Sunday, December 5, 2021

State Champs in Football

I thought it was a very entertaining KHSAA football season -- the state playoffs seemed much more competitive than usual.  Thanks to Eric for his coverage of Russellville and Tilghman.  Here are your six state champions:

1.  In Class 1A, Pikeville (14-2) beat Russellville 30-27 for its third state title in recent years.  Pikeville also went all the way in 2015 and 2019.

2.  In Class 2A, Beechwood (15-0) stunned Lexington Christian 23-21 to win its second consecutive 2A title.  Last year, Beechwood beat Lexington Christian 24-23 in overtime, and this year they won the rematch.  Lexington Christian beat 1A Champion Pikeville (31-14), and 4A Champion Boyle County (35-28), but could not win the 2A title.

3.  In Class 3A, Belfry (9-6) started off by losing four games in a row to Pulaski County, Covington Catholic, Lou. Central, and Pikeville.  They also forfeited a game to Lexington Christian.  So on September 23, the Pirates had a record of 0-5.  But they went 9-1 the rest of the way, and beat Paducah Tilghman 33-28 in the final.  Belfry once lost the 3A title game to Louisville Central three years in a row:  2010, 2011, and 2012.  Since then, the Pirates have won it six times:  2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021.  This was Tilghman's first appearance in the final since the Blue Tornado won it all in 2009.

4.  In Class 4A, Boyle County (14-1) lost only to Lexington Christian back in August, and had all blowouts in its last eight games.  The Rebels pounded Johnson Central 30-13 for its third consecutive 4A title, to go with previous titles in 2010 and 2009.

5.  In Class 5A, South Warren (14-1) continued Bowling Green's long tradition of excellence with a 38-26 win over Lex. Douglass.  The Spartans also won it all in 2018.

6.  In Class 6A, Lou. St. Xavier (14-1) had lost to Lou. Male 28-21 back on September 3.  But in the Game of the Year in Kentucky, the Tigers got their revenge when it mattered, beating Male 31-21 for the 6A title.  It was the first title for St. X since 2009.  But it was the sixth title for Kevin Wallace, who won the 5A title while at Bowling Green in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.  Wallace agreed to come to St. X a few years ago, and this year that really paid off.

For years, I've complained that we have too many blowouts in the KHSAA playoffs, and I still wish we would go back to four classes instead of six.  But five of the six title games this year were really good, and I'm so happy that everyone got to have a full season.

We will hand out our final awards once MaxPreps issues their final rankings for the 2021 season.

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