The Letcher County Central High School Cougars hope to build on some positives gained from the first half of last Friday’s loss to Union, Va., when they travel to play top-seeded Southwestern in Somerset this Friday night in the first round of the playoffs.
Letcher Central ended the regular season with a 4-6 record after losing to Union (8-1) by a final score of 49-14.
The Cougars battled back to cut the score to 15-12 late in second quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Sergent to Blake Brashears, but Sergent left the game after the play never to return and the LCC offense was stagnant the rest of the game.
Letcher Central received the ball first and quickly went three and out. The punt was downed at the LCC 38-yard line. Running back Cameron Fannon scored from 17 yards away on a jet sweep around the left side of the line. The extra point gave Union a 7-0 lead.
A block in the back by LCC on the kickoff return made the offense start at its own 5-yard line. On third down, the ball carrier was tackled for a safety to make the score 9-0.
James Mitchell returned the kickoff to Letcher Central 20-yard line for the Bears. On the second play Fannon had a 16-yard touchdown run up the middle. Avery Stamper blocked the extra point to keep the score at 15-0.
Tannar Lucas showed his speed with a 32-yard kickoff return to LCC 44-yard line. On 2nd and 12, Sergent threw a bomb on which Lucas made a phenomenal catch and broke a tackle to score from 58 yards out to cut the lead to 15-6 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.
A Christian Broderdorp sack on second down forced the Union offense to try to convert on third and long. Noah Brock and Stamper combined on the tackle of Fannon to force a Bear punt early in the second quarter.
On the second play of the drive, Union intercepted the pass near midfield.
On third down, Stamper blitzed and, as he was tackling quarterback for a sack, forced a fumble that was recovered by Cody Austin at the Union 24-yard line.
Sergent immediately found Brashears wide open in the end zone for touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good to make the score 15-12.
Union started in LCC territory after a facemask penalty against the Cougars on the return. Triston Polly came up with a huge tackle at the line of scrimmage on fourth down to force a turnover on downs.
After another Cougar punt, Fannon had a 13-yard touchdown run right before halftime to give the Bears a 21-12 lead after the extra point was no good.
Both teams went three and out to start the third quarter. James Mitchell took a wide receiver reverse down the right sideline for a 24-yard touchdown run. The extra point split the uprights to increase the Union lead to 28-12.
On 4th and long out of punt formation, Garrett Sergent took the snap and lofted a pass to Gage Isaacs, who was lined up wide right for a 28-yard gain to move the ball into Union territory. The drive ended when, three plays later on 4th and 12, the Bears intercepted the pass.
Union took no time capitalizing on the turnover and scored on a 19-yard run by Braxton Zirkle to make it 35-12 after the point after was successful.
The LCC offense couldn’t generate a first down again and the punt was downed at the Union 43-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Zirkle took the handoff on a sweep around the right side for a 42-yard touchdown for a 42-12 lead.
Union recovered a Letcher Central fumble on the LCC 10-yard line, which led to a 2-yard touchdown run by fullback Luke Stidham. The extra point was good to make it 49-12.
Quarterback Garrett Sergent threw a 26-yard pass to Lucas to get the ball past midfield. Sergent then threw a strike to Leyton Polly on seam route for a 21-yard gain to get in the red zone. The next pass was intercepted near the goal line to end the scoring threat.
On the ensuing play the shotgun snap sailed over the quarterback’s head through the back of the end zone for a safety, making the final score 49-14 in favor of Union.
After a rough start to the game LCC came roaring back in the second quarter to cut the lead to three before succumbing to Union in the second half. Nick Sergent was off to a great start before exiting in the second quarter, having completed four passes on eight attempts for 86 yard and two touchdowns. Garrett Sergent came on in relief and completed four of 12 passes for 77 yards. Tannar Lucas caught four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. Blake Brashears’s lone catch was for a 24-yard score.
The defense was led again by senior linebacker Avery Stamper. Stamper had 15 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and two tackles for loss. Kyler Sturgill was second on the team with seven tackles. Noah Brock had six tackles including a tackle for loss and Christian Broderdorp had a quarterback sack for the LCC defense.