There were some impressive performances this past weekend and it was really hard to select just one player. There are some really terrific players around the commonwealth of Kentucky in a commonwealth which goes under-recruited for the talent it has. Still, the weekend was filled with primetime matchups and performances to match.
Below we will detail a few of the outstanding games turned in by some of Kentucky’s top high school football players. Encourage your coaches to get those statistics on the KHSAA website for us so we can know about your performance or have your coach message the website with any statistics which haven ‘t yet been reported.
Mingua Beef Jerky Company and we want to award the distinction to as many players from around Kentucky as we can. While we want to spread it around, we will from time to time, as the information is available to us, update the reader on what former winners of the award have done in subsequent weeks, like the reader has seen us do in prior weeks. That being said, let the “race for the world’s finest beef jerky” commence.
Drew Nieves (2022) was welcomed back into the lineup after missing the Danville game. He got right back in the saddle like he had never missed a ride. Nieves was 18 for 24 for 218-yards with 2-passing TDs while running for 60-yards on 10-carries. Mason Moore (2022) caught 7-footballs for 100 receiving yards on offense while picking off a pair of passes for 30 interception return yards including one he housed.
Pike County Central had three rushers go over 100-yards Friday night and gained 558-yards on just 51-carries for 7-rushing TDs on the evening against Breathitt County. Tayvian Boykins (2023) gained 250-yards on 16-carries with one score, Matt Anderson (2023), a former winner of this award, gained 175-yards on 27-carries with 4-scores, and Keegan Bentley (2021) had 8-carries for 133-yards with 2 rushing TDs. Pike County Central won 54-34.
Talk about being appropriately named, Kentucky Country Day’s Eric Dickerson (2022) had a big night with his 25-carries for 214-yares and 2-rushing TDs. He also recovered a fumble. We don’t know if Dickerson is related to the former NFL, enshrined “Erick Dickerson” but we don’t know he isn’t either. Produces on the field like the man whose name he carries and represents well in any event. Backfield mate, Nathan Caldwell (2022), carried it 15-times for 111-yards and 2-rushing TDs.
Collin Darnell (2021) from Russell County had a huge night against Perry County Central in his team’s 35-14 victory. Darnell carried it 25-times for 215-yards and scored 3 rushing TDs.
Teammate Dylan Bland (2021) also came up huge for the Lakers with his 23-carries for 159-yards and 2-rushing TDs. Add up the pair’s production and it kind of makes one dizzy.
Together the D & B Boys, gained 374-yards in 48-carries and scored a whopping 5-rushing TDs from scrimmage. The pair accounted for every single point on the evening not scored by the place-kicker, who was 5 for 5 on PATs (Way to go freshman (2024), Yarley Madrano!).
On the year, Darnell has his team sitting undefeated at 6-0 and likely headed into the playoffs with an unblemished regular season mark as it is doubtful the November 6th game at Taylor County gets played. So far this season, Darnell has carried the football 102-times in 6-games and gained 745-yards with 8-rushing TDs.
Collin leads the Lakers, this season, in yards gained from scrimmage, carries, and average yards per contest. He is his team’s second leading scorer, having scored 60-points in his team’s six games. Collin Darnell is a 6-0, 165-pounds, running-back/safety prospect whose prodigious athleticism and “Ivy-league Index brain put him in play for a wide variety of college programs going forward. Mr. Darnell sports a 3.75 GPA.
Hopkinsville’s Tahj Manning (2021) had a huge night along the Hopkinsville defensive front in that team’s biggest game of this or any year. Manning had 4-tackles, all of which were behind the line of scrimmage and all of which were QB-sacks, or so the statistician reports. Hoptown won 21-12 over cross-town rival Christian County.
Johnson Central’s Dillon Preston (2021) killed for the Eagles when they hosted Belfry this past Friday night. Preston rushed it 29-times for 191-yards with 3-rushing TDs. Johnson Central won 35-13 over the defending 3A KHSAA Champions.
Walton Verona’s Jacob Gaines (2022) carried the football 18-times on Frida night in Verona’s 40-28 win over one of 1A’s top-ranked teams, Holy Cross (Louisville). Gains is Verona’s top ground gainer in 2020, having gained 522-yards in 59-carries with 7-rushing TDs over his 6-games of action. Walton Verona is 5-3 after Friday night’s win.
Cameron Hergott (2021) for Beechwood High School completed all 14 of his passing attempts against Newport Central Catholic on Friday night. He threw for 215-yards with 3 passing TDs on a night which was a marvel of efficiency and effectiveness. Hergott also lead the team in rushing with 68-yards in 10-carries with a rushing TD, one of the team’s 3 on the evening. Beechwood won 45-0.
Brandt Babin (2021) from CAL had a big night. Babin carried it 23-times for 191-yards with all three CAL rushing TDs. Defensively he forced a fumble, had 5-tackles, 2 TFLs, and a QB-sack. His twin brother Braeden Babin (2021) was splendid defensively as he had 12-tackles with 4-TFLs and 3-QB sacks. CAL beat Bullitt Central 45-12.
Broc Bridges (2021) had a big night in defeat for Fulton County. Bridges, one of the best DEs in the 2021 class Kentucky-wide, had 9-tackles, 1-TFL, and 1 QB-sack in a losing effort. Fulton County lost to Russellville 21-20.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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