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BluegrassPreps.com Mr. Football Watchlist (11/22)

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Bryant Helps Broncos Buck Wofo With Career Day

The glaring hole in Ty Bryant's Mr. Football resumé has been the lack of offensive touches. He looks the part of a worthy candidate, he's the leader of a star studded secondary, and he's electrifying in the return game. Frederick Douglass has so many quality athletes, they can afford to be selective in how they utilize Bryant in the offensive gameplan. It's a smart strategy. Why expose your best all-around player to a greater chance of injury if you don't have to?

He typically settles for a couple of carries a game, mostly in goal line scenarios, and cashes in on his limited opportunities with nine touchdowns on the season among his 25 carries entering the quarterfinal round against Woodford County. 

With the Yellow Jackets putting up a fight, Douglass turned to Bryant more than ever before. A rotation of backs each had their moments, but Bryant's legs were the story in the third quarter. He tallied career highs in yards (106) and carries (16), with the bulk of that production coming in the third stanza. His touchdown run near the end of the quarter was a demonstration of determination as he fought through resistance at the line of scrimmage by getting low and driving across the goal line. He had a 28 yard score negated by a holding call and made a few key pass deflections from his safety spot, including one that allowed a teammate to pick it off and set up Bryant's go-ahead score moments later.

This is exactly what he needed: A standout all-around performance against an elite opponent. Another game or two like this will make him impossible to ignore when votes are submitted.


Birchfield Goes Ham at Hambley

The Hambley Athletic Complex is due for a facelift. New turf is reportedly in the works and the Pikeville school district seems content to let Blake Birchfield tear the old one up for them. The home side has bore witness to the destruction in all its glory.

- He burned Belfry's pirate ship into the sea with 180 yards and four touchdowns. 

- Neutered Hazard's Bulldogs with 174 yards and four more scores.

- Most memorably of all, he endangered the war eagle species with a career best 350 yards and six touchdowns against LCA. 

Now we can add declawing the Tigers to the list. Pikeville annihilated Paintsville again behind Birchfield's 220 yards and four touchdowns. He'll have one last chance to grip the turf with his cleats against Newport Central Catholic in his Hambley swan song.


Male Rides Swinney Late To Fend Off Hendo

Through three quarters, the night didn't look especially promising for Daniel Swinney's Mr. Football comeback. Entering the fourth quarter, he had touched the ball only a handful of times, which can be directly attributed to Henderson County focusing the brunt of its efforts on containing him. With all eyes on the star running back, quarterback Lucas Cobler found acres of running room as linebackers bit on fakes to Swinney, playing the role of decoy.

As the Bulldogs clung to a one score lead after three quarters, Chris Wolfe finally turned to RB1 to carry Male to the finish line. Swinney rewarded his coach's faith with 70+ yards in the final frame, including a touchdown in the final minutes to essentially salt away the victory over a formidable Hendo squad.

In crunch time, Swinney answered the bell, and he did it running right at one of the state's top run defenses.


Odds And Ends

- Bullitt East advanced past Central Hardin, despite not having the services of Travis Egan in the second half. He was sidelined with a reported stinger after accounting for 157 yards of offense through halftime. Indications are that he was held out strictly for precautionary reasons and he should be a go for the semifinals.

- Despite sharing carries with emerging star Jeremiah Goodwin, Kenyata Carbon still managed to crack the century mark against Fairdale. He ran for 104 yards and two scores as the Red Devils dominated the Bulldogs with a running game that produced ten yards per carry.


Players Highlighted This Week

Ty Bryant (ATH, Frederick Douglass)

Season to date: 41 carries for 352 yards and 10 touchdowns | 3 kick return touchdowns | 1 interception 


Blake Birchfield (RB, Pikeville)

Season to date: 175 carries for 1,627 yards and 29 touchdowns | 1 interception

Highlights: vs. Paintsville


Daniel Swinney (RB, Male)

Season to date: 145 rushes for 966 yards and 9 touchdowns

Highlights: vs. Hendo


Travis Egan (QB, Bullitt East)

Season to date: 174/267 for 2,402 yards and 27 touchdowns with 4 interceptions | 827 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns | 1 defensive interception


Kenyata Carbon (RB/DB, Owensboro)

Season to date: 159 carries for 1,420 yards and 24 touchdowns | 201 receiving yards and 1 touchdown | 2 interceptions

Highlights: vs. Fairdale

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