"That was a Male-Manual game right there. Their kids played hard, and I thought our kids played hard too." Male coach Bob Redman said.
The Bulldogs drew first blood when Brian Anderson connected on a 25 yard pass to Douglas Beaumont. The Crimsons countered when QB Austin Tiller scampered 27 yards for the TD. The extra point was blocked and Male led 7-6 going into the half.
In the 3rd quarter Manual (7-3) took the lead when Tiller connected with Andrew Robinson on a long pass that resulted in 76 yard TD. The Crimsons got the 2 point conversion and took the lead 14-7. Male (8-2) evened the score at 14-14 when Anderson threaded a strike to Brandyn Anderson for 17 yards and a score.
The two teams traded scores again late in the 3rd quarter, with Male blocking the Manual extra point try for a 21-20 lead.
This is where the real drama began. With a little over 5:00 minutes left in the game, Manual kicker Michael Snow nailed a 30 yarder to give the Crimsons a 23-21 lead. On the following Bulldog possession, Levon Carter intercepted Brian Anderson to give Manual the upper hand. However, with 3 minutes left and facing a 4th and 1 on near midfield, Manual coach Joe Nichols chose to go for it. The Male defense stuffed the Crimsons Quintin Diggs and received the ball on downs. The Manual defense stiffened on the next two plays putting Male in a 3rd and 18.
Bob Redman went to his bag of tricks and pulled out a reverse, and Brandyn Brown gained 26 yards for a Bulldog first down. The next 3 plays left Male with a 4th and 4. Brian Anderson once again was clutch on the rollout and connected with Douglas Beaumont for a 24 yard gain across the middle to set up the field goal attempt. In a game that went back and forth with big play after big play, this one was decided by one of the smallest players on the field, Male Junior kicker Richard Fangman. Fangman booted a 31 yarder from the right hash mark with 20 seconds left to pull out the victory.
Male has won 16 of the last 17 meetings between these two schools.
In other 4A games:
St. Xavier tuned up for the playoffs with a 42-7 pasting of Pleasure Ridge Park. The X ground game was very potent as Justin Brown scored 2 TD's in the first quarter and Victor Anderson also scored 2 TDs for the Tigers (9-1). The Panthers (5-5) never got on track against the X defense and scored a late 4th quarter TD to avoid a shutout.
The Trinity Shamrocks closed out the regular season with a with district title win over Ballard 34-17 Friday night at Ballard. This game stayed close through the first half as the Bruins were able to keep good pressure on Rock QB Brad Savko. Ballard (7-3) held a 10-7 lead in the 2nd quarter and Trinity (9-1) answered with 17 straight points to take a 24-10 lead at the half. Savko was 17 of 28 for 289 yards and 3 TDs, all to Craig Kircher. Both teams will open with home field playoff games.
Henderson County (9-1) was on an open date this weekend to prepare for the first round of the playoffs.
Madison Central finished it's regular season with 49-30 victory at Johnson Central Friday night. Central (9-1) will host the Generals of Lexington Lafayette in the first round of the playoffs.
The Conner Cougars (10-0) completed an undefeated season with a 35-0 win over Simon Kenton. Trevor Stellman figured largely in the first 3 Conner TDs. He had 2 TD passes and a 36 yard run for a score. He finished 10 of 17 and 147 yards.
Dixie Heights ended the playoff run for John Schlarman's Campbell County Camels 37-13 Friday night. The Colonels (8-2) picked off 4 Steven Brown passes. The Camel's Brown had a 2nd quarter TD pass to Tim Mosely to narrow the score to 10-7, but then Dixie QB Greg Preston shook off a cold start and to connect on 3 TD passes. He finished 12 of 23 for 225 yards and also had 2 rushing TDs.
Scott County swept the district by beating Lexington Lafayette 28-0 Friday night. Ted Sberna and Percy Hargrove proved to be too much for the General. The Cardinals used their pounding running game to limit Lafayette to only 3 snaps in the first quarter. Scott County (8-2) will play host to North Laurel in the first round of the playoffs.
