H.S. FOOTBALL | Beechwood Defeats Hazard in 1-A Championship

12/02/2016 11:45 PM

The Beechwood Tigers defeated the Hazard Bulldogs 21-14 in the KHSAA Class 1-A State Championship football game Friday night in Bowling Green.

Beechwood was the state runner-up in 2015; they finish this season 14-1. Hazard last won a title in 2011; they finish with a 12-3 record.

Hazard took an early 7-0 lead when Cory Smith rushed seven yards for a touchdown and Tyler Collins kicked the extra point with 2:16 to go in the first quarter.

Beechwood was able to outscore Hazard 14-0 in the second quarter; first with an Aiden Justice 17-yard rushing touchdown and an extra pointy Daniel Mescher with 3:35 until the half. The Tigers quickly followed that one up with a one-yard rushing touchdown by Trevor Soward and another XP by Mescher with 2:47 to go in the second to take the lead.

Neither team was able to score in the third quarter, but with 6:04 to go in the game, Hazard’s Braxton Whitaker caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Blair. Collins hit the XP to tie the game up.

Late in the game, Soward scored again on a one-yard rushing touchdown, Mescher hit the point-after-attempt to give Beechwood the 21-14 lead with 3:56 remaining in the game.

Hazard had 14 first downs to Beechwood’s 12. Beechwood had 83 net rushing yards to Hazard’s 159. In the passing game, the Tigers Brayden Burch was 16-26-0, the Bulldogs Bailey Blair was 8-15-2. Beechwood had 245 yards of total offense, Hazard had 233.

Beechwood’s Aiden Justice had 33 rushing yards for one touchdown, Trevor Soward had six net rushing yards for two touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, four players recorded a tackle-for-loss with Dalton Everett leading the way with 1.5 for two yards. Soward with Dayton Baugh each had an interception and Baugh and Mescher each had a pass breakup.

Hazard’s Cory Smith had 128 net rushing yards for one touchdown. Braxton Whitaker had 20 receiving yards for one touchdown. Defensively, Austin Smith had seven total tackles, and one tackle-for-loss resulting in the loss of one yard. Cheika NDiaye had one pass breakup. Austin Combs also had one TFL and a total of five yards. He combined on a TFL with Jordan Hill.

Trevor Soward was the MVP of the game.

Beechwood will take home their 12th state title, the first since 2008.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE GAME:

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey Gough joined cn2 in August 2016 as a reporter for cn2 Sports. Before that, Lyndsey was a multimedia journalist, reporter, anchor and producer at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, KY covering both news and sports. Lyndsey graduated from the University of Kentucky in May of 2015 after covering the Cats for 3 years for print, radio, and television for various outlets. She is excited to finally be covering sports full-time again here in the Bluegrass. You can follow Lyndsey on Twitter @lgough_cn2 and send story ideas her way.

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