Middlesboro advances to state semifinals

Published 7:33 am Tuesday, November 23, 2021

By Paul Lunsford
Contributing writer

The remarkable football season at Middlesboro will continue following Friday’s 33-6 victory over visiting West Carter in the Class 2A KHSAA Playoffs.

The Yellow Jackets had 280 yards on the ground and 193 through the air as Middlesboro improved to 13-0 on the year.

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Senior running back Caleb Bogonko rushed for 191 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns to power the Jackets.

Middlesboro sophomore quarterback Cayden Grigsby completed 10 of 13 passes with a pair of TDs and an interception. He rushed for 89 yards on 19 carries while scoring a touchdown.

Senior tight end Jay West had four receptions for 73 yards and two touchdowns for Middlesboro. Sophomore Kameron Wilson and senior Logan Daniels pulled down two receptions apiece for 49 and 46 yards, respectively. Eric Helton, a senior receiver, also had a pair of catches for 27 yards and added a two-point conversion.

Senior Jordyn Ferguson kicked one of three extra points.

Senior defensive back Tyler Kelly and junior linebacker Spencer Wheeler each led the Yellow Jackets defense with seven tackles each. Yousiff Nabat, a senior linebacker followed with six tackles.

Middlesboro intercepted four West Carter passes. Senior defensive back Will Smith led the Jackets with two. Rylee Foster and Wilson had one apiece.

Following an undefeated regular season, Middlesboro opened the playoffs with home wins over Leslie County (46-0) and Breathitt County (43-33).

Yellow Jackets coach Larry French picked up career win No. 348.

The West Carter Comets closed their season with a 9-4 mark.

The Jackets will travel to Lexington Christian on Friday to battle the 13-0 Eagles for a spot in the state finals.