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Former Highlands stars Dougherty, Bunning lead Lindsey Wilson (6-0) against Thomas More this Saturday

By Don Owen
NKyTribune reporter

Saturday will be an afternoon of homecomings when Thomas More plays host to unbeaten and nationally ranked Lindsey Wilson at BB&T Field.

Thomas More is celebrating its 2019 Homecoming on Saturday during the 1:30 p.m. contest. The Saints (3-3 overall) have won two straight games, including a 31-28 victory at Campbellsville last Saturday night to pick up their first Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division triumph.

Lindsey Wilson is ranked No. 9 nationally in the latest NAIA poll, and the Blue Raiders sport a 6-0 record. The visitors from Columbia, Ky., also feature a pair of former Highlands High School standouts in kicker/punter Jared Dougherty and offensive lineman Lou Bunning.

Former Highlands High School standout Jared Dougherty is one of the NAIA’s top kickers for unbeaten Lindsey Wilson, which plays at Thomas More on Saturday.

Dougherty is one of the top kickers in the NAIA and was selected to the Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division first team last season. He is perfect (6-for-6) on field goals this season and has made 24 of 31 attempts in his career. Dougherty also averages 45.3 yards per punt with a long of 58 yards this season.

Bunning, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound center, has played an integral role for a Lindsey Wilson offense that averages 46.5 points per game. The Blue Raiders also churn out 449 yards of total offense per contest.

Lindsey Wilson quarterback Cameron Dukes has completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,545 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. Dukes leads the Mid-South Conference in total offense, averaging 279.8 yards per game.

Dukes has an outstanding corps of receivers, led Jay Gaudlock and his 31 catches for 428 yards. Jaylen Boyd leads the Blue Raider rushing attack with 458 yards.

Thomas More quarterback Justin Post has thrown for 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns. Post is No. 2 in the Mid-South Conference in total offense at 265.2 yards per game.

Thomas More quarterback Justin Post has thrown for 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns. (Photo by Jeff McCurry)

Monalo Caldwell has rushed for 521 yards and six touchdowns to pace Thomas More on the ground. He is No. 4 in the Mid-South Conference with an average of 86.8 yards per game. Saints wide receiver Mitchell Hogue has hauled in 34 receptions for 357 yards, while Da’marco Canty has caught 25 passes for 452 yards and five touchdowns.

Against Campbellsville last week, Thomas More’s defense took over during the second half and ignited the victory. Tied at 28-all going into halftime, with both teams scoring at will in a wild back-and-forth offensive shootout, Thomas More regrouped on the defensive side of the ball and held Campbellsville scoreless the final 30 minutes.

The Saints allowed just 77 yards of total offense and three first downs in the second half. Cody Coffey led the Thomas More defense with nine tackles and an interception. Peyton Van Horn also recorded nine tackles, while Ryan Stofko finished with six tackles.

This will mark the first-ever meeting between Thomas More and Lindsey Wilson on the football field.

Thomas More and Lindsey Wilson have played two common opponents this season in Campbellsville and Cumberland (Tenn.). Lindsey Wilson defeated Campbellsville, 40-24, on Aug. 29 in Columbia, Ky. The Blue Raiders posted a 48-6 win over Cumberland (Tenn.) last Saturday.

Thomas More dropped a 17-14 decision to Cumberland (Tenn.) on Sept. 14 at BB&T Field.

Contact Don Owen at don@nkytrib.com and follow him on Twitter at @dontribunesport

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