RUNNING ATTACK: Blackcat running back Ethan Varney takes off on a long run during playoff action against Middlesboro on Nov. 3.
Medical Leader│Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER

Blackcats rally in second half to beat Jackets

Teddy Paynter

PRESTONSBURG — Prestonsburg used a strong second-half effort on both sides of the football to rally past Middlesboro, 35-14, in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs at Josh Francis Field on Nov. 3.


Running back Ethan Varney carried 25 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns as the Blackcats improved to 7-4. Running back Ryne Slone rushed 14 times for 97 yards and one score while quarterback Drake Nunnery had 96 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries.


Slone's five-yard run with 7 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first period put the Blackcats up 7-0 early. Owen Greene booted the PAT kick.


Middlesboro (2-9) came right back and knotted the score at 7-7 on Anthony Jackson's five-yard run with 10:00 left before halftime.


The Yellowjackets took their only lead on Corey Hairston's 69-yard run with 5;20 remaining. Brandon Helton's PAT kick made it 14-7.


Varney's six-yard run with 1:53 to go pulled Prestonsburg to within one at 14-13.


It was all Blackcats after the break.


Varney's two-yard run with 3:46 left in the third period put Prestonsburg ahead for good at 19-14.


Varney added a one-yard run with 10:45 to play in the game and Nunnery scored on a 35-yard run four minutes later to cap the scoring.


Prestonsburg will host Lexington Christian (10-1) tonight.




At Prestonsburg


(Class 2A playoffs)




MD (2-9)…..........................0 14 0 0 – 14


PB (7-4)…............................7 6 6 16 – 35




First Quarter


PB – Ryne Slone, 5-yard run (Owen Greene kick), 7:09


Second Quarter


MD – Anthony Jackson, 5-yard run (Brandon Helton kick), 10:00


MD – Corey Hairston, 69-yard run (Brandon Helton kick), 5:20


PB – Ethan Varney, 6-yard run (kick failed), 1:53


Third Quarter


PB – Ethan Varney, 2-yard run (run failed), 3:46


Fourth Quarter


PB – Ethan Varney, 1-yard run (Ryne Slone run), 10:46


PB – Drake Nunnery, 35-yard run (Ethan Varney run), 6:34


Next up: Prestonsburg (7-4) vs. Lexington Christian (10-1), Class 2A playoffs, Nov. 10.