The 2018 Letcher County Central football season came to an end with an opening round playoff loss to visiting Lincoln County by a score of 22-7. After a rough start to the season, LCC won 5 of its last 6 regular season games to finish the season with a 5-6 record and great hope for the future of the program.
LCC got the ball to start the game at the 20-yard line after a touchback on the opening kickoff. After a Jon Sergent 6-yard run up the middle, receiver Zach Hensley gained 16 yards on an end around that was blocked well by the left side of the offensive line. On 3rd and 5 Hunter Campbell had a strong 8-yard carry to pick up the first down in Lincoln County territory. A holding call would force LCC into going for it on 4th and long. Nick Sergent’s pass was just out of the reach of Campbell in the end zone on a deep post route and LCC turned the ball over on downs.
Lincoln County drove the ball into Cougar territory but went for it on 4th and 10 and the pass was broken up by Hunter Campbell to give the ball back to LCC.
On 4th and 1, Nick Sergent used a hard count to get a Lincoln County defensive lineman to jump offside and give the Cougars a first down at midfield. The drive stalled after one more first down and LCC turned it over on downs early in the second quarter.
The Cougar defense came up huge and forced a quick Patriot punt that was downed at the LCC 33-yard line.
On the first play, a pass was tipped in the air by Lincoln County defensive end Sawyer Carrier who also intercepted it and returned deep into LCC territory.
On 3rd and 4 LCC linebacker Zach Hensley batted the ball down to force the Patriots into a field goal attempt that was made and gave Lincoln County a 3-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
LCC used a methodical 14-play, 68-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Hunter Campbell. The Zack Dollarhyde extra point gave LCC its first lead of the game at 7-3.
The Cougar defense forced another punt and Nick Sergent took a knee to keep the score 7-3 heading into halftime.
Lincoln County went to a power I formation and quickly scored on a 16-yard touchdown run by Darius Napier who was hit about 4 yards into the end zone. A little scuffle ensued that took the officials a little while to sort out. The point after was no good but the Patriots had taken a 9-7 lead and got to kick off at the LCC 15-yard line after all the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against the Cougars were enforced.
Lincoln County smartly went for an onside kick that LCC recovered at its own 3-yard line, which was awful field position to begin a drive. On 3rd and 5 Hensley gained 21-yard on a welldesigned counter play to give the LCC offense some much-needed breathing room.
LCC went for it on 4th and short but the quarterback draw play was tackled just short of the line to gain to turn the ball back over to the Patriots.
On 4th and 1, Napier took a pitch around the right side of the line for a 17-yard gain and a first down. Four plays later Napier scored on a 6-yard touchdown run and the extra point gave Lincoln County a 16-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Sergent used a nice play action fake to find receiver Kalin Branham for a 21-yard gain. LCC fumbled on the next play, which was recovered by the Patriots.
Lincoln County quickly moved the ball down the field and Napier scored his third touchdown of the game, this time from 9 yards out. The extra point was wide left, keeping the score at 22-7. On 4th and 20 Branham made an incredible catch on a fade pattern from Nick Sergent for a 29-yard gain and first down. LCC made one more first down but the drive ended in Lincoln County territory and the Patriots ran out the clock for a hard fought 22-7 victory.
Letcher Central continuously got better as the season went on and has tons of positive to build on heading into the 2019 season. Jon Sergent gained 92 yards on 19 carries for LCC. Hunter Campbell had 66 yards on 15 attempts and the lone touchdown for the Cougars. Nick Sergent completed 6 passes on 11 attempts for 89 yards with Kalin Branham being his top target with 4 catches for 70 yards. Zach Hensley gained 41 yards on 6 carries from his wingback position.