Four UK commits.
Six more with Kentucky offers.
Two state powers.
The first Kroger KSR Game of the Week.
Surely a game of this magnitude couldn’t live up to the hype, could it?
North Hardin kicker Cayden Logsdon lined up for a field goal, trailing 17-16 with 4 seconds left.
It got there.
Logsdon converted thanks in part to holder Camron Smith masterfully controlling a shaky snap.
His hold would have made Tony Romo proud.
North Hardin walked off The Farm with a 19-17 victory.
In a game that featured so many stars, there was one that shined the brightest.
After 6 months of hardly any live sports in Kentucky, North Hardin running back La’Vell Wright
gave UK fans reasons to smile.
Lots of them.
His most impressive and important play came on third down in the game’s final minute. He caught a low, short pass near the line of scrimmage, made a defender miss and dragged several more Broncos inside the five, stopping the clock for a 20-yard gain.
In real time, I thought he should have dropped the ball on purpose, stopping the clock for the fourth down play.
I was wrong.
“I just saw the linebacker was lined up on the right side and I had to break two or three tackles to get into field goal range and that’s what I did,” Wright told KSR.
I will never doubt La’Vell Wright again.
I know I will love watching him suit up for the Cats next season.
You will like him, too.
Want a running back that can power through defenders?
Want a sure-handed back that can catch and run out of the backfield?
Wright is your guy.
Want a running back that can throw passes over the top of the defense?
His 62-yard halfback pass to Kent State commit Marcus Harris caught the Broncos napping.
Harris was tackled on the 2-yard line, setting up a Manie Wimberly to Smith TD pass right before halftime.
Wright rushed for a ton of yards.
After the game I went to the press box to find out exactly how many yards he finished with.
No one knew.
I guess they lost count.
Harris and Smith put up big receiving yards, but the key to the game was North Hardin’s defense.
UK commit Jordan Lovett
, a safety who picked off 15 passes last year, didn’t allow many passes to come his way against the Broncos and made some score-saving tackles.
Frederick Douglass elected to throw away from him and challenged the other North Hardin pass defenders.
It didn’t work.
After falling behind 2-0 early on a safety caused by Douglass defensive lineman Romarian Warner, North Hardin senior LB Devontae LeMafa welcomed Broncos QB Samuel Cornett to Kentucky high school football, jumping a route for a pick six on the Broncos second series.
This was the first of six Bronco turnovers.
The extra point attempt was blocked, and North Hardin led 6-2.
North Hardin DB Micah Parmers leaped over Dekel Crowdus for a spectacular interception in corner of the end zone, preserving the Trojans’ 6-2 lead.
The Parmer interception brought back memories of former Wildcat great Trevard Lindley.
LeMafa picked off another Bronco pass in the third quarter to set up the Wright-to-Harris halfback pass.
UK commit Jager Burton
made some key plays for Douglass.
After a 10-yard Darius Neal TD run, Burton ran in the 2-point conversion on a trick play.
Freddie Maggard says that the future UK offensive lineman is versatile.
I didn’t know he was THAT versatile.
Burton also threw a key block on Neal’s second touchdown run, a three-yard rush with 1:29 remaining.
The extra point put Douglass up 17-16.
The lead would have been more, had Douglass not jumped offside on a missed North Hardin 25-yard field goal with six minutes remaining. Logsdon then a converted a 22-yarder. The field goal was set up by big third down run by Wright.
North Hardin marched down the field, gaining a good chunk of the yards thanks to an incredible catch from Smith along the sideline on a pass from Wimberly, setting the stage for Wright’s heroics.
The Trojans must deal with the likes of Trinity in the brutal 6A class, but they had a special night tonight and remain near the top of the list of 6A contenders.
“We will start getting our respect now.
People don’t really respect us around the state, so winning this big game will make it harder for them to disrespect,” Wright told KSR.
UK commit Dekel Crowdus
showed his top end speed with a dynamic punt return and caught several passes.
The Broncos suffered their second straight lackluster offensive performance, dating back to last year’s 7-point output in a 14-7 loss to Covington Catholic in the 5A state title game.
The Broncos defense carried them again tonight. Warner, UK target Ty Bryant, and Utah transfer Siddeeq McNeal had big games on defense for the Broncos.
They are still one of the favorites to win the 5A state title but will need to find a way to utilize their talented receivers.
The KSR crew may have struggled picking the winner, but certainly picked the right game.
It has been six months since we have had high school sports in Kentucky.
This epic game on The Farm made it worth the wait.