Beechwood claims 16th state title

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – For the second straight year the Beechwood Tigers and Lexington Christian Eagles met at Kroger Field and once again a 2A state title was on the line in the 2021 UK Orthopaedics State Football Finals. Just like it did a year ago, this contest came down to a kick to decide a winner.

Beechwood watched a 20-point lead evaporate and then needed every inch of a Jake Conrad 36-yard kick with less than two minutes left in the game to get the lead back for good. 

The temperature at kickoff was 70 degrees, but the thermometer had nothing on the Beechwood offense that came out red hot, scoring on three of their first four offensive drives.

Cameron Hergott fueled the early success behind a powerful punch from the Tigers’ offensive line. During the first half the dual-threat quarterback rushed for 152 yards and two scores on 15 carries, including a 77-yard run that was something right out of a video game. Mitch Berger added a 8-yard TD run of his own as Beechwood went up 20-0.

The Tigers’ defense also came up with a pair of fumble recoveries and forced a turnover on downs to help the charge.

However, the Eagles didn’t fold. Just before the half Drew Nieves and company put together a solid drive of their own which ended on a 16-yard TD pass from Nieves to Andrew Dodds to cut the lead to 13 at the half.

LCA opened up the second half with another scoring drive, capped off on a 1-yard run by senior running back Xavier Brown. Hergott fumbled on the ensuing possession and Tyler Morris scooped it up and returned it 11 yards for a TD. Just like that Beechwood was trailing 21-20 midway through the third quarter.

That is how things would remain until the final two minutes of the game when Beechwood put together its best drive of the second half. A holding penalty and key sack though took them from inside the 10-yard line to facing a 4th and 17. That is when head coach Noel Rash called on his kicker and Conrad delivered in a big way.

“I was in the stands watching last year and I couldn’t believe it and now I got to be a part of it,” Conrad said. “That was incredible. All the credit goes to god, I knew he had a plan.”

After he gave the Tigers a 23-21 lead, LCA wasted no time driving the length of the field. The Eagles opted to not attempt a 54-yard field goal and would eventually turn the ball over on downs, sealing the game for Beechwood.

Hergott was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player as he finished with 195 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns. He completed 6-of-12 passes for 58 yards and turned the ball over two times. The performance wraps up an epic run at the school, which included an extra season this year due to COVID rules.

“I was really blessed to have the opportunity to come back and I really wanted to make the most out of it for these seniors,” Hergott claimed. “It exceeded my expectations.”

Beechwood outgained LCA by a slim 277 to 258 margin and both teams had a pair of turnovers. The Tigers dominated time of possession though, holding nearly a 14-minute edge.

Beechwood won its 16th state championship and second-ever Class 2A title. In addition, the team finished 15-0. It marks the first undefeated season in the Noel Rash era.

“The schedule we play tells us a ton about our kids,” Rash said. “Going undefeated means literally nothing to me personally. If we get here that is all that matters.”

Beechwood 6-14-0-3-23
Lexington Christian 0-7-14-0-21


B: Cameron Hergott 28-yard TD run (XP blocked)

B: Cameron Hergott 1-yard TD run (Jake Conrad kick)

B: Mitch Berger 8-yard TD run (Jake Congrad kick)

L: Drew Nieves 16-yard TD pass to Parker Chaney (Andrew Dobbs kick)

L: Xavier Brown 1-yard TD run  (Andrew Dobbs kick)

L: Tyler Morris 11-yard fumble return for TD  (Andrew Dobbs kick)

B: Jake Conrad 36-yard field goal

RECORDS: Beechwood (15-0); Lexington Christian (14-1)


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Photo from KHSAA (@KHSAA)

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