Beechwood brings home 14th state title

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – For the third time in as many seasons the Beechwood Tigers laid claim to the Class 1A state championship by taking down a familiar foe, the Pikeville Panthers, 21-20.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers got on the scoreboard first when sophomore Cameron Hergott connected with Luke Bolger on 24-yard TD pass in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

The Panthers answered quickly on the ensuing possession when Connor Roberts threw a 57-yard TD strike to Jackson Hensley, but Pikeville failed on the point-after conversion, and Beechwood stayed on top 7-6.

The Tigers expanded the lead to eight before the half when Logan Castleman pulled in a 19-yard pass from Hergott.

After the break, Pikeville took back the momentum and scored 14 unanswered points. First Roberts passed for a 65-yard touchdown to Hensley, pulling Pikeville within 14-12 midway through the third quarter. The Panthers went for the two-point conversion but couldn’t convert.

Next the Panthers recovered an onside kick at the Beechwood 49. Roberts put the Panthers up 21-20 when he found Billiter for a 25-yard passing score. Roberts converted the two-point conversion this time as he rushed it in from two yards out to make it 20-14.

Hergott gave Beechwood the lead back for good on 1-yard TD run in the early fourth quarter.

Pikeville wouldn’t go away though and were driving before John Odom came up with an interception with just over a minute left in the contest right at the goal line that sealed the win and the title for the Tigers.

Beechwood rushed for 216 yards in the contest, 105 by Hergott and 101 yards by Castleman. Hergott added 74 yards passing.

The two teams have now met 14 times since 1984 during the playoffs, including three times in the state title game. Beechwood holds a 10-4 edge.

The Tigers’ 14 state championships are third among all Kentucky schools, trailing only Louisville Trinity (25) and Highlands (23).

Beechwood 0-14-0-7-21
Pikeville 0-6-14-0-20

B: L. Bolger 24-yard pass from C. Hergott (C. Graham kick)
P: J. Hensley 57-yard pass from C. Roberts (run failed)
B: L. Castleman 13-yard pass from C. Hergott (Graham kick)
P: J. Hensley 65-yard pass from C. Roberts (Roberts run)
B: C. Hergott 1-yard run (Graham kick)

RECORDS: Beechwood 12-2; Pikeville 11-3

*Image from Twitter (@KHSAA)

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