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Breathitt Falls to Lloyd in Regional Championship Game

Kory Combs cuts off a block by Evan Miller - photo by Brendon D. Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation

Bobcats dominate stats but season concludes as Lloyd has more points on Board at horn

NOVEMBER 21, 2022 – Brendon D. Miller

The Bobcats’ 2022 run came to an end in Erlanger on Friday Night.

I usually write this recap of the game each week, and to be honest, I have tried to sit down and write multiple times since Saturday night, but each time I have tried, I have not been able to. Quite honestly I am still in a form of shock at what I witnessed. I am almost always an independent person, especially in sports coverage, but being a Bobcat dad of two, kind of makes what happened a little difficult to deal with.

The story line of the game was that the officiating was, shall we say . . . questionable to be nice, and showcases the issue the KHSAA has in regard to quality of officials for playoff games. I am a great supporter of officials and am not a poor loser in any regard or even ever a complainer in that regard as I know most officials do their best at all times. That said, this crew was sub-par and given that this was a regional championship, they do not deserve a pass, particularly when their actions significantly impacted this game. Unlike the rest of us, officials do not ever have to face public scrutiny and can perform subpar without suffering any consequences.

I have watched the Hudl film of the game multiple times as well as our BSN stream, and each time is more numbing. The following three matters stand out and are true in my opinion: 1) Kaiden Zulager was certainly down and the play was over on the kickoff returned for Lloyd’s opening touchdown; 2) the pass to Jayden Gibson in the second quarter was an incomplete pass as he did not ever have possession, but was ruled a fumble giving Lloyd the ball on the Breathitt 26 and led to a touchdown; and 3) the pass interference in the 3rd quarter on 4th and 5 may be the worst call I have ever seen as the ball was not even close to being catchable and was out of bounds and what little contact there was did not affect the intended receiver at all. The penalty led to a Lloyd touchdown after the first down instead of turnover on downs. Three massive calls, that were really not difficult to see, which led to touchdowns impacted by the officiating, all going against the Bobcats.

There is a false storyline going around of a penalty total of 33 penalties against Breathitt to five for Lloyd. Same is inaccurate as the actual penalty total was actally 13 against Breathitt for 112 yards while Lloyd was called for seven for 65 yards. In all honesty, it was not the the number but the timing of the calls. The pass intereference stated above was just a back breaker for the Bobcats.

That all said, the Bobcats still had a chance to win the game in the 4th quarter, and could not make the stops down the streatch to get the win and advance. Credit to Lloyd for making the game-winning plays.

Lloyd running back Kaiden Zulager was excellent, running for 113 yards and catching the game deciding touchdown late in the 4th Quarter. Isaiah Sebastion had a crucial 74 yard TD run.

Breathitt’s Kory Combs was nearly super-human with 140 yards and four touchdowns. Combs broke multiple tackles on several runs and his 21 yarder at the end of the 1st half was just Earl Campbell like!

Tyler Bryant was 11 for 19 for 173 yards and Isaac Turner caught four balls for 50 yards on the night.

In the end, Breathitt controlled the ball for 26:12 of the game and had 19 first downs and 377 total yards. Stats are just that, stats, and you still have to win the game on the field, and the Bobcats were unable to come out on top in this one.

NOVEMBER 18, 2022
(V) BHS Bobcats127013032
(H) LMHS Juggernaughts814613041
08:27 BHSKory COMBS Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:27 9 yds PAT Kick by Braxton TERRY NO Good66603:336 – 0
08:05 LMHSKickoff by Braxton TERRY from BHS 40 for 37 yards returned by Kaiden ZULAGER TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:05 77 yds PAT Run by Isaiah SEBASTIAN GOOD.000:006 – 8
01:42 BHSJayden GIBSON Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 01:49 4 yds PAT Pass from Tyler BRYANT to Unknown NO Good.118106:2312 – 8
03:57 LMHSKaiden ZULAGER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 03:57 8 yds PAT Kick by Elijah WESTWOOD GOOD.33801:0812 – 15
03:13 LMHSKaiden ZULAGER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 02:23 15 yds PAT Kick by Elijah WESTWOOD GOOD.32600:4412 – 22
00:28 BHSKory COMBS Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:28 21 yds PAT Kick by Braxton TERRY GOOD.54501:4719 – 22
02:19 LMHSKaiden ZULAGER Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 02:19 4 yds PAT Kick by Elijah WESTWOOD NO Good75404:2619 – 28
11:10 BHSKory COMBS Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 11:10 8 yds PAT Run by Kory COMBS NO Good78203:0925 – 28
09:24 LMHSIsaiah SEBASTIAN Carries(QB Keeper) TOUCHDOWN, clock 09:24 65 yds PAT Pass from Isaiah SEBASTIAN to Unknown NO Good.37401:4625 – 34
06:03 BHSKory COMBS Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 06:03 1 yds PAT Kick by Braxton TERRY GOOD.76903:2132 – 34
03:43 LMHSElijah COLLINS Passes to Kaiden ZULAGER COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 03:43 28 yds PAT Kick by Elijah WESTWOOD GOOD.54302:1832 – 41
RUSHES / YARDS (NET)32/21035/204
Passes Att/Comp/Int3/3/019/11/0
Fumble Returns / Yards0 / 00 / 0
Punt Returns / Yards0 / 00 / 0
Kickoff Returns / Yards6 / 1426 / 109
Interception Returns /Yards0 / 00 / 0
Punts (Number/Avg)3 / 292 / 31
Fumbles / Lost1 / 01 / 1
Penalties / Yards7 / 6513 / 112
Possession Time17:3426:12
Sacks By: Number/Yards1 / 51 / 5
RUSHING(Att / Yards):
BHS BobcatsKory COMBS14 / 140Jayden GIBSON16 / 55Isaac TURNER2 / 9Tyler BRYANT3 / 0
LMHS JuggernaughtsKaiden ZULAGER17 / 113Isaiah SEBASTIAN10 / 112Kaleb EVANS1 / -5TEAM4 / -10
BHS BobcatsTyler BRYANT11/19/0/173
LMHS JuggernaughtsElijah COLLINS1/1/0/28Isaiah SEBASTIAN2/2/0/12
BHS BobcatsIsaac TURNER4 / 50Austin SPERRY2 / 49Bryce HOSKINS2 / 39Blake RITCHIE2 / 26
Jayden GIBSON1 / 9
LMHS JuggernaughtsKaiden ZULAGER1 / 28Elijah COLLINS1 / 6Tyler COPELAND1 / 6

The Bobcats will head to the off season with extra incentive to improve and put in the work to get ready for next year.

Unfortunately this group of special young men will not ever be together again. Thanks to Seniors Bryce Hoskins, Blake Ritchie, Tyler Bryant, Brad Hall, Ryan Robertson, Mike Hudson, Dylan Spencer, and Trevor Neace. Best to you each in all that you pursue.

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