The Border Bowl In The News
KY All-Stars Win Border Bowl IX in Sevierville Saturday, 34-16
By Trevor Sherman
The first Border Bowl to be played outside of Williamsburg was certainly a memorable one for the Kentucky All-Stars, who traveled to Sevierville, TN last week and came away with a dominant 34-16 win over Tennessee to tie the all-time series up at 5-5.
"This is my fourth year being involved with the game, and I've learned a lot of lessons from it," said Kentucky Head Coach Jerry Herron (Williamsburg). "We knew that special teams and defense were going to be very critical in the game. You just can't win without those things. You don't really have the time to put an offense together, so you just want to basically put one together that won't get you beat. That's what we tried to do."
Special teams certainly did make all the difference for the blue team in Border Bowl X. Herron explained, "We ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown, got a turnover on downs and scored again on a field goal. We had a blocked punt for a touchdown, and we had another blocked punt that we recovered and ended up getting another field goal out of it. We had 17-20 points off of special teams alone. That was huge."
It was an overall spirited performance from the Kentucky All-Stars in 2017, taking it to their Tennessee counterparts from the opening whistle. "We came out, played aggressively and really got after them from the start," said Herron. "I had a great staff that did a great job. Everyone was easy to work with. The coaches were all phenomenal, and the players were just unbelievable. They were well taught, and well coached coming to us. All we had to do was implement what we were trying to do. We didn't really have to teach anything. It was just a great group of kids that represented Kentucky well, and really made us all proud to be from this state."
In addition to playing football, members of both all-star squads got the chance to take part in some very important charity work during their visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. "The biggest plus, and probably the best thing that happened all week, was the Border Bowl committee asking us to do some community service work," said Herron. "We did some disaster relief for the people of Sevier County that had been harmed by the recent wildfires. The kids did a great job with that. They went to the shelter to pass out food and clothes, and they kept such a great attitude the whole time. It just made us so proud to see how hard they all worked."
Five local players took part in this year's Border Bowl - Jacob Lovett and Dylan Brock from Corbin, Jacob Paul and Dawson Powers from Whitley County and Hagen Hawn from Williamsburg, Brock and Paul both saw some active on the defensive side as linebackers, while Powers made his presence felt on the D-line. Hawn got a few opportunities to line up as receiver, and Lovett served as center on offense.
Coach Herron commented that he was very proud of the way that all five local players performed in the game, and he was happy that they could be a part of this historic win for Kentucky.
Additional Border Bowl coverage can be found online at the newsjournal.net. For more information about the annual all-star game, visit them online as well as kytnborderbowl.com.
TN 29 KY 14
Kentucky All-Stars fall to Tennessee 29-14 in Border Bowl IX Saturday
By Trevor Sherman
Corbin News Journal
On Saturday, high school football all-stars from Kentucky and Tennessee converged in Williamsburg for the ninth annual Border Bowl.
The all-time series was tied at 4-4 coming into Saturday’s game, with Kentucky securing three straight victories in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Tennessee was able to take a 5-4 lead in the series this year, however, winning Border Bowl IX by a final score of 29-14 in front of a cold, but enthusiastic, crowd of supporters at the University of the Cumberlands’ James H. Taylor II Stadium.
Tennessee got on the board first with a Carter Phillipy (Farragut HS) field goal at the 11:29 mark in the first quarter. Phillipy would add on three more points when he sent another ball sailing through the uprights at 5:33 to give the orange team a 6-0 lead.
The Kentucky All-Stars had to contend with poor starting field position on offense during the early stages of the game, and the offensive unit itself just couldn’t seem to establish any kind of rhythm. Tennessee, on the other hand, was able to come up with several big plays when they had possession of the ball, and when the first quarter of play came to a close they were knocking on the door at the Kentucky 14-yard-line.
On the first play of the second quarter, Tennessee quarterback Logan Walters (Marion County High School) took off toward the end zone, diving across the goal line for a score with 14:57 remaining the first half. The extra point was good, and just like that Kentucky trailed 13-0.
