Panthers feast on Rams 36-7 in semifinals | Sports


Wade Hensley of Pikeville tries to catch Raceland last Friday night in the State Class A semifinals. Pikeville knocked out the Rams 36-7 to advance to the Class A State Championship game against Russellville at noon Friday at Kroger Field in Lexington.

Pikeville messaged last Friday night during the Class A region semifinals.

This message was simple: the Panthers are only focused on gold.

Pikeville earned a 36-7 victory over Raceland last Friday night in the State Class A semifinals.

Pikeville had 36 consecutive points to secure a third-quarter stopwatch against the Rams.

The Panthers got the ball first and Blake Birchfield took the ball 53 yards for a touchdown with 9:39 left in the first quarter to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead.

Birchfield had another big game for the Panthers as he ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns in 22 carries.

Pikeville’s second touchdown came in the air. Isaac McNamee found Wade Hensley for a big 50-yard gain to set up a touchdown pass to Zac Lockhart with 10:12 left in the second quarter to extend the lead to 14-0.

In the Panthers’ next practice, MacNamee found Lockhart for a big gain in the air to set up a six-yard Birchfield TD run to take the lead to 21-0.

Pikeville held a 21-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, Wade Hensley of Pikeville took over.

The Rams couldn’t cover Hensley as he caught the touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-0.

McNamee finished the night 10 for 15 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Hensley led the receivers with five catches for 109 yards and one touchdown. Lockhart added four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Birchfield scored the Panthers’ final touchdown and they converted the score to two points to advance the clock.

Raceland scored after the race timer went into effect.

Pikeville (13-2) is set to face Russellville at noon on Friday at Lexington at Kroger Field in the 2021 Class A Orthopedics UK State Football Final.

Pikeville will seek his third state title under Chris McNamee.

McNamee won his first state title with the Panthers in 2015 and the Panthers won it again in 2019.

McNamee also played for Pikeville in the late ’80s when the Panthers won three straight state titles.

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