PRINCETON -- Tommy Waldrop caught three touchdown passes as short-handed Murray surprised Caldwell County 34-17 in Friday's Class 2A playoff opener.
Regardless of who is throwing the football for Murray, Waldrop is the top target for these Tigers. The senior tight end caught 13 passes for 167 yards and the first three touchdowns for his team. Murray will stay on the road for the second round of the playoffs next week when it faces Mayfield, a 56-13 winner over Fort Campbell on Friday.
Caldwell (8-3) jumped out to a 10-0 edge in front of its home faithful. Blake Vivrette provided the only offense in the first 12 minutes with a 27-yard field goal. After the next Murray possession went nowhere, Caldwell took over for the rest of the period. Quarterback Russ Beshear opened the second quarter by completing a 48-yard pass to Tripp Branch for the first touchdown of the night.
After that, the next two quarters belonged to Waldrop and Murray quarterback Rowdy Sokolowski. The sophomore, playing in place of injured starter Hunter Utley, completed 20 of his 28 passes on the night for 228 yards. Waldrop caught scoring strikes of 20 and 13 yards in the second quarter to put Murray on top. Just four minutes into the third, Sokolowski completed a 58-yard pass to Waldrop for their third touchdown and a lead the visitors would not relinquish.
Caldwell managed one last score in the fourth on an 8-yard catch by DeEric Hollowell, the leading Caldwell rusher with 94 yards on 22 carries. Charvelle McCallister led Murray (8-3) with 16 carries for 57 yards. Beshear was 111-for-19 for 187 yards with Branch grabbing four for 114 yards.
Murray 0 14 7 13 - 34
Caldwell Co. 3 7 7 0 - 17
CC: FG Blake Vivrette 27, 2:46, 1st
CC: Tripp Branch 48 pass from Russ Beshear (Vivrette kick), 11:51, 2nd
MU: Tommy Waldrop 20 pass from Rowdy Sokolowski (Noah Merris kick) 7:22, 2nd
MU: Waldrop 13 pass from Sokolowski (Noah Merris kick) :13, 2nd
MU: Waldrop 58 pass from Sokolowski (Noah Merris kick) 8:05, 3rd
CC: DeEric Hollowell 8 pass from Beshear (Vivrette kick), 8:52, 4th
MU: Jorden Duffy 67 pass from Rowdy Sokolowski (Noah Merris kick) 7:41, 4th
MU: Sebastian Lawrence 14 run (kick failed) 4:31, 4th
Murray: C. McCallister 16-57; Caldwell: Hollowell 22-94.
Murray: Sokolowski 20-28-0-228; Caldwell: Beshear 11-19-1-183.
Murray: Waldrop 13-167; Caldwell: Branch 4-114.
Eagles soar past Grayson in 5A
Fueled by stellar defensive play and big plays on offense, the Graves County Eagles picked up their first playoff win since 2014 on Friday night, defeating Grayson County 28-0 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Sophomore running back Clint McKee had a huge night for the Eagles, scoring three touchdowns total, one on the ground and two in the air courtesy of quarterback John Ben Brown.
McKee ran for 88 yards on 19 carries while also hauling in 139 yards on five receptions.
The Eagles got off to a great start in the first half, deferring the opening kickoff and scoring on just their second play from scrimmage as Brown found McKee for a 92-yard touchdown reception.
Another big play at the beginning of the second quarter put Graves County up 14-0 as Brown found wide receiver Mason Grant for a 49-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagles kept the ball on the ground in the second after taking the two-score lead, running out the clock and heading into the half with a 14-0 advantage.
The second half was nearly a repeat of the first, as the Eagles managed to add a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters while tightening their defensive play en route to the 28-0 victory.
Graves' shutout over the Cougars was the Eagle defense's first since the 2016 season as well as Grayson's first since 2017.
Head coach Nick Kemp said there are still a few things his team needs to correct before next week but was ultimately happy with the Eagles' big win.
