Preview: Beechwood vs. Lexington Christian

Two familiar foes will face off Friday afternoon once again with a state championship on the line. Beechwood and Lexington Christian are set to meet on the same field they played a year ago.

Four quarters was enough to decide a winner in that one as the Tigers prevailed in overtime by a single point, a blocked extra point to be exact. The Eagles have used that moment to drive them all season long and now here they are back for a shot at revenge.

Both of these teams have met every challenge put in front of them during their 2021 campaigns, both boasting perfect 14-0 mark. Now each team is just one win away from the ultimate reward, the Kentucky Class 2A title. Buckle up, we’re in for a good one here.

KHSAA Class 2A State Finals
Kickoff: 4:00 p.m., Friday, December 3
Kroger Field – Lexington, KY
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cam Hergott won the MVP award in this game a year ago on his way to winning Mr. Kentucky. He’s got a strong chance to repeat both of those feats again this time around. On the season, he’s thrown for 32 touchdowns and rushed for 27 more while totaling 3,915 of total offense to lead the Tigers. He certainly benefits from playing behind one of the best offensive lines Beechwood has ever fielded.

Mitch Berger punished tacklers in last week’s dismantling of Mayfield, finishing with a team-high 189 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. In this game a year ago he starred on defense for Beechwood, coming up with a fumble and an interception.

Liam McCormack also came up big last week with a TD catch and an interception in the opening frame and seems to be coming on just at the right time. Parker Mason is tops on the team in both receptions (27) and interceptions (3). Xavier Campbell leads the Tigers in sacks (12) and is part of a loaded group up front that plays both ways.

Senior running back Xavier Brown, a Virginia commit, wears many hats for the Eagles and will be one of the most explosive players to take the field all weekend in Lexington. He leads the team with 1,445 yards and 21 touchdowns on 107 carries while adding 385 yards and six more scores on 16 catches. He even blocked two punts in last week’s win over Middlesboro.

Junior quarterback Drew Nieves guides the offense and has passed for 1,600 yards while posting a 24:1 TD-to-interception ratio. Senior Mason Moore makes an impact on both sides of the ball and leads Lexington Christian with 45 catches for 879 yards and 10 scores. Sophomore wide receiver Parker Chaney has been coming on as of late and is coming off a big effort a week ago. He also leads the team with six interceptions.

TEAM TRENDS: Beechwood’s winning streak has now reached 22 games and a victory here would give head coach Noel Rash his first-ever undefeated season. The defense has been huge and the unit nearly shut out Mayfield a week ago. The team has scored 666 points while giving up just 83 points (5.92 points per game) to their opponents this year. The Tigers are 4-0 all-time vs. Lexington Christian and 2-0 vs. the in state title games. Beechwood has won those contests by an average margin of 18.5 points, but the last two meetings were decided by a total of four points.

The last time LCA lost a football game was in last year’s Class 2A state finals. They have won 20 straight contests vs. teams not named Beechwood and have 14 consecutive wins overall. The Eagles have now scored 49 or more points in eight straight games and their closest margin of victory against another Class 2A school this season was 28 points against Owensboro Catholic. Lexington Christian averages 48.8 points per game this season (not counting game forfeited due to COVID) and have only allowed two opponents to score more than 14 points all year.

Beechwood: Noel Rash (178-45 at Beechwood, 16 years)

Lexington Christian: Doug Charles (34-4 at Lexington Christian, 3 years)


State Champion (15 times): 2020, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2008, 2007, 2004, 1999, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1984

State Runner-Up (5 times): 2015, 2003, 2002, 1995, 1974

Lexington Christian
State Champion: 2009

State Runner-Up (2 times): 2020, 2007

BEECHWOOD’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Start strong and finish strong. The Tigers haven’t needed to put four complete quarters together in many contests this season, but it is going to likely take that to win here. Continuing to win the turnover battle will go a long way. Even in last week’s blowout win the Beechwood defense did get burned a few times on some long plays. They will want to avoid those types of mental lapses this time around.

LEXINGTON CHRISTIAN’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Last year the Eagles got caught up in things a bit and came out like a deer in headlights. Experience will be a great benefit here and they’ll need to get out of the gate on a good note to stay in this contest. They must come up with answers on how to contain Hergott, especially on the ground. Moving the chains and extending drives on offense will go a long way. The defense must come up with at least a few stops against this high-powered Beechwood offense.

Prediction: Beechwood 27, Lexington Christian 24

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