|Highlands Center, Evan Richardson, anchored the line in the 6th annual Best of the Bluegrass football showcase.|
Highlands brought a contingent down in Quarterback, Austin Hergott, and lineman, Evan Richardson.
"It was alot of fun," said Hergott. "I got to meet a lot of great athletes and made some friendships with many of them. The coaches were great and it was cool playing under another system. I learned a lot of lifetime lesson from them in the game of football."
|Highlands QB, Austin Hergott, with his maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather and his brothers, Brandon and Cameron.|
Just as they did a year ago, the Kentucky football all-stars built a comfortable lead in the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star Game on Sunday at St. Xavier High School.
This time, however, the Kentucky stars stymied a late comeback by the Louisville stars and pulled away for a 40-21 win on an unseasonably warm day. A year ago, Louisville rallied for a 31-28 win.
Richardson said he had a great experience.
"I thought the talent that was brought into the game was extremely impressive. It was a great experience playing with so many kids that cared about the game so much and wanted to do what was necessary to win. My excitement going into the game was having the chance to meet a group of kids that were qualitatively different than the average high school football player," he said. "This was definitely the case. It was an honor to be chosen to play on the team and it was very fun to play with a group of guys that were obsessed with the game of football."
The Kentucky stars got off to a quick start Sunday, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter. On his team’s second possession of the contest, Pulaski County quarterback Riley Hall hit Bryan Station’s Andre Davis, who raced 77 yards for the first score of the game.
On Kentucky’s next possession after Bowling Green’s Tre Fant intercepted a pass, Lexington Catholic’s Jaylen Jones scored on an 8-yard run.
For the Louisville stars, it got worse. Kentucky’s lead swelled to 21-0, as Hall, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound player who led the Maroons to the Class 5-A state title game each of the past three seasons, hit Caldwell County’s Josh Young in stride down the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown.
“The quick start was big in a game like this,” said Kentucky coach Johnny Hines of Pulaski County. “He (Hall) has done that all year. He’s done that for four years. I’m not a bit surprised.
“We really executed well offensively – early,” Hines said. “We ran some great routes and we had protection.”
The Louisville stars steadied themselves just a bit before halftime, as Male quarterback Hayden Shelton, who led the Bulldogs to the Class 6-A title, found Fern Creek two-way standout Lamarius Kinslow on the left sideline. Kinslow, who has committed to play at Western Kentucky, powered his way into the end zone.
At WKU, Kinslow said he likely will concentrate on the defensive side of the ball.
“Actually, I’m OK with that,” he said.
In the third quarter, the Kentucky lead grew to 28-7 on the game’s top defensive play. Warren Central defensive back Damani Walker intercepted a pass and raced 70 yards for a touchdown with 4:55 left in the third quarter.
“Damani Walker – he was outstanding in the secondary,” Hines said.
Shelton and the Louisville stars, though, kept battling. On the final play of the third quarter, Shelton – pressured heavily the entire game by the Kentucky defensive front – scrambled for a 32-yard score, cutting the deficit to 28-14.
After the Kentucky stars fumbled on the kickoff return, Shelton found Central’s Kambron Brown on a fourth-and-goal at the 8-yard line, trimming the deficit to 28-21.
“We just wanted to make plays,” Shelton said. “We got a lot of confidence down the stretch.”
“They have some great players,” Hines said of the comeback by the Louisville team. “They bounced right back.”
Nonetheless, the Kentucky stars iced the game with two late scores: A 21-yard halfback pass from Davis to Tates Creek’s Robbie Lofton and a 5-yard pass from Highlands quarterback Austin Hergott to Scott County’s Keith Guy, the latter with 41 seconds left.
Hines said the difference was the continued pressure applied by his defensive line, particularly Trey Hornbuckle of Murray. “I thought our defensive line was the best unit in the game,” he said.
“They’re probably the best front four I’ve played against,” Shelton said. “I just tried to make plays. You just have to keep fighting.”