Both teams’ defenses bowed up at this point, with no more points being added to the board in the first half. The stalemate continued into the third quarter until a pass interference call set the Kentucky offense up with first-and-ten from the Tennessee 20-yard-line. Two plays later, quarterback Andre Davis (Bryan Station High School) hit receiver Lamarius Kinslow (Fern Creek High School) with a pass in the end zone for a touchdown with only six seconds on the clock. Peyton Burke’s (Tates Creek High School) extra point was good, cutting the lead to 13-7 as the fourth quarter of play got underway.
With 13-13 left in regulation, Tennessee wide receiver Kentel Williams (Fulton HS) scored on a bizarre play that saw him catch a pass, have it knocked loose by a Kentucky defender, and then recover his own fumble in the end zone for six. After the PAT, Tennessee had extended their lead to 20-7.
Kentucky answered again at the 5:50 mark when Davis threw a pass to receiver Quinton Baker (Ashland Blazer High School), who took it 75 yards to pay dirt. Austin Johnson (DeSales High School) kicked the extra point, making it 20-14 and giving the blue team hope for a comeback victory.
It was not to be, however, as Tennessee scored on their very play from scrimmage with a 58-yard touchdown pass to Williams from quarterback Andrew Davis (Halls High School). The extra point was good to make it 27-14, and that was followed shortly thereafter by a safety from the Tennessee defense at 4:09, that resulted in what would end up being the final score of the evening – Tennessee All-Stars 29, Kentucky All-Stars 14.
Six area players saw action in the year’s Border Bowl. After the game each of them gave their thoughts on the experiences.
Tim Canada, OL from Whitley County: I feel like this was a really good opportunity to get some colleges looking at me, as well as getting to represent my state, my county, and my school.
Luke Woods, QB from Whitley County: It’s an honor to be selected and get to play with the best players in Kentucky. It’s a great privilege to be here. I made a lot of friends. It’s awesome.
Harley Lambert, DL from Corbin: It’s been an honor getting to do this. I’ve had a great experience. Even though we lost, I’ve had a great time playing with these guys.
Caleb Parker, DL from Corbin: This was a great honor after all of the hard work that I’ve put in to get here. It has been a very rewarding experience. It’s been great getting to be around guys with such a high talent level. Playing with them and learning new things from them has helped me to see where I’m at before going on to the next level of college football.
All-Bowl Selection Austin Huskey, LB from Williamsburg: This is an honor. It gives us the ability to show what we can do for our schools, our families and our teams. It’s really fun, and it brings a lot of people together.
Dakota Dunn, OL/DL from Williamsburg: This was a great privilege. I had a lot of fun here, and made a lot of friends. Getting to show what I have in this game was just a privilege.
KY 33 32 TN
KENTUCKY WINS A THRILLER
By Les Dixon
Times-Tribune Staff Writer
Kentucky managed to hold off a late rally by Tennessee to capture its third straight Border Bowl, winning in a close contest, 33-32.
Kentucky took advantage of a Tennessee turnover on its first possession to take a 7-6 lead.
Kentucky's lead grew to 14-6 and 21-12 before seeing Tennessee try to cut its deficit with a field goal attempt.
Kentucky's defense answered the call and blocked the Tennessee kicker's attempt, as they took a commanding 27-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Tennessee added a touchdown late in the third quarter to make the score 27-19, but Kentucky added a score of its own with 11:15 remaining in the game before seeing Tennessee make an impressive comeback attempt.
With less than a minute remaining, Tennessee quarterback Dylan Wieger connected with a touchdown pass to Eddie Lee to make the score 33-32, but Tennessee couldn't convert on the two-point conversion.
Tennessee recovered the ensuing onside kick, but couldn't get into scoring position, as Kentucky picked up the slim one-point victory.
