Yellow Jackets sting Prestonsburg in KHSAA Playoffs

Published 3:56 pm Monday, November 7, 2022


Contributing writer

Senior quarterback Cayden Grigsby played one of his best games of the season and what better time to showcase his ability.

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Grigsby completed 17 of 21 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns on Friday to lead Middlesboro to a 42-30 win over visiting Prestonsburg in the first round of the KHSAA 2A Playoffs.

Grigsby also led the Yellow Jackets with 58 yards rushing on 11 carries, with a rushing TD. Jack Yoakum followed with 46 yards on 10 rushes.

Rylee Foster had five receptions for 95 yards while Kameron Wilson caught six passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Sturgill, Case Bayless and Yoakum each had two receptions. Sturgill gained 46 yards and Bayless added 30. Sturgill and Bayless each had TDs.

Senior linebacker Richie Logan powered the Yellow Jacket defense with 13 tackles. Terrance Brooks, a senior lineman, followed with 10 tackles, including three for lost yardage. Junior Landon Coffey added eight tackles. Wilson, Yoakum and Sturgill each had six tackles for the black and gold.

Middlesboro (8-2), the defending region champions, advanced to the second round, but travels to Shelby Valley (9-2) on Friday. The Wildcats blanked Morgan County 55-0 in the first round and the team has won seven consecutive games. It will be the sixth meeting between Middlesboro and Shelby Valley. The Wildcats have won the last two (2015 and 2018) over the Yellow Jackets.

Grigsby connected with Wilson on a 50-yard touchdown pass as the Yellow Jackets led 7-0 following Sopheaktra Sin’s extra point.

Sin hit all six of his extra point attempts for Middlesboro.

Sturgill recovered a fumble and raced 37 yards for a Jacket touchdown with 4:47 remaining in the first quarter.

With 8:22 left in the first half, Grigsby found Sturgill for a 27-yard TD to make it 21-0. A 10-yard TD pass to Wilson from Grigsby just before halftime, allowed Middlesboro to take a 28-0 advantage.

Prestonsburg scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion early in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 28-8. The Black Cats scored again about 20 seconds later after recovering a fumble and returning it for a score to make it 28-14.

A Grigsby 23-yard touchdown pass to Bayless allowed Middlesboro to build the lead to 35-14 with 5:25 to play in the third quarter. Prestonsburg added another touchdown with 43 seconds remaining in the  period to make it a 35-22 game.

Both teams would score one more touchdown. Middlesboro’s final TD came as Grigsby went seven yards with a keeper as the Jackets’ won.

Prestonsburg closes the season with an 8-3 record. The Black Cats opened the year with six straight wins. The team also lost to Shelby Valley and Martin County in district play.

Since the year 2000, Prestonsburg has won seven of nine between the two school.The Jackets won 40-20 in the 2005 Playoffs.

For the season, Grigsby has passed for 1,280 yards and rushed for 1,002. He has passed for 16 touchdowns and rushed for 15.

Grigsby has scored a team-high 90 points this season after 10 games.