HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Panthers headed back to defend title

Photo Credit: Dusty Layne

Defending champion Pikeville punched its ticket to the Class 1A state championship game in convincing fashion as the Panthers took apart Newport Central Catholic, 50-14, at foggy Hillard Howard Field on Friday night.

Pikeville, now 11-2, will face Raceland next Friday at Kroger Field. Kickoff is set for Noon. It will be an all-east title matchup. Pikeville is playing in its fourth championship game in five years. 

Mr. Football candidate Blake Birchfield took the Thoroughbred defense apart, running through and over at will, finishing with four touchdowns.

Brenden Anthony opened the scoring with a one-yard run early in the opening quarter and then Birchfield scored on a three-yard rush to push the lead to 14-0.

Isaac Duty tossed a 22-yard td pass to Wade Hensley and a two-point conversion run made it 22-0 on the first play of the second quarter.

Birchfield’s then added a three-yard run to make it 29-7. He wasn’t finished. Birchfield took a pass from Duty and raced 24 yards to make it 36-7 at the break.

The star back capped his night with a 41-yard score to push the game to 43-7, and a running clock.

Pikeville has now had nine straight running clock wins.

At Pikeville

(Class 1A state semifinals)


NC (11-3) ….0     7    0   7 – 14

PK (11-2) …14   22  14  0 – 50


First Quarter

PK – Brenden Anthony, 1-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 8:38

PK – Blake Birchfield, 3-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 5:18

Second Quarter

PK – Wade Hensley, 12-yard pass from Isaac Duty (Westin Bevins run), 11:54

NC – Kolton Smith, 7-yard run (Ryan Barth kick), 7:39

PK – Blake Birchfield, 3-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 2:13

PK – Blake Birchfield, 18-yard pass from Isaac Duty (Jacob Rogers kick), :12

Third Quarter

PK – Blake Birchfield, 41-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 7:25

PK – Blake Caudill, 26-yard run (Jacob Rogers kick), 2:03

Fourth Quarter

NC – Luke Runyon, 72-yard run (Ryan Barth kick), 10:52

Next up: Pikeville (11-2) vs Raceland (13-1), Class 1A championship, Noon, Dec. 2.