KENTUCKY ALL-STARS 40, LOUISVILLE ALL-STARS 21
Louisville 0 7 7 7 – 21
Kentucky 21 0 7 12 – 40
Ky – Andre Davis 77 pass from Riley Hall (Derek Burgett kick); Ky. – Jaylen Jones 8 run (Burgett kick); Ky. – Josh Young 50 pass from Hall (Tyler Dummer kick); Lou – Lamarius Kinslow 12 pass from Hayden Shelton (Jalen Troutman kick); Ky. Daman Walker 70 interception return (Burgett kick); Lou – Hayden 32 run (Troutman kick); Lou – Kambron Brown 8 pass from Hayden (Troutman kick); Ky. – Robbie Loften 21 pass from Davis (kick failed); Ky. – Keith Guy 5 pass from Austin Hergott (attempt failed)
Total yards 240 283
First downs 17 8
Rushes-yds. 33-42 29-97
Comp-Att-Int 22-45-4 10-21-1
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties-yds. 3-15 2-10
Punts-avg. 7-34.1 7-31.5
QB—Riley Hall, Pulaski Co.; Austin Hergott, Highlands
RB—Keith Guy, Scott Co.; Jaylen Jones, LexCath; Dillon Powell, Simon Kenton
WR—Andre Davis, Bryan Station; Charles Gaines, Lloyd Memorial; Robbie Lofton, Tates Creek; Brett Slusher, Beechwood; Josh Young, Caldwell Co.
TE—John Stratton, Daviess Co.
OL—Trey Binder, Scott Co.; Jordan Felker, Caldwell Co.; Nate Murray, Bell Co.; Evan Richardson, Highlands; David Sandlin, Simon Kenton; Will Southall, LCA; Will Ulmer, Madison Central; Lucas Williams, Owensboro
DL—Jeremiah Happy, Scott Co.; Johnny Hernandez, Mayfield; Mikel Horton, Bryan Station; Tre Hornbuckle, Murray; Tucker Mueller, Simon Kenton; Justin Overstreet, Beechwood; Marcus Watson, Cooper
LB—Tavian Board, Owensboro; Braxton Bradshaw, Mercer Co.; Devante Colton, South Warren; Mason Helton, Pulaski Co.; Stephen Ray, Danville
DB—Mason Alstatt, Lafayette; Dee Cain, Caldwell Co.; Tre Fant, Bowling Green; T.J. James, Owensboro; Devon Key, Bryan Station; Davonte Robinson, Henry Clay; Damani Walker, Warren Central
P/K—Derek Burgett, Pulaski Co.; Tyler Dummer, Scott Co.
GREATER LOUISVILLE ROSTER
QB—Tim Comstock, Manual; Hayden Shelton, Male
RB—Xavier Arnette, Central Hardin; Devin Gentry, Male; Logan Holbrook, Spencer Co.; Starr Thompson, South Oldham; Jamison White, Fern Creek
WR—Kambrin Brown, Central; Clay Davis, Louisville Christian; Ethan Tuggle, Henry Co.; Zack White, Central
TE—Anthony Southers, Central
OL—Isaiah Arnold, Male; Logan Ashkettle, South Oldham; Matthew Boeckmann, St. Xavier; Evan Flener, Fern Creek; William Garcia, Butler; Kyle Goss, Collins; Jalen Jacob, Manual; Cody Wells, DeSales
DL—Ethan Adams, St. Xavier; Marcus Davis Male; Omardrick Douglas, Ballard; Marcus Harbin, Iroquois; Tre Mills, South Oldham; Tony Smyzer, Male
LB—Logan Butler, St. Xavier; Aaron Duncan, Central; Isaiah Kelly, Oldham Co.; Marcel Kilgore, Pleasure Ridge Park; Lamarius Kinslow, Fern Creek; Jack Kuerzi, Male; Antonio Watkins, Butler
DB—Omari Alexander, Manual; Demetrius Holt; Darion Keener, John Hardin; Jaylin Talbott, Southern
P/K—Austin Johnson, DeSales; Jalin Troutman, Bullitt East
Contributions from Kenzie Winstead.