"Our defense was just … wow, what a game," Kemp said. "We shut them down all over the field and our offense did just enough, we kept moving the ball, and I wish we could have ran the ball a little better, but Clint ran the ball really well and caught the ball great out of the backfield. It was a good win and there's a lot of stuff to clean up but other than that I'm happy for my guys." With their win over Grayson County, the Eagles advance to the second round of the 5A playoffs and will take on the Owensboro Red Devils in Owensboro on Friday night.
Grayson Co. 0 0 0 0 - 0
Graves Co. 7 7 7 7 - 28
Graves -- Clint McKee 92 pass from Brown (Conner Thomas kick), 8:15, 1st
Graves -- Mason Grant 49 pass from Brown (Conner Thomas kick), 11:46, 2nd
Graves -- Clint McKee 12 pass from Brown (Conner Thomas kick), 4:15, 3rd
Graves -- Clint McKee 1 run (Conner Thomas kick), 3:54, 4th
RUSHING--Graves, McKee 19-88, Goatley, 6-41, Brown 2-1, Felts 2-1, Madding 1-2. Grayson, Kopp 15-47, Gibson 11-21, Kerr 6-11, Stewart 5-7.
PASSING--Graves, Brown 12-23-0-231. Grayson, Kopp 0-7-1-0.
RECEIVING--Graves, Mckee 5-139, Grant 3-69, Richards 1-14, Beck 1-11, Madding 1-3 Weatherly 1-1, Goatley 1-1. Grayson, 0.
-- Keith Jaco
Hoptown overtakes surprising Lakers
The Calloway County Lakers gave district champion Hopkinsville all it could handle Friday night in Hoptown, but it was the Tigers that came away the victors to advance to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Lakers struck first and led in the second half but it wouldn't be enough to stop the Tigers in their 28-20 victory.
Kanyon Franklin threw only one pass on the night but it was a good one as Luke Schwepker hauled in a 40-yard bomb to give the Lakers a 7-0 lead to start the second quarter.
After 14-straight points from Hoptown, including a Jay Bland touchdown pass to Ryan Myers with 2 seconds left on the clock in the half, the Lakers weren't done.
Aaron Fennel returned the kickoff 75 yards to the house to tie the game at 14 going into the half.
Two second-half field goals from Calloway's Ian Clark wouldn't be enough as Hoptown scored twice in the second half, including a 24-yard pass from Bland to junior standout Reece Jesse in the fourth quarter.
Hoptown improves to 8-3 as it'll take on Madisonville-North Hopkins next week in the second round. The Maroons edged the Tigers a few weeks ago 20-18.
Calloway County ends its season at 1-10.
Calloway Co. 0 14 6 0 - 20
Hopkinsville 0 14 7 7 - 28
CC: Luke Schwepker 40 pass from Kanyon Franklin (Ian Clark kick), 11:50, 2Q. 7-0
HHS: Jayden Dillard 20 run (Kick good), 8:10, 2Q. 7-7
HHS: Ryan Myers 15 pass from Jay Bland (Kick good), 2.0, 2Q. 14-7
CC: Aaron Fennel 75 kick return (Clark kick), 0.0, 2Q. 14-14
CC: FG Clark 27, 8:28, 3Q. 17-14
HHS: Jayden Dillard 8 run (Kick good), 6:38, 3Q. 21-17
CC: FG Clark 26, 2:29, 3Q. 21-20
HHS: Reece Jesse 24 pass from Bland (Kick good), 8:45, 4Q. 28-20
CC: Zachary Orange 7-23, Jacob Waters 10-14, John Foster 10-8. Ian Clark 1-4
HHS: Jay Bland 8-113, Jayden Dillard 10-33-2, JeVon Leavell 2-30, Tyrell Gray-Lewis 2-5
CC: John Foster 7-16-75-0-1, Kanyon Franklin 1-1-40-1-0
HHS: Jay Bland 20-34-226-2-0
CC: Luke Schwepker 3-81-1, Conner Potts 2-29, Jacob Phillips 1-7, Kanyon Frankin 1-3
HHS: Reece Jesse 8-79-1, 4-64-1, Tyrell Gray-Lewis 4-36, Lane Rushing 3-44
-- Tyler Dixon
No. 2 Trinity blanks Marshals
LOUISVILLE -- Second-ranked Louisville Trinity scored on its first two plays from scrimmage and went on to blast Marshall County 63-0 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Trinity (9-2) scored on its first play, a 64-yard Nathan McElroy to Ryan Miller pass. After the Marshals ran three plays and punted, Trinity took over deep in Marshall territory and scored on its second play of the game, a 25-yard run by Armon Tucker.
