The Letcher County Central Cougars evened their record at 1-1 after a 20-19 come from behind victory over Bourbon County.
A lightning delay kept the game from beginning until almost 11 p.m. After trailing 13-6 at halftime, the Cougars came out on offense in a power-I formation and simply wore down the Colonel defense in the second half for the victory.
Bourbon County returned the opening kickoff to its own 40-yard line. After giving up two first downs the LCC defense stiffened up, forcing a punt that was downed at the LCC nine-yard line. The Cougars, however, punted the ball after going three and out.
On fourth down and four, Bourbon County quarterback Jake Broughton threw a 10-yard out route to Cameron Gilvin for a first down. LCC defensive tackle Dale Webb had back-to-back sacks that led to a turnover on downs.
Hayden Brashear, from the fullback position, started the next LCC drive with runs of 10 and 30 yards to move the ball into the red zone. On fourth and eight, quarterback Carson Adams rolled to the right and threw back across the field to a wide-open Zach Hensley for a touchdown. The extra point was no good but LCC took a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Bourbon County answered with a five-play scoring drive capped off by a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Jaylan Sidney to tie the score at 6 after the extra point was blocked.
The ensuing drive started with a perfectly thrown long pass from Adams to Hensley on a corner route to move the ball down to the Colonel 22-yard line. The drive stalled there and LCC turned the ball over on downs.
After back-to-back punts, Bourbon County scored just before halftime on a slant route from Broughton to receiver Kaygn Heflin for a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point sailed through the uprights to make it 13-6 at halftime.
Letcher Central started the second half in a power-I formation with Hunter Campbell at tailback. The change paid immediate dividends with a 19-yard run by Campbell around the right side on the first offensive play of the second half. Two plays later on third and short, Adams used a hard count to draw the Colonel defense offside for a first down. Campbell took a handoff for a 27-yard gain, then scored from six yards out to make the score 13-12 after the conversion attempt failed.
Bourbon County then moved the ball deep into LCC territory until a perfectly timed blitz by linebacker Jayson Buttrey resulted in a sack and led to a turnover on downs.
On third down Campbell received a pitch around the left side and saw no holes open so redirected back across the entire field for a 31-yard gain. Campbell would eventually run it in from 16-yards out early in the fourth quarter. Campbell also ran in the two-point conversion to help LCC regain the lead 20-19.
“I think we really grew up defensively during the game and it wasn’t always pretty but I think my kids started putting some things together and got big stops late,” said LCC Coach Junior Matthews.
Broughton hooked up with Heflin on a seam route for a 62- yard touchdown. The extra point was wide left so LCC still retained a 20-19 lead.
The LCC offense got two first downs but eventually had to punt and give the Colonels one last chance to regain the lead.
Bourbon County moved the ball into Cougar territory but on fourth down LCC defensive back Reece Barnette batted down the pass attempt to preserve the come from behind victory for the Cougars.
LCC Coach Junior Matthews made an excellent half time adjustment to feature Hunter Campbell and it paid off with Campbell rushing for 143 yards on 15 attempts and two touchdowns for the game. Hayden Brashear gained 59 yards on 11 attempts. Quarterback Carson Adams completed 4 passes on 5 attempts for 88 yards and a touchdown. Zach Hensley caught 2 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
The defense was once again led by senior Jayson Buttrey who had 11 tackles and a sack. Jepatha Griffith had 9 tackles and Koby Barnette had 8 tackles for a defense that was very sound and only gave up one big play during the game.
The Cougars travel to Estill County Friday with a kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.