Vinny Anthony, still just a sophomore, emerges as essential piece for Male in win over Fern Creek

Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to Courier Journal

Everybody knows Male’s big-name and big-bodied receivers. There’s 6-foot-3 Kentucky commit Izayah Cummings, the highest-ranked senior recruit in the Louisville area, and 6-foot-4 Briceson Rodgers, who has multiple Division-I offers.

However, it was 6-foot sophomore Vinny Anthony who stole the show on Friday night, leading the No. 1 Bulldogs to a 27-8 playoff win over Fern Creek to advance to the 6A quarterfinals.

Male senior Quantrell Wright couldn’t pick just one descriptor for Anthony, so he heaped them all together in what became a collage of compliments.

“He’s MVP, all-star. Everybody always sleeps on Vinny, but they don’t know. He’s the truth. And he showed it tonight. He’s the truth!” Wright said. “He’s a beast.”

Anthony made a house call on the opening kickoff, weaving through the Fern Creek defense for what looked like an 80-yard return, but a penalty brought it back. He notched his first reception on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and Male’s first third down conversion came on a 25-yard pass to Anthony.

He got even busier in the second quarter. First it was a 19-yard grab, then a 28-yard catch on 4th-and-5 to set up a touchdown. By the game’s final horn, he had eight catches for 163 yards.

“He had what three touchdowns? Two touchdowns?” Wright asked.

Two. But it felt like more. On each drive, Anthony was integral to the offense. He accounted for almost half of the team’s 331 yards from scrimmage.

“Vinny had a big game. He’s a guy that’s been a little bit under the radar, but we needed him tonight,” Male coach Chris Wolfe said. “Things kind of went his way. Izayah draws a lot of coverage, a lot of traffic, and Izayah does such a great job for us blocking, and it helps our run game, so if we get somebody else out there that can win some one-on-ones, it really helps our offense.”

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