LEXINGTON - Boyle County had plenty of chances to upset No. 2 Lexington Catholic on Friday.
But three missed field goals, blown kicking coverages and failure to score inside the 10 yard line on downs all contributed to a 24-21 district road loss for the No. 7 Rebels.
“Second and third quarter, there were a lot of opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them,” Boyle coach Larry French said. “They made plays on both sides of the ball, offensively and fensively in that fourth quarter and they won the football game because they made plays. We didn’t make plays.”
Lexington Catholic (6-1, 2-0 Class AAAA, District 5) got fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 41 and 22 yards from Amoh Kumengisa to cap a rally from a halftime deficit and beat Boyle (3-4, 1-1) for the third straight time.
Kumengisa’s final scoring run, set up by a long punt return by David Bouvier, gave the Knights a 24-21 lead with 4 minutes, 57 seconds to play.
“They made plays on both sides of the ball, offensively and fensively in that fourth quarter and they won the football game because they made plays,” French said. “We didn’t make plays.
Boyle was able to mount a drive to have a chance to either win or tie the game at the end.
On third down-and-15 from the Rebels’ own 46-yard line, Casey Whittle found Lloyd Hall for a 9-yard gain, then lofted a high pass that Seph Burke pulled in to give them a first down at the Lexington Catholic 23.
A 4-yard run by Burke and a 7-yard run by Whittle set up first-and-goal at the 9-yard line. After two short runs, Whittle rolled left and threw back to the right for Burke in the end zone, but Sawyer Shelton knocked down the pass on third down with 8 seconds to go.
So Boyle went for the tie, but William Harris’ 25-yard field-goal attempt was wide left.
“We made a good drive there at the last, got the ball in good scoring position. We didn’t want to play for a tie, but we ended up where we were and he just didn’t hit it,” French said. “That was just one of those things, we didn’t make the play. You’ve got to make plays in this game to win.
“I don’t fault our kids’ effort, we gave tremendous effort. But we had opportunities in the second and third quarter to blow this game out and we didn’t capitalize on them.”
Boyle wasted those opportunities with Lexington Catholic quarterback Kyle Bolin on the sidelines after he suffered an injury to his left knee near the end of the first half. With Boyle leading 14-6, Bolin was injured on a 9-yard scramble with 11 seconds left.
Lexington Catholic coach Bill Letton said Bolin told him he was cutting “and felt something give. We’ll get him evaluated.”
In his place, sophomore Reese Ryan came in and hit Sam Letton for a 12-yard gain, then threw up a Hail Mary pass that Letton hauled in as the buzzer sounded to trim Boyle’s lead to 14-12 at the half.
Boyle’s defense seemed to get to Ryan at the start of the second half.
His first pass was a soft floater that Burke picked off at the Knights’ 22 and returned for a touchdown that gave the Rebels a 21-12 lead with 51 seconds gone in the third quarter.
But that was the last score for the Rebels.
Ryan was sacked twice and Lexington Catholic was forced to punt on its next series, and Boyle drove 19 yards and had fourth-and-1 the Knights’ 6-yard line, but Casey Whittle was stopped short to ruin another scoring chance.
Hall picked off a Ryan pass on the next series, and Boyle again had the ball deep in Lexington Catholic terrority at the 30. The Rebels drove to the 10, and Harris’ 27-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Casey Nash to keep the score at 21-12 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
Ryan then warmed up, completing his final four passes and finishing 7 for 10 for 122 yards. His play also opened up the run game for Lexington Catholic.
“Their quarterbacks all throw the ball well, they’ve got nice receivers, they executed. They found out how to roll him out, get him to where he could throw the ball,” French said. “That opened up the passing lanes a bit, but what they did was they caught us back on our heels and they ran the ball right down the throat.”
That game plan showed itself after Boyle was forced to punt and give Lexington Catholic the ball at its own 32 with 8:57 to play.
Ryan hit two passes for 27 yards, then Kumengisa ran right and went untouched for a 41-yard score. The snap on the extra-point attempt was high and Cody Mitchell’s pass was incomplete, leaving Boyle with a 21-18 lead.
The Knights got a good punt return from David Bouvier, and a Knights penalty set the ball at the Boyle 22. On the first play, Kumengisa went untouched for a 22-yard score and a 24-21 lead. Kumengisa ran for 61 of his 105 yards in the second half.
“The kicking game killed us all night, it was terrible. We didn’t get a good return on a kickoff. Little things like that can make a difference in a football game, and we didn’t capitalize on things when we should have,” French said. “It was a disappointing loss, it really was.”
Harris missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt on Boyle’s first drive, and the game was scoreless until Burke capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with a 6-yard blast up the middle. Burke finished with 85 yards on 22 carries.
Kumengisa scored on a 1-yard run on Lexington Catholic’s next series, but the kick failed.
With 32 seconds to go in the first half, Hall took a short pass left from Whittle and raced down the sideline for a 57-yard touchdown to make it 14-6. Hall had six catches for 105 yards and ran for 53 yards.
Boyle outgained Lexington Catholic 354 yards to 329, ran 26 more plays and held the ball for almost 24 more minutes. But the Knights got the win, and French said the Rebels can go two ways from here.
“Either we’re going to come out swinging and fight,” he said, “or we’re going to hang our heads and lose the rest of them.”
Boyle County 0 14 7 0 — 21
Lexington Catholic 0 12 0 12 — 24
Boyle — Seph Burke 6 run (William Harris kick), 6:45.
Lexington Catholic — Amoh Kumengisa 1 run (kick failed), 5:42.
Boyle — Lloyd Hall 57 pass from Casey Whittle (Harris kick), :32.
Lexington Catholic — Sam Letton 38 pass from Reese Ryan (pass failed), :00.
Boyle — Burke 22 interception return (Harris kick), 11:09.
Lexington Catholic — Kumengisa 41 run (pass failed), 8:23.
Lexington Catholic — Kumengisa 22 run (kick failed), 5:03.
First downs 21 13
Rushes-yards 48-172 22-154
Passing 182 171
Total Net Yards 354 329
Comp-Att-Int 12-25-0 12-23-2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 6-35 10-95
RUSHING—Boyle, Seph Burke 22-85, Lloyd Hall 17-53, Casey Whittle 5-15, Kyle Kephart 3-13, Austin Muntz 2-6. Lexington Catholic, Amoh Kumengisa 11-105, Kyle Bolin 2-26, Marcellis Logan 2-17, Malik Guidry 1-1, Reese Ryan 5-1.
PASSING—Boyle, Whittle 12-25-0-182. Lexington Catholic, Ryan 7-10-2-122, Bolin 5-13-0-49.
RECEIVING—Boyle, Hall 6-105, Josiah Robbins 3-30, Burke 1-22, Blake Mason 1-8, Kephart 1-8. Lexington Catholic, Sam Letton 2-50, David Bouvier 5-49, Kumengisa 3-33, Anthony Kersey 1-24, Casey Nash 1-15.