Middlesboro saw their season come to an end Friday with a wild 36-33 loss at Prestonsburg in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Jackets played well once again in defeat. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and the game featured several momentum swings from there. The Blackcats tied it at 14 and again at 21. Middlesboro led 27-21 and 33-28 before Prestonsburg was finally able to pull out the victory.
“We should have won the ballgame,” said MHS coach Randy Frazier. “It went well, we jumped out on them but the defense didn’t get the job done in the end.”
There were some missed opportunities for the Jackets, they were tackled at the goal line on the final play of the first half and had to settle for a 21-14 lead at the break instead of going in up two touchdowns. Up 27-21 early in the fourth quarter, Middlesboro was driving deep in Prestonsburg territory with a first down at the five yard line but an interception stopped the drive and turned the momentum.
“I messed up a couple of times. I called that pass play down there around the goal line. I stepped in and said try to throw it over the middle because it was open and they intercepted it. I should have just run it twice and we probably would have scored,” Frazier said. “Still when you score 33 points it should be enough to win the game. We can’t give up 36 points. The kids played hard, we just didn’t stop them defensively.”
Prestonsburg (8-3) advances and will host Danville next Friday for the second round.
Middlesboro ends the season with a record of 4-7, but with just two seniors that played in the final game the future is looking very bright for the Jackets.
“First of all I want to congratulate our seniors for sticking with us and battling to the end. We finished with two of them: Zach Riddle and Matt Napier and I don’t want to just look past what they’ve done for us,” Frazier said. “Now for 2013 and down the road things look great. The opportunity is there but the offseason has got to be better than last year. These kids have got to make a commitment to football and to getting better.
“We played the number two and three teams in the state and gave them all they wanted. I fully expect to be successful next year and that means nothing less than to go down there and be playing at Western Kentucky (for the state championship) at the end of the season.”