Boyle County wins 3A state championship, 40-21

Published 9:50 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

LEXINGTON — The Boyle County senior class were freshmen when Chuck Smith returned to coach the Rebels.

From day one, they knew that they’d win a state championship.

The Rebels beat Corbin 40-21 in the Class 3A State Championship Friday at Kroger Field. Boyle led from its first drive and didn’t look back.

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“We knew that we were going to get it done,” senior Mitchell Paycheck said. “We had confidence all four years and we never had a doubt in our mind that we weren’t going to get one in our senior year. We knew from the beginning.”

Paycheck and the Rebels’ defensive front gave the offense a dream start, shutting down Corbin’s first drive.

Boyle’s offense answered the call, needing just four plays to go 57 yards for the score — a 38-yard strike from Reed Lanter to Reese Smith.

Those two names are familiar to anyone who has played the Rebels this year, and Corbin got a heavy dose of sophomores Lanter and Reese Smith throughout the game.

Reese Smith would intercept a tipped third-down pass on Corbin’s next possession and dive into the end zone for the Rebels’ next score.

Corbin made some offensive adjustments and would score on two of its next three drives — each on a 17-yard pass from quarterback Cameron Sizemore.

Landen Bartleson scored on a six-yard screen pass for the Rebels and Reese Smith had another touchdown reception from Lanter, giving the Rebels a 27-14 lead at halftime.

Adjustments were made in the second half, and coach Smith said that he didn’t doubt his senior class.

“These kids have never won one,” he said. “I just wanted, so bad, for them to win a state championship. Because they worked so hard for it. They put in so much time, it’s unbelievable how much time they put in, it’s unbelievable how hard they practice.

“This senior group got it. It’s a lot of things, you’ve got to outwork people, you’ve got to outplay people, you’ve got to put your heart and soul into everything that you do. These guys bought into it back in January.”

It goes back further for the seniors.

“I’ve been at it since the third grade with all of them,” senior Sam Tiller said. “They’re my family. We’re going to be brothers for life. This is just proof of all of the hard work that we did this year, to get to this moment. I love them to death.”

Boyle would get the ball to start the second half and worked a four-minute drive to score again, this time Lanter hitting Smith from five yards out.

Corbin returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a score, but that’d be the highlight of the Redhounds night.

Reiley Colwick — another sophomore — caught a 35-yard touchdown pass and intercepted a pass with four minutes remaining in the game to put the game away for Boyle.

“The sophomore class, they’re really good in the skilled positions,” coach Smith said. “As long as they keep humble, keep working, understand how they got here, then they’ll be fine.”

Lanter was named game MVP for a dominant display against a Corbin team that had only given up 120 passing yards per game. He completed 16-of-24 passes for 223 yards and five touchdowns and zero interceptions.

He said the MVP was nice, but the team trophy was his goal from the beginning.

“It’s been a goal of mine since third grade,” Lanter said. “The game MVP doesn’t mean much to me as long as we get the win and I’m glad we did … We’ve worked for this all year. Our seniors are the backbone of the team and they’ve shown us sophomores how to do it. We’re thankful for them.”

Lanter wasn’t sacked, and Corbin’s strong quarterback Sizemore was hit hard all night, gaining just 30 yards on nine carries. Sizemore finished 12-for-23 through the air with 81 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions — two to Reese Smith.

That dominance on the line started on Corbin’s first drive.

“Corbin started off not being able to run on us, then they started getting those stop routes on the corners,” Paycheck said. “Eventually, we went in, did some homework and got that fixed.”

Coach Smith had high praise for Paycheck and his senior classmates, who took Boyle’s “Through the Wall” motto to heart and won the Rebels’ first state title since 2010.

“They’ve done it all,” the coach said. “They set out early in the year, really after the Danville game, they wanted to bring relevance back to the Boyle County football program. They wanted to get us back into the conversation, and really, they didn’t even talk about it. I just knew it. I felt it whenever I was around them. Nobody understands how hard they go out every day, and we drive them into the dirt, practicing hard. They come back the next day looking for more and asking for more. And when they do that, you know you’ve got a chance.”

It’s Boyle County’s eighth title and sixth under coach Smith, who had a simple message as he left the field.

“We’re back. We’re back.”

Class 3A championship

At Lexington

Boyle 21 6 6 7 — 40

Corbin 7 7 7 0 — 21

First quarter

BOYLE — Reese Smith 38 yard pass from Reed Lanter (Harrison Mesplay kick), 8:56

BOYLE — Smith 40 yard interception return (Mesplay kick), 7:28

CORBIN — Christian Gosselin 17 yard pass from Cameron Sizemore (Will Childers kick), 6:06

BOYLE — Landen Bartleson 6 yard pass from Lanter (Mesplay kick), 2:13

Second quarter

CORBIN — Ethan Wine 17 yard pass from Cameron Sizemore (Childers kick), 4:16

BOYLE — Smith 34 yard pass from Lanter (kick blocked), 3:17

Third quarter

BOYLE — Smith 5 yard pass from Lanter (2PC failed), 7:33

CORBIN — Jacob Steely 80 yard kickoff return (Childers kick), 7:21

Fourth quarter

BOYLE — Reiley Colwick 35 yard pass from Lanter (Mesplay kick), 8:40

               BC      COR

First downs 24 13

Rush-yards 42-237 23-125

Passing yards 223 81

Total yards 460 206

Comp-Att-INT 16-24-0 12-24-3

Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0

Penalties-yards 8-100 6-68


RUSHING — Boyle: Tanner Crawford 17-92, Landen Bartleson 16-88, Blake Biggs 5-45, Reed Lanter 2-7, Eli Smock 1-5. Corbin: Chase Estep 14-95, Cameron Sizemore 9-30.

PASSING — Boyle: Reed Lanter 16-24-0-223. Corbin: Sizemore 12-23-3-81, Estep 0-1-0.

RECEIVING — Boyle: Nick Walker 6-44, Reese Smith 5-120, Reiley Colwick 4-53, Bartleson 1-6. Corbin: Estep 4-5, Cameron Barton 2-25, Christian Gosselin 2-18, Ethan Wine 1-17, Jordan Fox 1-16, Jacob Steely 1-4, Cameron Maguet 1-(-4).