The best high school football players from Kentucky and Tennessee renew their rivalry in the National Guard Border Bowl VIII, January 10 at 12:30 p.m. at University of the Cumberlands' James H. Taylor II Stadium in Williamsburg. The nonprofit event promotes high school football and gives players a chance for wider exposure. Top players are selected by a panel of coaches and get All-Star treatment. Adults $10, 18 and under $5; free for 8 and under. For more information, go online to or call (606)549-1234.
(Cumberland Valley Electric's Kentucky Living Magazine, January 2015)
KY 37 13 TN
EVENING THE ODDS
Kentucky wins seventh Border Bowl, now 4-3 all-time
By Trevor Sherman
Corbin News Journal
Coming into Saturday’s 7th Annual National Guard Border Bowl, the Kentucky All-Stars trailed the Tennessee in the series 4-2. All of that changed this year when the blue team made easy work of their opponents from the south, winning 37-13.
Corbin’s own Cai Jackson and the Kentucky All-Star defensive unit were a force to be reckoned with, forcing a Tennessee punt to begin the game.
The offense, including Whitley County offensive lineman Simon Vanderpool and Corbin slot receiver Taylor Waddle, put together a drive that ended with a Palmer Ward (Scott County) field goal at the 9:12 mark to put Kentucky up 3-0.
The defense came up big again on the ensuing Tennessee possession, snagging an interception, but the offense could not convert, turning the ball over on downs.
Another forced Tennessee punt led to another scoring drive for Kentucky when St. Xavier’s BJ Nagle found receiver Scott Daniel (Scott County) in the end zone for a touchdown. The Ward extra point extended the lead to 10-0 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.
The defense caused yet another turnover, but once again, a turnover on downs gave Tennessee the ball back to start the second quarter of play.
On the first play from scrimmage, Kentucky’s Casey Dionne (Madison Southern) scooped up a loose ball and ran it in for a score. Ward tacked on another PAT, leaving the score 17-0.
Another Kentucky interception led to a punt, and Tennessee finally got on the board with 8:32 left in the half after a Johnny Williams (Jackson Christian) touchdown run. The extra point kick was good, narrowing the gap 17 – 7.
Kentucky answered right away though, when Daniel fielded the kickoff and raced all the way to the house. Just like that the lead was extended to 24-7.
The remainder of the half was a defensive stalemate, with Kentucky threatening as the final seconds ticked away, but they were unable to cross the goal line.
After trading scores in the third quarter, Tennessee found themselves threatening early in the fourth, down 30-13. The Kentucky defense held on the one-yard-line, but Wayne County quarterback Tyler Guffey was intercepted after taking over possession.
Tennessee couldn’t do anything with the turnover, and when Kentucky got the ball back the drive ended when Williamsburg quarterback Dalton Sizemore handed off to Noah Mitchell (Lexington Catholic), who ran in the final touchdown of the game. Another Ward kick made it 37-13 with 6:01 left in the game.
As they had all day long, the defense held until the whistle blew, and that was the game.
The victory was the second in a row for the Kentucky All-Star team, who also won last year by a score of 29-27.
All four local players who competed in the game described it as an “honor” to be chosen to play on the Kentucky All-Star team.
“It’s been great to meet some of these guys that up until now I’ve only hear about on the news,” said Sizemore. “The whole experience has been like being at camp, getting to say in the same hotel with a bunch of friends.”
“This has always been a dream of mine,” added Jackson. “It is definitely a blessing to be chosen, and to be able to represent the state of Kentucky, Whitley County in particular, is an honor.”
The Border Bowl is All Grown Up
By Chris Parsons, Times Tribune
There's no prouder feeling in the world than when you watch your child do something that you had hoped was possible.
From the time our kids are small, we have hopes and aspirations as to what life will bring them or what they will grow in to as they mature into adults.
Saturday afternoon when I pulled into Williamsburg and got closer to Taylor Stadium, I couldn't help but think how proud those in charge of the Border Bowl must be. What was once just a random thought in some sports fan's head is now a grown-up showcase for high school seniors. If you don't believe me, feel free to ask anyone that attended the game and experienced the atmosphere that surrounded the event.
