Panthers extend win streak to nine by coasting past Harlan in second round of playoffs


13th Region Media Network

Harlan defensive back Darius Akal moved in for a tackle of Pikeville running back Blake Birchfield in Friday’s playoff game. Birchfield scored one of six Pikeville touchdown in the Panthers’ 43-7 victory.

The Pikeville Panthers, the defending Class A champions, appear to be marching toward another crown in 2022.
The Panthers used a 36-0 first-half explosion Friday and rolled to a 43-8 victory over the visiting Harlan Green Dragons in the second round of the Class A playoffs.
Pikeville (9-2) opened the season with losses to Corbin and Covington Catholic but has reeled off nine consecutive wins.
The Panthers will advance to host Hazard (8-4) in the regional finals of the playoffs on Friday. Pikeville downed the Bulldogs 52-7 on Oct. 21.
Pikeville opened the scoring on its first possession of the game. A nine-play, 71-yard drive was capped by an 11-yard touchdown run by Brenden Anthony at the 9:01 mark. Following a Dragon penalty, Tayvian Boykins scored the two-point conversion.
The Panthers led 8-0 after one period.
Pikeville blew the game open in the second quarter with four TDs.
With 6:54 left in the first half, Anthony scored on a 3-yard run and Jacob Rogers added the extra point to make it 15-0.
The Panthers intercepted a Donovan Montanaro pass and scored two plays later as quarterback Isaac Duty connected with Wade Hensley for a 50-yard TD pass. Rogers’ kick extended the lead to 22-0.
Boykins added a 46-yard touchdown run and Duty found Blake Birchfield for a TD pass just before half. Rogers had extra points.
The Dragons had 83 yards of offense in the first half.
The second half began with a running clock. With 5:14 remaining in the third quarter, Blake Caudill went in from the 7 for the Panthers.
The Green Dragons avoided the shutout with 1:24 left in the game as freshman Sedrick Washington scored on a 3-yard run and also added the two-point conversion.
Harlan closed the season with an 8-4 record. It was the best year for the Dragons since 2015, when the Dragons finished 9-3.
The Dragons will graduate seven seniors — Dylan Middleton, Will Austin, Robert Sanford, Jayden Ward, Ryley Mefford, Eli Sizemore and Cameron Maples.

Harlan 0 0 0 8—8
Pikeville 8 28 7—43
P—Anthony 11 run (Boykins run)
P—Anthony 3 run (Rogers kick)
P—Hensley 50 pass from Duty (Rogers kick)
P—Boykins 46 run (Rogers kick)
P—Birchfield 31 pass from Duty (Rogers kick)
P—Caudill 7 run (Rogers kick)
H—Washington 3 run (Washington run)