Class A final preview/pick | Beechwood vs. Pikeville

Class A final preview/pick | Beechwood vs. Pikeville

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Class A final preview/pick | Beechwood vs. Pikeville

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It’s the Week 16 Kentucky HS football preview with The C-J’s Jason Frakes giving his picks for all six state championship football games.

CLASS A FINAL: BEECHWOOD VS. PIKEVILLE

Time: 8 p.m. EST Thursday.

Where: Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green.

BEECHWOOD CATEGORY PIKEVILLE
13-1 Record 12-2
102.4 Litkenhous Rating 94.1
No. 1 Class A ranking No. 3
11 Previous titles 3
2008 Last state title won 1989
46.6 Points per game 47.6
14.6 Points allowed per game 12.9
3,110 Rushing yards 3,930
2,579 Passing yards 1,478

 

BEECHWOOD TIGERS (13-1)

Lloyd Memorial W 48-22

Somerset W 48-14

Ironton (Ohio) W 35-19

Covington Catholic L 41-21

Covington Holy Cross W 55-21

Newport W 69-24

Bellevue W 49-0

Ludlow W 62-6

Dayton W 69-0

Newport Central Catholic W 31-14

x-Eminence W 62-0

x-Frankfort W 48-10

x-Louisville Holy Cross W 21-9

x-Russellville W 34-25

x-playoffs

Coach: Noel Rash (10th year).

Top rushers: Ethan Stringer (6-1, 185, Sr., 165 carries, 1.553 yards, 21 TDs); Aiden Justice (5-9, 140, Jr., 39 carries, 454 yards, 8 TDs); Brett Slusher (6-1, 175, Sr., 56 carries, 410 yards, 8 TDs).

Top passer: Kyle Fieger (5-10, 160, Sr., 138 of 197, 2,590 yards, 38 TDs, 3 INTs).

Top receivers: Brett Slusher (6-1, 175, Sr., 54 catches, 1,112 yards, 19 TDs); Aiden Justice (5-9, 140, Jr., 20 catches, 406 yards, 9 TDs); Logan Castleman (5-9, 150, Fr., 19 catches, 340 yards, 6 TDs).

Defensive leaders (tackles not available): Logan Castleman (5-9, 150, Fr., 4 INTs); Brett Slusher (6-1, 175, Sr., 4 fumble recoveries, 3 INTs).

PIKEVILLE PANTHERS (12-2)

Prestonsburg W 43-6

Letcher County Central W 49-12

Paintsville L 23-22, OT

Sheldon Clark W 41-6

Belfry L 34-8

South Floyd W 68-14

Hazard W 56-28

Phelps W 53-0

Jenkins W 57-6

Pike County Central W 53-0

x-Lynn Camp W 68-8

x-Williamsburg W 56-14

x-Hazard W 50-6

x-Paintsville W 42-23

x-playoffs

Coach: Chris McNamee (sixth year of second stint).

Top rushers: Daric Pugh (6-3, 170, Sr., 173 carries, 1,826 yards, 33 TDs); Anthony Vanderbeck (5-11, 155, Sr., 30 carries, 420 yards, 6 TDs); Wyatt Battaile (6-1, 130, So., 34 carries, 393 yards, 4 TDs); Evan Rhodes (5-10, 135, So., 36 carries, 352 yards, 5 TDS).

Top passer: Wyatt Battaile (6-1, 130, So., 68 of 82, 1,162 yards, 17 TDs, 3 INTs).

Top receivers: Chatlin Jarrell (5-7, 145, Sr., 23 catches, 456 yards, 6 TDs); Anthony Vanderbeck (5-11, 155, Sr., 20 catches, 363 yards, 2 TDs); Clay Slone (5-10, 160, Jr., 18 catches, 316 yards, 4 TDS).

Defensive leaders: Blake Charles (5-8, 190, Jr., 132 tackles); Anthony Vanderbeck (5-11, 155, Sr., 78 tackles, 1 fumble recovery); Cody Charles (5-10, 155, Sr., 67 tackles, 2 INTs); Wyatt Battaile (6-1, 130, So., 18 tackles, 4 INTs); Clay Slone (5-10, 160, Jr., 41 tackles, 3 INTs, 3 fumble recoveries); Cody Dials (6-0, 160, Jr., 39 tackles, 3 INTs).

OUTLOOK

No school was happier than Beechwood to see Mayfield jump to Class 2-A this season, as the Cardinals had eliminated the Tigers from the playoffs five times in the previous six years. Beechwood is in the state final for the first time since winning the last of its 11 state titles in 2008.

The Tigers feature a balanced offensive attack led by the passing of Kyle Fieger and the rushing of Ethan Stringer. Senior Brett Slusher is a versatile athlete who has scored four defensive touchdowns this season and also is an excellent baseball player.

Pikeville will lean on senior running back Daric Pugh, who is averaging 10.6 yards per carry this season. He carried 33 times for 251 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 42-23 semifinal victory over Paintsville.

This is a rematch of the 1991 Class A final, which the Tigers won 34-6.

PICK

Beechwood 28-13. Tigers have the more balanced offense and have played a tougher schedule.

 

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