the 4A final, and Belfry calls timeout with the Blue Tornadoes at the Pirate 10 … Belfry 27, Tilghman 21 …

  30. WKYX: “If you are just joining us, boy, have you missed a great game!”

  31. Belfry faces fourth-and-7 … six minutes… hasn’t passed all game …

  32. Still hasn’t … 61 yards around end and TOUCHDOWN!

  33. 4:58 to go … Belfry up 33-28 and going for two …

  34. Stopped. Tilghman trails by five with kickoff coming …

  35. Tell them in fumbles the kick off return.

  36. 3:11 to play … Belfry has third-and-5 at Tilghman 26 …

  37. Foot short … Tilghman calls its last timeout…

  38. Belfry won, 33-28. Isaac Dixon, who came back to Belfry for one more year of high-school football after what would've been his senior season was hosed because of the virus, ran for 376 yards in the game. I'm pretty sure the Pirates never threw a pass against Tilghman. Belfry took the lead for good when Dixon ran 61 yards for a score on a fourth-and-7, and then it converted another fourth down on a possession that ran off the game's final five minutes. Just amazing.