The first time I covered the Border Bowl I can remember pulling into the parking lot and having my choice as to how close I wanted to park to the stadium.
Saturday, I had to sneak into a lot that was already full and park illegally (I know, arrest me) just to keep from having to take a cab from downtown Williamsburg. Plus it was raining a little bit and I had a fairly expensive camera that I didn't want to get wet.
When I approached the entrance at Border Bowl I, I was greeted by a couple of gate workers trying to keep themselves busy as fans wandered in a few at a time to catch a glimpse of the action as kickoff approached. Recognizing me, the gate workers just motioned me in and told me to enjoy.
Saturday when I got to the game, the scene was much different from the first game. The fans were literally lined up into the parking lot waiting to get in. The good news is, just like always, the gate workers recognized me and just motioned me in, telling me to enjoy myself.
As I stood on the sideline waiting for things to get underway I looked around at the fans, players, and the event organizers and I saw the same look on their faces.
The looks was a look of enjoyment and satisfaction.
For the fans, I think they knew they were about to see a top-notch football game between two bitter rivals in Kentucky and Tennessee.
For the players, they were about to take one last run at playing high school football competitively. Some of them of course will go on to play at college, but for some of them it was the end of the line.
Nonetheless, every face was filled with determination as they ran onto the field.
For those in charge of the Border Bowl, the look on their face is the same look you see on a proud parent as their baby grows up to do something good.
Rest assured guys, your baby is all grown up and I think you should be very proud of the Border Bowl.
Kentucky's Last-Second Heave
By Bo Kidd
University of the Cumberlands
Published in Times-Tribune/Monday,
The 5th annual National Guard Border Bowl took place on Saturday January 7, in Williamsburg on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands.
The Tennessee All-Stars and the Kentucky All-Stars suited up in their respective orange and blue uniforms and battled once again for "bragging rights of the border" and once again the teams didn't let the fans down, giving the near 5,000 fans in attendance a show to remember as Tennessee pulled off a 24-20 victory.
The Tennessee All-Stars found the scoreboard early in this one as they won the toss and chose to receive. Quickly after eight plays and 80 yards, Tennessee's Chase Travis from Pigeon Forge High School found the endzone from two yards out to make it a 6-0 ballgame. The extra point by Oneida High School's Douglas Manning was good which gave the Tennessee All-Stars an early 7-0 lead that would stay intact throughout much of the first half.
With 3:58 left to go in the first half, Seth Carmichael from Anderson County High School evened up the scoreboard with a 37 yard pass to Covington Holy Cross' Eric Walker for a Kentucky touchdown. The extra point by Whitley County's Seth McCoy was good and the score was tied at 7-7 going into halftime.
Tennessee would answer back with 7:52 left in the third quarter when Clarencio Holmes from Hixon High School would punch one into the endzone from seven yards out for a touchdown. The PAT by Manning was good putting Tenenssee back on top 14-7.
Manning would find the scoreboard again for Tennessee connecting on a 28 yard field goal with 12:00 minutes to play in the game extending Tennessee's lead to 17-7. That field goal just broke open the scoring in this one as Kentucky's All-Stars would battle back in big fashion.
The next drive after Manning's field goal, John Hardin High School's Jeremy Harness would bust one big as he scampered 52 yards for a touchdown for the Kentucky All-Stars. McCoy's extra point was no good and with 9:52 left to play in the game, Kentucky had pulled it back within a score at 17-13.
Tennessee wasn't ready to hang up its helmets just yet though. After a personal foul penalty on Kentucky helped keep the drive alive for Tennessee, Tullahoma High School quarterback Jared Davis found Morristown West High School standout Jerimia Gregg for a 32-yard touchdown pass giving Tennessee the lead back with just 50 seconds to play. Manning's PAT was good making it a 24-20 ballgame in favor of Tennessee.
