BOWLING GREEN, Ky.
Blackman coach Philip Shadowens called his team’s trip to Kentucky a “disgraceful game” Friday night.
A border battle between neighboring state high schools with no postseason implications sure had a playoff feel, as it turned chippy amid a string of personal foul penalties and controversial confrontations.
The result was a 26-25 win for No. 1 ranked Bowling Green (Ky.) High (9-0) over No. 4 Blackman.
“In my 20 years of being a head football coach and upwards of 240 games, I have never seen such a disgraceful job by officials,” Shadowens said. “We were flagged for 115 to 120 yards, and they were flagged for 5 to 10 yards all night.
“Both teams played extremely hard. It was a very physical game between two good football teams. Unfortunately, the officials had a huge effect on the game. It was absolutely disgraceful.”
BG took the lead with 35 seconds left on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Devin Hayes to Nacarius Fant, and linebacker Austin Jones intercepted the Blaze (8-2) on their final drive to secure the Purples’ 39th straight win.
“This game didn’t mean a lot toward our playoff picture, but it meant a hell of a lot in our hearts,” Jones said. “For all the seniors to go out with a big bang in the last game of the regular season means a lot.”
Blackman led 17-13 at halftime and 25-20 with 4:18 left after a 47-yard pass from quarterback Jauan Jennings to receiver Ronnie Killings. But BG’s Hayes connected with Fant for three receptions on the Purples’ winning drive, none larger than the TD pass to the Western Kentucky commit in the right corner of the end zone on fourth-and-11.
Jones and Fant both mentioned there were rumblings earlier in the week of Blackman players saying BG didn’t play physically.
“Earlier this week, we weren’t getting respect like we needed,” Fant said. “I think we’re a good ball team. I wouldn’t say we’re the best ever, but we’re a really good team. We put it all the line, and we made big plays.”
Added Jones: “They said they were coming in here, and that we didn’t play physical. We showed them what physical was.”
The Blaze went in front with 4:52 remaining before the halftime break on an 8-yard pass from Jennings to receiver Styles Corder. They tacked on 24-yard field goal by Blaine Burks with 23 seconds left to open a 17-13 halftime lead.
Things got chippy at the break as Blackman was called for a personal foul penalty after a Hayes interception. The Blaze also ran through the Purples’ entrance to the field before the game.
BG coach Kevin Wallace and members of the Blackman staff had words at halftime before heading to the locker room, and the Blaze were whistled for six personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the second half.
“It did affect the game,” Wallace said. “I’m just glad our guys kept their composure. We were the ones that kept our composure.”
“I was really surprised by those penalties,” Jones said. “That just shows you that we play with class, they don’t, and we’re better than them.”
Blackman outgained BG 328-197.
Jennings – a four-star prospect whose offers include Auburn, Ole Miss, Nebraska and Ohio State – finished 13-of-24 passing for 208 yards and rushed for 84 more with three total scores. Corder caught seven passes for 92 yards.