After another Marshall punt, another long return set up the Shamrocks on Marshall's 23-yard line, and three plays later McElroy hit Owen Francia on an 8-yard pass for a 21-0 lead with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Trinity scored on all seven of its first-half possessions and led 49-0 by halftime. The second half saw a running clock to expedite the decision.
McElroy completed 8 of 10 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns, as Trinity outgained Marshall 385-79.
Luke Wyatt had 26 of Marshall County's 31 rushing yards, while Garrett Parker had 44 of the Marshals' 48 receiving yards.
Marshall County finished its season 2-9. It's fifth-place finish in Class 6A District 1 made it the fourth seed in District 5 in the KHSAA playoffs system, which necessitated the Marshals trip to Louisville. District 1 has five teams, while District 5 has three.
Marshall Co, 0 0 0 0 - 0
Lou. Trinity 35 14 7 7 - 63
T - Ryan Miller 64 pass from Nathan McElroy (Sebastian Mata kick), 1st
T - Armon Tucker 25 run (Mata kick), 1st
T - Owen Francia 8 pass from McElroy (Mata kick), 6:39, 1st
T - Miller 30 pass from McElroy (Mata kick), 3:28, 1st
T - Tucker 10 run (Mata kick), 0:29, 1st
T - Brad West 45 pass from McElroy (Mata kick), 9:42, 2nd
T - Michael Schmidt 4 run (Mata kick), 1:15, 2nd
T - John Krutsinger 33 pass from Seth Jutz (Mata kick), 6:33, 3rd
T - Jonathan Phillips 5 run (Mata kick), 11:51, 4th
Crider, defense carry Crittenden
MARION -- Luke Crider accounted for over half of Crittenden County's 320 total yards in a 46-0 rout of Caverna in the Class 1A playoffs on Friday night.
The game began with the first of Crider's four touchdowns on a massive 35-yard pass to Preston Turley. Crider followed up with another pass to Turley to make it 13-0. Crider would make it a third touchdown of the first quarter with a 15-yard pass to Caden McCalister.
Crittenden led 34-0 in the first quarter. The Rockets got the running clock started in the second quarter and coasted to victory.
Crittenden will host Russellville, a 34-27 victor over Fulton County, next Friday in the second round of the playoffs.
Caverna 0 0 0 0 - 0
Crittenden 34 6 6 0 - 46
CC: Preston Turley 35 pass from Luke Crider (kick failed) 11:20, 1st
CC: Turley 4 pass from Crider (Noah Perkins kick) 6:52, 1st
CC: Caden McCalister 15 pass from Crider (Perkins kick) 5:46, 1st
CC: Preston Morgeson 1 run (Perkins kick) 3:37, 1st
CC: Morgeson 6 pass from Crider (Perkins kick) 1:36, 1st
CC: Xander Tabor 3 run (kick failed) 7:53, 2nd
CC: Keifer Marshall 5 run (pass failed) :44, 3rd
CC: Crider 10-17-166 yds., Seth Guess 5-7-18. Caverna: Yates 13-29-89.
CC: Tabor 5-63, Marshall 7-52. Caverna: Colton Riley 7-24, Zyier Yates 13-9.
CC: Turley 3-87, Morgeson 4-36. Caverna: Harley Hoskins 5-36.
