Wildcats Finish Season 4-4
Darren Doyle, story:
It was a scrappy, hard fought game by two similarly-matched teams, but one that would fall in favor of the Metcalfe County Hornets over the Wildcats 34-27 in the Class AA, District 3 finals on Friday, November 27, 2020 at ECHS.
Metcalfe County got their offense going first as they scored a touchdown on a reverse play. The extra point was no good for a Hornet 6-0 lead with 5:09 left in the first.
On the next Wildcat possession, quarterback Jon Smith connected with Clay Walden for a 43-yard catch and touchdown. Walden's extra point attempt was a little left with a score of 6-6 with 3:55 to go in the first.
Edmonson County scored again in the first, thanks to quick hands from Isaiah Johnson as he intercepted Hornet quarterback Peyton Dial's pass and ran it back for a 29-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was good and the Cats took a 13-6 lead with 2:22 left in the first.
Metcalfe County scored early in the second quarter and took a 14-13 lead with their two-point conversion. They were able to return to the end zone again with 3:24 left in the half. Another 2-point conversion extended their lead to 22-13.
The Wildcats answered on their next possession when Johnson caught a shovel pass from Smith for a 5-yard TD. The extra point cut the Hornets' lead to 22-20 with 1:39 in the half, which would be the score at halftime.
Edmonson County struggled in the third and the Hornets took advantage. Two more touchdowns from Metcalfe with no extra point kicks extended their lead once again to 34-20 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.
Time ticked away in the fourth and the Cats were in a tough spot on 4th and long when Smith connected with Walden on a big 30-yard catch for a first down in the red zone. Smith was able to score on a QB keeper with 4:32 left in the game, and the extra point cut the Cats' deficit to 34-27.
Metcalfe County was able to keep possession through the remainder of the game with a big first down with 3:35 to go on 3rd and 10. It first appeared to be short, but after measurement, the officials ruled the first down and the Hornets held on to win.
Edmonson County will lose 12 seniors from this year's squad, most all of which have played for Coach Nathan Smith, who was named KFCA District 3 Coach of the Year earlier this week, since they were 6th graders.
"We fought through a lot this year, it's been a crazy football season," said Coach Smith. "Just to have a chance the whole game, I never thought we were ever out of it, but they made some plays we didn't make. That's the difference when you got two evenly matched football teams. Us and Metcalfe, it's always been a battle."
Smith sincerely discussed this season's seniors.
"I'm proud of my boys. We just kept making plays and making plays," he said. "You know, it's tough. I love the group we've got right now. I've coached most of them since the sixth grade. A lot of them I have, and it's going to be tough. I don't even know how to coach football without some of them around here. Hats off to them. They played their butts off. I can't ask for any more from a group of football players than what I have right now."
Edmonson County finishes the season at 4-4 and district runner up. Metcalfe County advances to face Lexington Christian in the regional round of the playoffs.