Effort there, but Garrard County falls short vs. Lexington Catholic

Published 12:12 am Saturday, October 20, 2018

LANCASTER – It wasn’t a close game, but it was a tough-luck loss for Garrard County.

The Golden Lions were doomed to extend their string of losses to Lexington Catholic after giving up 32 unanswered points Friday night. They fell 39-22 on senior night at Dyehouse Stadium for their 11th consecutive loss to the Knights and their sixth in the past four seasons.

However, coach Jerry Perry said he couldn’t fault the way Garrard played against a team that has had the Lions’ number in recent seasons and had it again Friday.

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“Our kids play hard. We’re at a disadvantage numbers-wise, and especially with some guys hurt, we just don’t have guys that can really come in and take their spots,” Perry said. “I hate it for the kids because you’re playing hard, you played a lot better defensively, but you lost. It’s tough.”

Garrard had allowed 49.6 points per game in five games against Lexington Catholic since the two teams were returned to the same district in 2015. The Knights were short of that number Friday, and they were almost 100 yards below their season average of 429 yards per game.

“That’s honestly the best defensive performance we’ve had against that team in four years,” Perry said. “We played as well as we could play. There’s not a whole lot more we can do.”

Still, there was one thing that bothered Perry. Garrard (2-7, 0-3 District 3A-4) was in control of the game for a short time after taking advantage of Lexington Catholic’s only turnover to take an 8-0 lead late in the first quarter, and the Lions got the ball back quickly after a three-and-out.

On their first play, Brice Burkhart and Trace Poynter hooked up for a 39-yard pass play that moved the Lions from their own 23-yard line to the Lexington Catholic 38. However, they lost the ball three plays later on a fumble that was recovered by the Knights’ Jackson Klein.

“I still would like to have seen what would have happened if we don’t fumble and we push (the ball) in, because we had all the momentum,” Perry said. “We really had them on the ropes, and what would they have done if the score was 14-0, 16-0? Would they panic?”

Of course, he’ll never know. Lexington Catholic (5-3, 2-1) scored five plays later to tie the game, and Garrard didn’t cross midfield again until late in the third quarter.

Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen, who will likely sign with a Power Five college this winter, threw three long touchdown passes in the second half to help the Knights pull away.

“He completed some deep balls on us in the second half,” Perry said. “They’ve got a really good quarterback, and when we didn’t pressure him he made connections, and when we did pressure him, they took losses. And I thought we did a really good job against their run game.”

Allen threw four touchdown passes in all and went 12 for 20 for 256 of the Knights’ 332 yards. He threw scoring passes of 56 and 55 yards in the fourth quarter.

Garrard got 192 of its 246 yards on the ground and possessed the ball for almost 34 1/2 minutes.

Willie Rader rushed for 102 yards on 25 carries to lead the Lions, and he scored on a 3-yard run in the final minutes. Burkhart completed three of six passes – all to Poynter – for 54 yards and had a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Burkhart recovered a fumble in midair and returned it 47 yards to the Lexington Catholic 28-yard line to set up Garrard’s first score. Eight plays later, Jacob Hacker reached the end zone on a 6-yard run, and he also ran for a two-point conversion.

The Lions’ defense forced two incomplete passes as they held Lexington Catholic on its next possession, setting up the series that led to Garrard’s only turnover.

“After the fumble we seemed to get a little stagnant on offense,” Perry said.  “I thought we were fine until we fumbled, and for whatever reason we got a little stagnant.”

Garrard finished winless in district play and will carry a No. 4 seed into the Class 3A playoffs. The Lions finish their regular season next week at Rockcastle County, then will play a first-round playoff game at Belfry on Nov. 2.

At Lexington

Lexington Catholic          0             15           9             15           –             39

Garrard County 8             0             0             14           –             22

First Quarter

Garrard – Jacob Hacker 6 run (Hacker run), 3:33.

Second Quarter

Lexington Catholic – Keith Brinkman 7 run (Trenton Neuer run), 11:54.

Lexington Catholic – Jackson Corbett 9 pass from Beau Allen (Trey Woody kick), 1:49.

Third Quarter

Lexington Catholic – Safety, 8:05.

Lexington Catholic – Nathan Schnurr 25 pass from Allen (Woody kick), 7:06.

Fourth Quarter

Lexington Catholic – Luke Powell 56 pass from Allen (Jackson Klein pass from Powell), 10:34.

Garrard – Brice Burkhart 3 run (Willie Rader run), 5:00.

Lexington Catholic – Dylan Bracken 55 pass from Allen (Corbett kick), 4:24.

Garrard – Rader 3 run (pass failed), 1:12.