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Beechwood survives furious West Carter rally, pulls out 35-34 road win in Class 2A state semifinals


By Chad Hensley
KyForward sports reporter

Beechwood’s Cameron Hergott has emerged as one of the state’s top quarterbacks this season, both passing and running the football.

Hergott combined those two skills Friday night late in the fourth quarter as the Tigers pulled out a wild 35-34 win over upset-minded West Carter at Blankenship Field in Olive Hill.

Cameron Hergott led Beechwood to a 35-34 victory at West Carter in the Class 2A state semifinals. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Trailing 34-27 late in the game, Hergott connected with Brady Moore for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 remaining to pull the Tigers to within 34-33. Hergott then somehow eluded multiple West Carter defenders on the ensuing two-point conversion play to find Moore for the go-ahead score at 35-34.

West Carter managed to get a chance to retake the lead, but four consecutive passing plays were either an incomplete pass or a sack to turn the ball over on downs, ending the season for the Comets (10-2).

West Carter was appearing in the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Beechwood (9-2) raced out to an early 20-0 lead thanks to Hergott passing for one touchdown and scoring on a pair 1-yard runs. The first score was a 26-yard pass to Parker Mason early in the opening quarter.

Beechwood extended the lead to 14-0 in the first quarter on Hergott’s 1-yard touchdown carry with 3:10 left in the opening stanza. The Tigers appeared as if they would coast to an easy win after Hergott notched his second 1-yard touchdown run with 11:38 to go in the second quarter that put his team up 20-0.

But an injury to one of West Carter’s players and the subsequent 20-minute delay in action seemed to inspire the Comets.

West Carter, which was unable to move the ball in the early portion of the game, finally put together some consistent runs and timely passes. Blake McGlone’s 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Orry Perry put the Comets on the board with 1:27 remaining in the first half, cutting the Beechwood advantage to 20-7 at the break. It was McGlone’s sixth touchdown reception of the season.

Jackson Bond pulled West Carter to within 20-13 with 9:47 left in the third quarter on a 21-yard reception from Perry. Bond became the single-season receiving leader in West Carter football history on the touchdown reception.

A mishandled onside kick was recovered by West Carter and led to a Leetavious Cline 3-yard touchdown run to slice the deficit to 20-19. Cline became the first player in West Carter history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season earlier in that drive.

The West Carter scoring barrage continued with another Cline rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and a Perry to Bond two-point conversion gave the Comets an improbable 27-20 lead.

Beechwood answered with a 34-yard touchdown strike from Hergott to Liam McCormack with 6:58 remaining in the game to even the score at 27-all.

Perry would give his team its final lead of the night when he connected with Bond for the duo’s second passing touchdown of the night. The 34-yard score and extra point by kicker Garrett Wolfe put the Comets up 34-27 with 5:02 to go.

Bomani Hughes set up the Tigers with outstanding field position with a great return on the ensuing kickoff. The Tigers needed just 2:30 on the clock for Hergott to connect with Moore on the winning touchdown and two-point conversion.

Beechwood will face Lexington Christian in the Class 2A state championship game on Dec. 18. Lexington Christian (10-1) advanced Friday night with a 48-13 victory over Murray in the other state semifinal contest.

The Beechwood/Lexington Christian game is set for 3 p.m. at Kroger Field. It will also be a rematch of the 2007 Class 1A state championship game that Beechwood pulled out by a 38-35 score.

Beechwood has won 14 state championships, all of them at the Class 1A level. The Tigers’ most recent state title came in 2018, when Beechwood defeated Pikeville in the championship game by a score of 21-20.

STATE SEMIFINAL SCORES
Class 1A

Paintsville 21, Newport Central Catholic 7
Kentucky Country Day 27, Williamsburg 7
Class 2A
Beechwood 35, West Carter 34
Lexington Christian 48, Murray 13
Class 3A
Ashland Blazer 10, Belfry 3
Elizabethtown 39, Christian Academy-Louisville 20
Class 4A
Boyle County 55, Hopkinsville 0
Franklin County 20, Johnson Central 12
Class 5A
Bowling Green 20, Covington Catholic 0
Owensboro 28, Frederick Douglass 27
Class 6A
Louisville Trinity 31, Louisville St. Xavier 0
Louisville Male 49, Lexington Dunbar 6

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES AT UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Friday, Dec. 18
Class 1A – Paintsville vs. Kentucky Country Day, 11 a.m.
Class 2A – Beechwood vs. Lexington Christian, 3 p.m.
Class 4A – Boyle County vs. Franklin County, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19
Class 3A – Ashland Blazer vs. Elizabethtown, 11 a.m.
Class 5A – Bowling Green vs. Owensboro, 3 p.m.
Class 6A – Louisville Trinity vs. Louisville Male, 7 p.m.


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