Kentucky would drive though and with the help of a double reverse quarterback throwback, would make it to Tennessee's 30-yard line with just one second left to play. A final last ditch effort and hail mary pass by Middlesboro High School's Chase Roark looked as if a Kentucky receiver came down with a game winning catch, but was knocked away at the last second giving Tennessee its third straight Border Bowl Championship with a 24-20 win in Williamsburg.
Numerous players were given individual awards at the end of the game, but each player in this game gave their all in the fantastic effort by both teams.
The fans came away electric withthe excitement and each player walked away with their head up and proud because they gave the fans in attendance as well as those watching from home a game to remember for years to come. The Border Bowl committee will have a daunting task to top this year's game, but each and every year they continue to show us that some of the best high school talent in the country is right here in Kentucky and Tennessee.
KY 31 TN 14
KY ALL-STARS WIN BORDER BOWL 2018
BY Trevor Sherman
With a 31-14 victory over the Tennessee All-Stars in Sevierville, the Kentucky All-Stars took a one-game lead in the all-time Border Bowl series, six games to five.
“It was crazy,” said Williamsburg Yellow Jacket Hunner Adkins when asked about his Border Bowl experience. “These are the best players in the state, and you get to come down here and play with them. You get the opportunity to get better, and just show what you got.”
“It’s a special thing,” added fellow Yellow Jacket and Kentucky All-Star Alec Poore. “I had to miss a couple of practices to come back and play in the All “A: region tournament, but luckily, they welcomed me back once I was done. I’ve just enjoyed getting to be a part of this year’s team.”
The Kentucky All-Stars scores on their first drive of the game on a Jordan Fann quarterback keeper. The extra point was good to make it 7-0 with 9:18 left in the first quarter.
A nice punt return for Kentucky by Beanie Bishop later set up a field goal by Chance Lanham that extended the lead to 10 with 5:38 remaining in the quarter.
Tennessee scored on their next drive to make it 10-7, and then an interception led to another score for the orange team to put them up 14-10 with :43 still left in the first.
A Dada Simpson touchdown run put Kentucky back on top, 17-14, with 4:44 to go before the half, and it was pretty much all downhill for Tennessee from there.
A scoreless third quarter led into the fourth, when a huge quarterback sack by Kentucky’s Luke Bowman led to a turnover on downs with 6:08 left in the game.
Kentucky was able to turn that into more points when Fann once again scored on a QB keeper two plays later. The extra point made it 24-14.
A Tennessee fumble recovered by Kentucky eventually allowed them to score once more, with Blake Franklin running it into the end zone with just 1:07 left in regulation to make the final score 31-14.
After the game, Williamsburg Yellow Jackets head coach Jerry Herron said, “It was a great event. I was very fortunate to get picked to be on the coaching staff again this year, and I’ve just had a wonderful time.
“The kids were great,” Herron added. “They worked hard, and we’re all so proud of them. Our local kids represented our area well.”
In addition to Adkins and Poore, other coverage area athletes involved in this year’s Border Bowl included Corbin’s Aaron Money and Camron Sizemore, as well as Dylan Wilson, Dawson Swain, and Matthew Dingess from Whitley County.
Money, who started on defense Saturday, said, “It’s been great. It’s very different, because everyone out here is really good. You have to do the little things right all the time.”
“This was a fun experience,” added Sizemore, who played special teams and took one snap at QB. “I didn’t get to be in there too much, but I had a lot of fun meeting some new friends.”
Wilson was also involved in special teams throughout the day, Dingess played several plays in a row on the offensive line toward the end of the contest and Swain unfortunately never has his number called to enter the game.
KY 33 32 TN
Kentucky Gets Third Straight Border Bowl Win Saturday
By Trevor Sherman
Several Local Players Contribute to Thrilling Win
The temperatures were cool, but the crowd was hot for Saturday's Eighth Annual Border Bowl at James H. Taylor II Stadium on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.
