Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
There were no surprises Thursday night November 2 in Mayfield. There were no surprises at the short trip into the post season for Edmonson County High School football. It was a case of a bottom seed (2-8) versus a top one in a first round of playoffs in Division 2A Kentucky High School Athletic Association football game.
Mayfield (9-1) had only lost once, to a Division 4A team who happens to also be undefeated.
No team in the 2A division has scored more total points than Mayfield, with 513, and only one team has held their opponent to less scoring, allowing only 121 points on the year.
It takes a lot of pride and effort to face a team like that, and had nothing to complain about, Edmonson County head coach Zach Vincent said to his team after host Mayfield defeated Edmonson County 68-0.
“Guys, I’m proud of ya’,” Vincent said. “I can’t say nothing else.”
Despite Mayfield having less students in attendance than Edmonson County by only a few, they have a huge football team and appears even larger with their junior varsity suited up on the sideline. The varsity roster of Mayfield is easily more than twice the number from Edmonson. They aren’t small either.
“It’s hard to come down here,” Vincent said. “Mayfield is a good team. They’re gonna put it to ya. There not gonna pull the breaks off. It’s just tradition here, football. To come here, you gotta be good, and you gotta be tough. You know our kids are tough.”
There were the usual suspects from Edmonson County making the best efforts where senior running back Michael Mills was just unable to break free as he has done in the past.
For the regular season, Mills ran for 1,510 yards on 212 carries for 14 touchdowns with an average gain of 7.12 yards per touch on the season. It came out to an average of 151yards per game, according to KHSAA stats.
"We fell short against a really good team tonight," Mills said.
His favorite thing from the season was “making a family,” he said.
“Havin’ that brotherly bond with other people on the field,” Mills said. “Even the kids on the sideline cheering us on. My favorite moments is making a family out there.”
While senior quarterback Noah Meredith was able to avoid a handful of sacks with his ability to get rid of the ball and saving loss of yards, but in return for his efforts he was punished on multiple throws.
Over the regular season, Meredith threw for 505 yards with four touchdowns and an average completion rate around 50 percent. He also had 322 yards on 100 attempts with 4 touchdowns, according to KHSAA.
Meredith said there wasn’t just one thing he remembered to stand out during the season, he said.
“I wish I could specify it but honestly, probably it wouldn’t even be a game,” Noah Meredith said. “Just the memories you make, like going to the games or going out and eat before the home games. You remember the games, but you really remember the time you spent with the people.”
He admitted his favorite pregame meal was Taco Bell.
“I love Taco Bell,” Meredith said about his favorite pregame meal. “It’s really good.”
Vincent thinks, in thanks to his senior class this year and their leadership, the following years look even more promising, he said.
“They don’t see it but they’ve helped this program so much this year from where it’s been,” Vincent said. “This group of guys are great. I couldn’t ask no more, no less of them.”
One of Meredith’s favorite targets during the season was junior tight end Garret Lyons. Lyons finished with 10 receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown, according to the KHSAA.
Some of the top tacklers over the season for the Wildcats included Meredith with 61, junior Gavin Alexander with 53, Lyons with 41, Mills with 40 and Ace Daugherty with 36 total tackles, according to the KHSAA.
“It takes a man with some faith to absolutely do what you need to do,” Vincent said. “I am proud of these boys. I have nothing negative to say. Nothing bad to say about tonight. We got outplayed, it’s as simple as that.”
Edmonson County High School football had two wins and eight losses in the regular season, with an overall record of 2-9 to include the post season.
“Wins, losses aside, I got a good group of kids,” Vincent said. “They work hard all day.”