Russellville edges Fulton County
RUSSELLVILLE -- Lennon Ries scored on a 35-yard run with 8:45 left in the game, and that was enough to lift Russellville over Fulton County 32-27 in the Class 1A playoffs Friday.
It was back-and-forth through the first quarter with Russellville striking first on a 57-yard Zach Dowlen fumble return. DiAvian Bradley countered with a 16-yard rush and then Caleb Kimble pushed Fulton County ahead with a 14-yard scoring run. Russellville struck again on the ensuing kickoff with a Jovari Gamble 82-yard return to make it 14-13.
JShon Jones put the Pilots back ahead in the second quarter, as Fulton County led 21-19 at the break.
Fulton Co. 14 0 7 6 - 27
Russellville 13 6 7 6 - 32
R: Zach Dowlen 57 fumble return (Dustin Brown kick), 10:41, 1st
FC: DiAvian Bradley 16 run (kick), 5:21, 1st
FC: Caleb Kimble 14 run (kick), 4:15, 1st
R: Jovari Gamble 82 kickoff return (kick failed), 4:15, 1st
FC: JShon Jones run (kick), 4:23, 2nd
R: Lennon Ries 35 run (Brown kick), 2:50, 3rd
FC: Kimble 1 run (conversion failed), 9:35, 4th
R: Ries 35 run (conversion failed), 8:45, 4th
Fulton County 6-5, Russellville 4-7.
Mayfield advances with 56-13 triumph
MAYFIELD -- Jayden Stinson passed for four touchdowns as Mayfield enjoyed a dominating 56-13 win against Fort Campbell in the Class 2A playoffs on a frigid Friday night. Diaz Perry kicked off the scoring for the Cardinals with an 80-yard kickoff return. Stinson later added a scoring pass to Kade Neely.
Fort Campbell recovered a fumble on the 1-yard line and then the Falcons would run it all the way 97 yards to make it 14-7. With five seconds left in the first half, Stinson scored his fourth touchdown to go into the locker room ahead 42-7.
Kylan Galbreath activated the running clock with a 7-yard scoring run. A minute later, Zane Cartwright tossed an 11-yard pass to Isaac Stevenson for the final Mayfield score.
Mayfield will host Murray next week in the second round of the 2A playoffs.
Union holds off Trigg, 26-13
CADIZ -- Unable to get anything going offensively, Trigg County fell to Union County 26-13 in the first round of the playoffs.
Trigg County struggled offensively all night, barely mustering 81 passing yards with virtually no running game.
Meanwhile, Union County junior fullback Matthias Ervin and junior running back Corithian Seales-Portee fueled the Braves offense time and time again.
The two combined for a total of 301 rushing yards (Ervin 175, Seales-Portee 1260) dragging the Wildcats defenders all over the field with their size and strength.
A 50-yard punt return touchdown from senior wide receiver JaKobe Bridges and a 24-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cam Jordan to Bridges towards the end of the fourth quarter was all Trigg County put on the scoreboard.
Trigg County wraps up its season with a 6-5 record, as Union City will take on Paducah Tilghman in the next round.
Union Co. 0 6 20 6 - 26
Trigg Co. 0 7 0 6 - 13
UC: Matthias Ervin 5 run (PAT no good) 6-0
TC: JaKobe Bridges 50 punt return (PAT good), 7-6, 2:58 2Q
UC: Matthias Ervin 2 run (run failed), 12-7, 6:53 3Q
UC: Kristopher Hughes 38 interception return (2pt. rush good), 20-7, 5:43 3Q
UC: Corithian Seales-Portee 29 run (run failed), 26-7, 2:38 4Q
TC: JaKobe Bridges 24 pass from Cameron Jordan (run failed, 26-13, 2:45 4Q
TC: Tayshaun Barker 4-33
TC: Cameron Jordan 9-24-81
TC: Josh Visingardi 3-26
Union 6-5, Trigg 6-5.
-- Gage Johnson