User: sneumann

Time: 12-08-2013

23:27

Product: LCJBrd2

PubDate: .Bank

Zone: KY Edition: 1 Page: FBH_Class5A

Color: C K Y M

CLASS 5-A FINAL

C O M M E M O R AT I V E P O S T E R M O N D AY, D E C . 9 , 2 013

PURPLE REIGN AGAIN
SENIORS KEY BOWLING GREEN’S BIG COMEBACK

Bowling Green’s Darrian Scott (53) sacks Pulaski County’s Riley Hall (7) during the Class 5-A football championship on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. JOE IMEL/AP By Jason Frakes | jfrakes@courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Frustrated by a surprising 14-0 deficit early in the second quarter, the Bowling Green High School football team turned to the seniors who have led one of the greatest three-year runs in state history. Nacarius Fant got his team going with a 25-yard touchdown catch, Blue Tisdale scored three TDs and Blake Pillow added two as the Purples found their stride and romped past Pulaski County 49-14 in Sunday’s Class 5-A championship game in front of 6,009 fans at Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium. Bowling Green (14-0), No. 3 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, won its third straight state title and extended its winning streak to 44. It became the third school to post three consecutive undefeated championship seasons, joining Trinity (1988-90) and Boyle County (1999-2001). “It wasn’t the toughest from the standpoint of the talent level we have, but there’s such a pressure that we put on ourselves,” coach Kevin Wallace said when asked to compare this season to the previous two. “The expectation was that unless we won the state championship we were a failure. I guess we know now how a few of those people who win them every year feel.”

KEY STATS

The Purples rolled up 466 total yards as quarterback Devin Hayes completed 13 of 22 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Fant had five catches for 100 yards and a TD, and Pillow (six carries, 150 yards) and Tisdale (18 carries, 86 yards) had big days on the ground. Pulaski County sophomore quarterback Riley Hall had an 8-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and a 25-yard TD run on the second play of the second quarter to give his team a 14-0 edge. “We got out of the gate really good and couldn’t quite hang on,” said Maroons coach John Hines, whose team finished 14-1. “Bowling Green’s an exceptional team with a lot of speed. We really had some trouble stopping the big play.” The Purples used two of them to tie the score before halftime, with a wide-open Fant hauling in a 25-yard TD pass from Hayes to make it 14-7 at the 8:55 mark. “All week we knew their safeties were going to come up on play-action, so we threw in a play-action right there,” Fant said. “I just went vertical, and Hayes threw it to me.” After a Pulaski County punt, Pillow took a first-down handoff on the right side, broke a tackle and scampered 79 yards for a TD that made it 14-14. “After I broke the tackle I pretty

much knew I was going to be gone,” Pillow said. “We needed that. Somebody needed to make the big play. It just happened to be me.” Pulaski County recovered its onside kick to start the second half but couldn’t take advantage. On fourth-and-5 at the Purples’ 44, Logan Paris knocked down Hall’s pass as Bowling Green’s defense began to take control. Seven plays later, Tisdale ran 9 yards for a score to give the Purples a 21-14 lead, and the rout was on as they scored TDs on their next four possessions. Included were Pillow’s 41-yard run and Hayes’ 33yard pass to Tisdale for a 42-14 lead with 6:16 remaining. “We have that kind of talent level,” Wallace said. “It’s just a matter of distributing the ball and getting the ball to skill people in space. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.” The 44-game winning streak is the third-longest in state history, behind Trinity’s 50 and Boyle County’s 47. Wallace said it was nice to be in the company of such coaches as Trinity’s Dennis Lampley and Boyle County’s Chuck Smith. “It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “I’m so proud of our coaches and our players. It’s a grind to do this. I’m just tickled to death that we could do it.”

Total Bowling Green yards, as quarterback Devin Hayes completed 13 of 22 passes for 203 yards and two TDs.

5 44 466

Number of receptions by Nacarius Fant, for 100 yards including a 25-yard TD. Winning streak of the Purples, the third-longest in state history.

ONLINE
View photo galleries of each state championship game at www.courier-journal.com.

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