The Kentucky All-Star team came into the game looking to even things up at 4-4 all-time with the Tennessee All-Stars, and that is exactly what they did, picking up their third consecutive victory, a thrilling 33-32 win.
This year's Border Bowl featured eight local players in Corbin's Zack Ingle (OL) and Dalton Anderson (LB), Whitley County's Kevin Simpson (WR), Austin Ysidro (LB/TE) and Austin Paul (OL), and Williamsburg's Jefferson Patrick (LB), Chris Helton (OL/DL) and Collin Lamoree (OL/DL).
Tennessee began its first drive of the game on their own 27-yard-line, but a lost fumble after moving inside Kentucky territory gave the blue team first down on their own 23.
Yellow Jacket Chris Helton started at left tackle on the offensive line, helping to make room for Bowl MVP running back Arien Beasley (North Oldham HS) to break off a long run to near midfield. Kentucky ended up in punt formation a few plays later, but a fake resulted in first down at about the 50-yard line. Colonel Austin Ysidro was a lead blocker on the fake punt run.
Beasley had another good run, followed by a 40-yard touchdown pass from Lexington Catholic quarterback Reese Ryan to a wide open Ellis Cain (Louisville Male HS). North Laurel kicker Keaton Kennedy added on the extra point, and the Kentucky All-Stars took the 7-0 lead with 9:33 left in the first quarter.
Kentucky attempted an onside kick to get the ball back, but Tennessee recovered on its own 44-yard line. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, a double reverse from from Centennial High School's Deon Sanders found wide receiver Edward Hayes (Ooltewah HS), who took it to the house for six. A fumbled snap resulted in a failed extra point attempt, however, allowing Kentucky to hang on to the lead, 7-6, with 8:55 remaining in the first quarter.
Tennessee then recovered an onside kick of their own, but Kentucky linebacker Connor John (South Oldham HS) picked off quarterback Ethan Jeffers (Campbell Co HS) on the ensuing drive.
Kentucky then committed a turnover of its own, coughing up a fumble which Tennessee recovered at the Kentucky 40-yard-line, but Jeffers was picked off again, this time in the end zone by Kentucky's Aldwin Jackson (Seneca HS).
The boys in blue scored again with 2:00 left before the second quarter when Davis Mattingly (Louisville Male) threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Malik Walker (Pleasure Ridge Park). Kentucky's kick was good again, giving Kentucky the 14-6 lead.
The second quarter started with Redhound Dalton Anderson and the Kentucky defense holding to force a turnover on downs, but the offensive unit committed another turnover, this time with Ryan throwing an interception to Tennessee's Cedric Washington (Knoxville Central HS).
The orange team turned that turnover into points with a Seth Marshall touchdown pass (Knoxville West HS) to Mikey White (Science Hill HS) with 10:28 left to go in the half. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Kentucky lead had been cut to 14-12.
Austin Ysidro then came up big for Kentucky by recovering another attempted onside kick, giving the blue offensive unit another opportunity to put more points on the board. That is exactly what happened, with Beasley catching a pass from Ryan and taking it 33-yards to the house at the 8:10 mark. Another Kennedy PAT extended the Kentucky lead to 21-12.
Tennessee made it deep inside the Kentucky territory on their next drive, but thanks to more big defensive stops they had to settle for a field goal try. The kick was blocked, giving Kentucky the ball back at their own 20-yard line.
Thanks in large part to Redhound Zack Ingle, who was now in at left tackle on the offensive line, Kentucky was able to move the ball up the field with several impressive runs out of the the backfield. The drive was capped with a three-yard scoring run from fullback Austin Hatfield (Belfry HS) with only 1:06 remaining in the half. This time Kennedy's kick was unsuccessful, however, but Kentucky still had a commanding 27-12 lead.
A fumble by Kentucky on the opening kickoff of the second half was recovered by Tennessee, who capitalized with a scoring drive of their own capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Siegel High School's Andre Knox. Clarksville High School kicker Mason Gasaway's extra point kick was good, making the score 27-19, still in favor of Kentucky.
