Beechwood pulls off three-peat

LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Beechwood won their third straight state championship in a Friday afternoon thriller at Kroger Field as they knocked off long-time rival Mayfield, 14-13, to win the KHSAA Class 2A state championship.

Chase Flaherty gave the Tigers a seven-point lead when he ran in a score from 10 yards out to open up the fourth quarter.

Mayfield got a chance late to tie the game and appeared to do just that when Zane Cartwright and Isaac Stevenson connected on a 9-yard TD pass with 1:13 left in the game. However, the Cardinals PAT kick went left from the outset and bounced off the crossbar and out, which kept the Tigers win a one-point lead.

After a failed on-side kick Beechwood put the game on ice by running out the clock. It was a game that was dominated on both sides by the defenses and ultimately came down to special teams, making it a total team effort.

Mayfield got some hope after a Flaherty fumble at midfield with 3:32 on the clock. Flaherty got injured on the play and did not return. The sophomore left his mark in a big way though by rushing for 115 yards on 23 carries.

Jutarious Starks was solid as well out of the Mayfield backfield as he carried the ball 22 times for 104 yards and a touchdown.

This marks the 17th overall state championship for Beechwood which ranks third all-time in Kentucky high school football history (Trinity – 27; Highlands 23). Beechwood has now won their last four state championships by a combined five points.

This game was the 19th KHSAA football state championship game decided by exactly one point. It is also the second Beechwood/Mayfield state championship game decided by exactly one point, with Mayfield defeating Beechwood 28-27 in the 1995 Class 1A finals.

Mayfield 0-0-7-6-13
Beechwood 0-7-0-7-14

B: Clay Hayden 7-yard PaTD to Liam McCormack (Kappes kick)
M: Jutarious Starks 16-yard RuTD (Suter kick)
B: Chase Flaherty 10-yard RuTD (Kappes kick)
M: Zane Cartwright 9-yard PaTD to Issac Stevenson (kick failed)

RECORDS: Mayfield (14-1); Beechwood (14-1).

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#Image from Twitter (@KHSAA)

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