One of the most highly anticipated Class 1A state title games in recent history became a one-sided affair as Pikeville pulled away from Raceland to score a 41-9 victory at Kroger Field on Friday afternoon.
The Panthers finished the season 12-2 and captured their second straight title and seventh overall, including their fourth under current head coach Chris McNamee.
Mr. Football candidate and game MVP Blake Birchfield carried 26 times for 231 yards and three touchdowns, including an 85-yard scoring run out of the Wildcat on the game’s very first play. He added TD runs of 12 and 32.
Pikeville’s defense was rock solid and produced the Panthers next score when Deonte Stevens scooped up a Raceland fumble and returned it 74 yards to push the lead to 14-3. Quarterback Isaac Duty hit Grant Scott on a two-point conversion pass.
Pikeville turned the tide of the game for good when Duty tossed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Wade Hensley on the final play of the opening half. Hensley went up between a pair of Ram defenders and came down with the football in the end zone to make it 21-3.
Birchfield’s 12-yard run on Pikeville’s first possession of the second half extended the lead to 28-7. He raced 32 yards early in the fourth period to stretch the lead to 34-9.
Carson Wright capped the scoring with a six-yard TD in the final five minutes.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
RL (13-2)…..3 0 6 0 – 9
PK (12-2)…14 7 7 13 – 41
PK – Blake Birchfield, 85-yard run (kick failed), 11:38
RL – Peyton Ison, 31-yard field goal, 7:25
PK – Deonte Stevens, 74-yard fumble return (Grant Scott pass from Isaac Duty), 3:30
PK – Wade Hensley, 33-yard pass from Isaac Duty (Jacob Rogers kick), :00
PK – Blake Birchfield, 12-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 5:44
RL – Mason Lykins, 38-yard pass from Logan Lundy (pass failed), 3:42
PK – Blake Birchfield, 32-yard run (kick failed), 10:26
PK – Carson Wright, 6-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 5:01