That was all the scoring that took place until 11:16 remained in the game and Kentucky's Beasley scamptered 50 yards to pay dirt. Another failed extra point atempt resulted in a 33-19 lead for the blue team.
Time was beginning to run out on Tennessee, but they rallied with another score, this time with Seth Marshall passing to wide receiver Lucas Harrison (Giles County HS), who went 70 yards to the house. A successful Gasaway PAT made the score 33-26 with 10:15 remaining in the contest.
Ysidro recovered yet another onside kick attempt a few moments later, and after both teams traded punts back and forth Tennessee finally got back on the board again via a Dylan Wieger (Sullivan HS) touchdown pass to Eddie Lee (Memphis Central HS) with only 25 seconds left on the scoreboard. The orange team elected to go for the win with a two-point conversion, but Mikey White dropped the pass in the end zone.
Tennessee was able to recover an onside kick, keeping their hopes alive, but the Kentucky defense held, sacking Wieger twice in a row to seal the victory.
"It was an honor to be selected to play in this game," said Jefferson Patrick after the game. "It was an insane experience, and I had a blast."
Teammate Chris Helton said, "I had a good time just doing what I love this week. I do hope to go to college and play, so hopefully being a part of this game got me a lot of looks from college coaches."
Collin Lamoree added, "I am proud of being selected to play alongside some of the best players around. It is a great feeling to be able to play on a team with such great athletes."
Kevin Simpson thanked God for his opportunity at this year's Border Bowl, and said that he considers it a "great privilege" to play with such high-caliber athletes.
Austin Paul said, "This was a great experience. It's not every day that you get the opportunity to play in an all-star game with all of these great players from around the state."
Ysidro also said that being selected to the Kentucky All-Stars was an honor for him, adding, "Not many people get the chance to be an all-star. I had a blast hanging out with the guys all week, and I really learned a lot."
Dalton Anderson, who came away with All-Bowl defensive honors, said, "Being selected is an honor. I had a blast this week meeting new friends, and hanging out the all of these great athletes. I'm just glad that I could contribute to this win."
Finally, Ingle said, "This has been a great week. You really can't ask for a better experience than to come out and play with such great competition from both states. I had a great time."
Local Players Make an Impact in Border Bowl
By Trevor Sherman
From the Sidelines
The eighth installment of the Annual National Guard Border Bowl this past Saturday at University of the Cumberlands ended up being a real nail biter, but I am happy to report that the Kentucky All-Stars ended up prevailing by a final score of 33-32. The win is Kentucky's second in a row, and puts them at 4-4 all-time against their Tennessee counterparts.
It was a great day for football Saturday, despite it being a little on the chilly side (it is January, after all), and I was happy to see a grade total of eight local players contributing to the big win for Kentucky. From Corbin we had lineman Zack Ingle and linebacker Dalton Anderson. From Whitley County we had Austin Ysidro, who played linebacker and tight end, lineman Austin Paul, and wide receiver Kevin Simpson. And from Williamsburg we had linemen Chris Helton and Collin Lamoree, and linebacker Jefferson Patrick.
All of these players helped in one way or another to give Kentucky the victory, but I felt like two players in particular really made it possible for the blue offensive unit to do its thing. Specifically, I feel like two offensive linemen really made it possible for running back Arien Beasley (North Oldham High School) to break off several awe-inspiring runs and earn the title of 2015 Border Bowl MVP.
I am talking about Helton and Ingle, who both did very well while playing at their left tackle position on the offensive line. I saw Helton out there a lot on offense during the first half of play, and I don't think it is any coincidence that Kentucky seemed to have its most success during that time running plays to his side of the field. Same can be said of Ingle later in the game.
