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Beechwood looking to break losing streak against Mayfield in Class 2A state semifinal game on Friday

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

All of the scouting reports and videos the Mayfield football coaches have studied to prepare for Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal game at Beechwood point to one undeniable fact — none of the 13 opponents the Tigers have faced this season were able to keep senior quarterback Cameron Hergott from leading his team to victory. 

Hergott hopes to do that again Friday against a 12-1 Mayfield team that has won its last eight playoff games against Beechwood. The last time the two teams met was in the 2019 Class 2A semifinals and Mayfield came away with a 35-7 victory. Last year, Mayfield lost in the second round of the playoffs while Beechwood claimed its 15th state championship overall. Mayfield has won 12 state titles.

Senior quarterback Cameron Hergott has provided 72 percent of Beechwood’s offense by passing for 2,218 yards and rushing for 1,522. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

Hergott has provided 72 percent of Beechwood’s offense this season by passing for 2,218 yards and rushing for 1,522. He has found a way to get the ball into the end zone 56 times through the air or on the run. The rest of the team has scored 30 times.

Operating behind a veteran offensive line that includes four starters from last year’s state championship team has been a big part of Hergott’s success.

Those linemen also anchor a Beechwood defensive unit that has allowed just 44 yards and 5.8 points per game.

The Tigers gave up only two touchdowns in their first three playoff games, but none of those teams had talented offensive players like the Mayfield Cardinals.

The western Kentucky team is averaging 367 yards and 44.6 points per game with a balanced offensive attack that features sophomore quarterback Zane Cartwright and senior running back Kylan Galbreath, who have a combined average of 289 yards per game. Each of them has more than doubled the yards they finished with last year when Mayfield lost to Murray, 28-21 in triple overtime, in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

This season, Cartwright has passed for 2,209 yards and 23 touchdowns with only one interception. His favorite target has been senior wide receiver Daniel Coles, who had three catches for 138 yards and two TDs in a 48-6 win over Green County last week.

Galbreath has rushed for 1,552 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games. In the Cardinals last two playoff victories over Green County and Murray, he picked up 298 yards and scored four touchdowns. Two years ago, he rushed for 252 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s playoff win over Beechwood.

Mayfield’s defense is allowing 156 yards and 12.4 points per game this season. The team’s leading tacklers are senior linebacker Nathan Watkins with 76 and senior defensive end Gabe Spaulding with 53.

The Cardinals have registered 64.5 tackles for a loss, including 21 quarterback sacks. The team leader in both of those categories is sophomore linebacker JuJu Starks with 13 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. How much pressure Starks and his teammates can put on Hergott in Friday’s game remains to be seen.

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