By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
It started out as a South Middle night with the sixth and seventh grade teams beating North Middle by a combined score of 50-6. It would be North Middle that took home the Computer Place Bowl travelling trophy with the eighth grade rolling to a 38-0 win.
Sixth grade game
South Middle 22, North Middle 0
Matthew Cromer scored a pair of touchdowns and Alex Sizemore broke a long scoring run as South Middle sixth grade opened their season with an easy win.
“This is our first game and I’m very proud of these boys. They’ve worked really hard,” coach Gilbert Vaughn said.
Cromer started the scoring with a 60-yard run in the first quarter straight up the middle. Cromer busted through a big hole opened by his offensive line for a 6-0 lead.
“The boys on the front, they do the work,” Vaughn said.
Cromer scored again in the second quarter from 20 yards on a screen pass. He also ran for the two-point conversion to make it a 14-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, it was Alex Sizemore breaking a tackle near the line and winning a 53-yard footrace to the end zone. A two-point conversion made it a 22-0 lead, which was plenty of cushion the way the South Middle defense had held.
“We’ve got a strong backfield and a strong defense. They are fast and they will get after you hard,” Vaughn said.
North Middle’s Ty Baker did break a 43-yard run late in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals were able to hold for the shutout.
Seventh grade game
South Middle 22, North Middle 6
The seventh grade game followed the same script as the first. South Middle jumped in front early behind the running of Ace Allen. North Middle struggled to gain any ground against the Cardinals defense.
After a scoreless first quarter, Allen put the Cardinals ahead 6-0 with a 55-yard touchdown run. Allen was already getting close to 100 yards rushing.
North Middle fumbled on its next offensive play, setting up a 45-yard run by Allen with 56 seconds in the first half. The lead was now 12-0 and Allen well over 100 yards rushing.
South Middle was threatening to score again early in the third quarter before a fumble at the 10 yard line stalled the drive. The Cardinals defense took over from there and pushed North Middle back for a safety.
South Middle pushed the lead to 22-0 before North Middle finally broke the shutout. The North Middle rally began with Jacob Bush picking off a pass. A 60-yard touchdown catch by D.J. Smith made it a 22-6 game.
Allen would add a 55-yard touchdown pass with 4:18 in the fourth quarter, but it would be called back with a holding penalty.
The final South Middle score would come on a 34-yard run by Allen as time expired.
Eighth grade game
North Middle 38, South Middle 0
The Jaguars were hitting on all cylinders from their first possession and rolled to a 38-0 halftime lead.
The first possession ended with a short keeper by quarterback Cole McWhorter. Justin Moore added the conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The second score of the first quarter would be much harder to explain. The South Middle snap actually went to McWhorter at linebacker, who went nearly untouched for the score as everyone tried to figure out what had happened. Jose Rodriguez ran for the conversion and a 16-0 lead.
With 5:22 in the first half, McWhorter returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead.
Three minutes later it was Rodriguez breaking down the sidelines for a 40-yard touchdown as the lead swelled to 30-0.
North Middle then recovered the kickoff and punched in one more score before the half. It was McWhorter again with the 7-yard keeper with 30.8 second. Moore’s conversion made it 38-0.
Under a rule change this year, the clock did not stop in the second half because the lead was more than 36 points.