GROUND ATTACK: Pike County Central running back Isaiah Hess (11) takes the handoff from quarterback Seth Conn (14) and follows the blocking of Logan Dotson (3) during the Hawks matchup with Letcher Central on Sept. 15.
Medical Leader│Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER

Hawks hang on, escape Cougars

Teddy Paynter

BUCKLEYS CREEK — Pike County Central was on the verge of blowing out Letcher Central at the outset of the second half.


Everything went south for the Hawks following the kickoff.


The Cougars recovered back-to-back onside kicks and fought their way back from 28-point, first-half deficit to fall just short, as Pike Central held on to escape with a 35-28 win in a game played at the Hawks Nest on Sept. 15.


Pike Central, now 3-1, had possession of the football just three plays until the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter.


The Cougars, who dropped to 0-5, cut into Pike Central's lead on running back Kaleb Mullins' four-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third. Quarterback Nick Sergent's two-point conversion run made it 35-15.


After a second straight successful onside kick, Sergent scored on a 10-yard run with 6:49 to go to pull the Cougars to within 35-21.


Sergent then hit Blake Brashear with a 51-yard touchdown pass with 2:14 left in the game to pull the Cougars to within a touchdown at 35-28.


Seth Conn's 90-yard interception return with 8:56 left in the first quarter turned out to be the biggest play of the night as the Hawks took a 7-0 lead following Brice Elkins' PAT kick.


Running back Issac Thacker extended the lead to 14-0 with a 23-yard run with 4:41 remaining to push the Hawks up 14-0. Thacker finished with 135 yards and two scores on 11 carries.


Conn's four-yard run with 10:20 left in the first half extended the lead to 21-0. He rushed 11 times for 85 yards.


Letcher Central's only points of the first half came on Hunter Campbell's 65-yard pass reception from Sergent with 9:59 left to go. Sergent completed 16 of 26 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns.


Thacker added a 47-yard run with 8:25 left and Isaiah Hess ran 10 yards for a touchdown with 4:49 remaining to make it 35-7.


Both teams are back in action tonight as Pike Central visits Floyd Central (4-1) and Letcher Central will host Perry Central (4-0).


At Buckleys Creek




LC (0-5)……...........................0 7 14 7 – 28


PC (3-1)….............................14 21 0 0 – 35




First Quarter


PC – Seth Conn, 90-yard INT (Brice Elkins kick), 8:56


PC – Issac Thacker, 23-yard run (Brice Elkins kick), 4:41


Second Quarter


PC – Seth Conn, 4-yard run (Brice Elkins kick), 10:20


LC – Hunter Campbell, 65-yard pass from Nick Sergent (Zack Dollarhyde kick), 9:59


PC – Issac Thacker, 47-yard run (Seth Conn run), 8:25


PC – Isaiah Hess, 10-yard run (run failed), 4:49


Third Quarter


LC – Kaleb Mullins, 4-yard run (Nick Sergent run), 7:50


LC – Nick Sergent, 10-yard run (pass failed), 6:49


Fourth Quarter


LC – Blake Brashear, 51-yard pass from Nick Sergent (Zack Dollarhyde kick), 2:14


Next up: Letcher Central (0-5) vs. Perry Central (4-0); Pike Central (3-1) at Floyd Central (4-1), Sept. 22.