WDN Sports Editor
MATEWAN – It has been seven years since the Kentucky All-Stars defeated their West Virginia counterparts in the annual Community Trust Bank Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl. However, the boys in blue decided 2011 was their year and took the 16th bowl game 30-14.
It appeared the game was going to be a close one and could belong to anyone once the final horn blew. The first quarter ended with no score in the game as both defenses held at crucial moments at the beginning of the contest.
Kentucky finally scored with 11:46 to play in the second when quarterback J.K Hall from Johnson Central leapt over the Mountaineers D for the TD. Belfry High School’s Jeffree Pruitt ran in for two and the half ended with the Bluegrass up 8-0.
Hall continued to display the reason he was an All-Star with athletic moves and passes that constantly kept Kentucky in scoring position. But the Blue’s offensive line was strong and gave the future University of Pikeville’s defensive back time to make the plays.
West Virginia’s OL was a different story. Kentucky’s D constantly pressured Josh Easterling from Chapmanville and had it not been for his ability to evade the defense, the score could have been much worse.
A second half fumble by West Virginia led to another score by Kentucky. Once again, Hall opted to keep the ball and outrun the boys in Gold for another Bluegrass touchdown. Bell County’s John Dudley Hilton crossed the line for the two-point conversion and Kentucky was up 16-0 with 5:59 in the third.
After another West Virginia turnover, the Bluegrass quickly scored on a flea-flicker. Hall pitched the ball to Johnson Central’s Cody Parker who threw a beautiful pass to Logan Westerfield from Clay County for the score. Hilton crossed over for two more and Kentucky led 24-0 with only 19 tics off the clock.
West Virginia drove into scoring position in the fourth quarter. With third and goal on the 15-yard line, Easterling hustled away from oncoming blue jerseys and found Matewan High’s Justin Bradford wide open in the zone. With 9:04 in the game, it was Kentucky 24, West Virginia 8.
The Bluegrass quickly answered.
Pruitt found his stride and hustled 37 yards for a 1st and 10 at the 20-yard line. Kentucky went straight back to Pruitt who scampered up the field for a 20-yard TD. The conversion failed but Kentucky extended their lead 30-8.
After a couple more turnovers, West Virginia got on the board for the final time when Chapmanville’s Zach Maynard got into the endzone with just over a minute to play. The two-point conversion was good and the final score was Kentucky 30, West Virginia 14.
West Virginia leads the series 10-6.
This was the final Hatfield-McCoy game to be played at Tiger Stadium in Matewan. Next year, the game will be moved to Mingo Central High School.
Check Tuesday’s sports page for a more in-depth coverage of the game.