In 3A games:
The Highlands Bluebirds used a stifling defense to shutout Covington Catholic 9-0 Friday night. The win was especially sweet for former CovCath players Nick Sheffield, Michael Mitchell, and Mike Stowers. The Bluebirds (9-1) held the Colonels to a net 37 yards of offense the entire game. Highlands will host Franklin County next Friday night, and CovCath will host a tough game against Harrison County.
Hopkinsville finished undefeated for the first team since 1995 in beating Paducah Tilghman 21-0 Friday night. UK verbal Curtis Pulley has 157 yards on 16 carries and scored the first TD of the game for the Tigers (10-0) on a 67 yard run. He also had 1 TD passing on 16 of 25 throws for 162 yards. The Tigers will host Adair County Friday night in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bowling Green Purples finished a second straight season undefeated by beating Franklin-Simpson 28-14 Friday night. Bowling Green used a 2 prong running attack with Curtis Hockersmith and Avery Hibbett who had 189 yards between them. Purples QB Russell Parker was limited on pass attempts this week due to such a strong running game, but did finish 8 or 12 for 95 yards and 2 TD's. Bowling Green (10-0) will have homefield throughout the region and will host Union County Friday night. The Wildcats (8-2) will play host to Paducah Tilghman in the first round.
Lexington Catholic needed some rest to heal the injured Justin Burke and Anderson County provided the relief. The Knights(9-1) tuned up for the playoffs by pummeling lowly Anderson County 51-0.
Boyle County (8-2) finished the regular season, pounding Lincoln County 63-8 Friday night. Rebel QB Brandon Smith was 17 of 23 for 223 yards and 5 TDs. He also has another TD rushing. Smith and Curtis Pulley are going to make it tough on the voters for Kentucky Mr. Football voting.
In 2A games:
Breathitt County's Jacob Hundley is really turning some college coaches heads with his stellar play. Hundley was a razor sharp 14 of 17 for 217 yards and 3 TD's in Breathitt's 56-0 win over Knott County Central. This season Hundley has 27 TD's with only 2 picks. Breathitt County (10-1) finished the season undefeated and have homefield throughout the region playoffs.
Fort Campbell put 36 on the board in the first quarter and cruised to 57-7 victory over the Reidlands Greyhounds. Micah Johnson had 38 yards on 3 carries and a TD for Fort Campbell and Tremaine McKeithan returned to play after an injury to get a 70 yard TD. He had 95 yards on 3 carries. The Falcons (9-1) will host Hart County Friday night in the first round of the playoffs.
Elizabethtown (9-1) had an open date this weekend and is preparing for the playoffs.
The Russell Red Devils made the trip to Flemingsburg to decide the district title and came home with a 45-18 win. The Devils (10-0) finish the year undefeated and will host the region playoffs throughout.
The Belfry Pirates (9-1) bounced back from a loss at Ironton Ohio with a win at home over Shelby Valley 55-18 Friday night. Class 2A playoffs shape up to be very entertaining with some very strong teams at opposite sides of the state this year.
In 1A games:
Beechwood's Dustin Menetrey scored a 62 yard TD on the first play of scrimmage and the route began of Covington Holy Cross 65-0. Menetrey gained 237 yards on 62 carries and 3 TD's. Beechwood (9-1) will host the region playoffs throughout.
Newport Central Catholic cruised 56-0 at home over Bracken County Friday night. NewCath QB Sam Diehl only attempted 4 passes the entire game and completed all 4 of them for 100 yards and 2 TDs as all NewCath (9-1) points were scored in the first half.
Williamsburg closed out its regular season with a 15-8 win at Harlan. Harlan led the game 8-7 late in the 4th quarter. Jacket's QB Andy Greer scored a TD with 27 seconds left in regulation and completed the 2 point conversion pass to TE Tyler Ayers to complete a 10-0 season and district 7 title.
Holy Cross went cross county to wallop Kentucky Country Day 55-0. Marell Booker scored 4 offensive TDs for the Cougars (9-1) and and a 50 yard punt return for a score.
The playoffs begin in all classes this weekend.