Williamsburg edges Middlesboro in battle of Yellow Jackets

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022


Contributing writer

There’s an old coach saying that goes along the lines of not getting better unless you play good competition.

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Obviously Middlesboro coach Larry French subscribes to this long-held theory.

After traveling last week to open up the season against Class A powerhouse Hazard, French and the Yellow Jackets loaded the wagons again this Friday and traveled to another Class A contender in the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.

Behind the play of senior signal-caller Sydney Bowen, Williamsburg edged Middlesboro 22-21 on a late touchdown pass from Bowen to Jordan Perkins.

WHS (2-0) rallied from a 21-6 deficit despite the efforts of Middlesboro’s offense which produced 417 yards of total offense by utilizing a power ground game from Cayden Grigsby and Vincent Smith and excellent play from the Jacket receivers.

Bowen and Grigsby had big nights with Bowen accounting for 192 yards of total offense and Grigsby a sterling 319.

Middlesboro opened the scoring in the first quarter with a six-play 40-yard drive ending with a one-yard Grigsby run. Petra Sin’s extra point made the score 7-0 MHS.

Williamsburg would answer with their own six-play drive covering 62 yards and was capped by Bowen’s two-yard touchdown plunge and making the score 7-6.

The second quarter was dominated by MHS. The Jackets controlled the ball and clock behind their running game and timely receptions by Kam Wilson (60 yards) and Tyler Sturgill (8 yards.) Smith’s two-yard dive capped a nine-play 80-yard drive. Sin connected again for the point after and the Jackets led 14-6 at the half.

MHS struck early in the third quarter on a six-play 71-yard drive behind a 50-yard scoring strike from Grigsby to Rylee Foster. Sin connected on his third point, and Middlesboro expanded their lead to 21-6.

WHS answered with a 57-yard scoring drive of their own with Bowen going off the right end for a six-yard score. Bowen added the conversion and Williamsburg cut the lead to 21-14

After trading punts and an MHS turnover, Williamsburg went 46 yards in eight plays and Bowen delivered an 11-yard touchdown strike to Jordan Perkins. Bowen’s two-point conversion gave WHS a 22-21 lead with three minutes to play.

Behind the running of Grigsby and a 29-yard pitch-and-catch from Grigsby to Jack Yoakum, the Jackets drove deep into Williamsburg territory. Once again, the turnover bug bit again and Williamsburg had the ball with a minute to play.

Williamsburg was held on downs, giving the Jackets one last play. A Grigsby to Wilson Hail Mary fell incomplete and Williamsburg escaped with the win.

MHS (0-2) will open their home schedule with the Garrard County Golden Lions invading Bradner Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.