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Pikeville knocks off NewCath, 50-14, in semifinal round of Class 1A state football playoffs

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Newport Central Catholic had no answer for Pikeville’s balanced offensive attack on Friday night when the Thoroughbreds’ season ended with a 50-14 loss in the semifinals of the Class 1A state football playoffs.

Pikeville finished with 395 yards in the home field victory that puts the Panthers back in the state championship game that they won last year. The team leader was senior running back Blake Birchfield, who rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Jacob Brown completed 6 of 13 passes for 136 yards and two TDs.

NewCath quarterback Kolton Smith

The Panthers took a 22-0 lead before NewCath scored its first touchdown on a 7-yard run by junior quarterback Kolton Smith with 7:39 remaining in the second quarter.

With the help of a pass interception, Pikeville managed to get two more touchdowns before the second quarter ended to open up a 36-7 halftime lead. The home team put the game away in the third quarter when touchdown runs by Birchfield and Blake Caudill made it 50-7.

NewCath senior Luke Runyon scored the game’s final touchdown on a 72-yard run in the fourth quarter. He ended up with 149 all-purpose yards, including 84 rushing, 22 receiving and 43 on kickoff returns.

NewCath had 210 yards in total offense with 137 rushing and 73 passing. Thoroughbreds were 1-for-6 on third-down conversions and 1-for-3 on fourth-down conversions against the Panthers’ defensive unit.

NewCath ends the season with an 11-3 record. Pikeville (11-2) will play Raceland (13-1) in the Class 1A state championship game at noon on Friday at the University’s of Kentucky’s Kroger Field.

PIKEVILLE  14  22  14  0 — 50
NEWCATH     0   7    0  7 — 14
P — Anthony 1 run (Rogers kick)
P — Birchfield 3 run (Rogers kick)
P — Hensley 12 pass from Brown (Bevins run)
NC — Smith 7 run (Barth kick)
P — Birchfield 3 run (Rogers kick)
P — Birchfield 18 pass from Brown (Rogers kick)
P — Birchfield 41 run (Rogers kick)
P — Caudill 25 run (Rogers kick)
NC — Runyon 72 run (Barth kick)
RECORDS: Pikeville 11-2, NewCath 11-3

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