You know, the guys up front don't always get a lot of the credit for a team's success, but games really are won and lost on the front line. If a back has no blockers protecting him, then what good is he really? Not much. He's just a sitting duck, waiting to get clobbered. I don't say that to take anything away from Beasley's performance. He is obviously an amazing talent on the football field, but there is also no doubt that Helton and Ingle played a large role in his success, as well as the success of the team as a whole.
Of course, an argument can be made that Redhound Dalton Anderson had the biggest impact among our local boys that participated the Border Bowl. He received All-Bowl honors on defense after being involved in several big defensive stops from his linebacker position. Yellow Jacket Jefferson Patrick also made his presence known on defense, and Colonel Austin Ysidro really shined on special teams, recovering two onside kicks and serving as a lead blocker on a fake punt that went for a first down early in the game.
Simpson, Paul and Lamoree also lent their individual talents to the Kentucky All-Stars team, so it really was a team effort that led to the blue team being able to come away victorious again.
I would like to congratulate all of our local players who played in Saturday's Border Bowl. To be named an All-Star and have the opportunity to represent your state in a game of that magnitude is pretty special, and it no doubt got many of these guys a lot of looks from interested college coaches.
Oh yeah, speaking of college coaches, I would also like to mention that I was in the press box for most of the first half, which is where legendary coach Philip Fulmer also happened to be color commentating the day's contest of ESPN3. I thought that was pretty cool.
And one other cool tidbit - Williamsburg Head Coach Jerry Herron got to serve as a member of the Kentucky All-Stars coaching staff this year. It was a bit of an odd sight to see him walking up and down the sideline in khaki pants, however, as he can typically be found wearing shorts, even if the game happens to be going on during a snowstorm. I asked him if he was required to wear pants for the Border Bowl, but he said he did it all on his own so he would be sure to fit in with the other members of the coaching staff. I admire your dedication, coach. I admire your dedication.
Border Bowl was a Blast
By Trevor Sherman
From the Sidelines
Corbin News Journal
Saturday’s forecast called for plenty of rain, and although it did pour during the early morning hours, by kickoff time for the Seventh Annual National Guard Border Bowl the weather was perfect for football.
The rain did leave the field wet and sloppy, but a little mud never hurt anyone, right? So says the guy who didn’t have to be out there rolling around in it. . . . .
I’m sure that some of the players were agitated about being soaked to the bone, but most of them seemed to really enjoy themselves from what I could tell. I know there were plenty of smiles to go around on the Kentucky sideline, because the boys in blue totally dominated their Tennessee All-Star counterparts, winning 37 -13.
I had a ball Saturday, and I want to send out a big “job well done” to all of those who were involved in planning and putting on the event. Also, special recognition goes out to those members of the National Guard who were there helping hang banners and set everything up.
And, of course, thank you most of all for your service to this great country.
My experience began early Saturday when I showed up to shoot some pictures of the Border Bowl 5K. Kudos to all the folks who ran, even though the rain hadn’t completely slacked off at that point. Even though it was a little damp, everyone seemed to really enjoy the race, and afterwards state representative Regina Bunch was on hand to help with handing out prizes and awards.
After leaving and grabbing some breakfast, I returned a little while later for the start of the game. It was really cool standing on the sideline while the Air Evac Lifeteam chopper landed midfield to deliver the game ball to the officials.
After the introductions and the coin toss the contest finally kicked off, and all throughout the afternoon the crowd on hand was amazing. The energy level in the James H. Taylor Stadium was simply off the charts. I’ll let you read the game recap to learn about all of the action, but trust me, if you have never been to a Border Bowl before, you need to go ahead and make plans to attend next year’s edition. It was awesome!
And just a quick word to those local players who were selected to play in the game. . . .
The talent that was on display Saturday was off the charts. These guys are truly the best of the best in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, and to be among that group of all-stars is truly an honor.
I congratulate Dalton Sizemore, Simon Vanderpool, Cai Jackson, and Taylor Waddle on being selected to participate in this year’s Border Bowl, and I wish them all the very best in their future athletic, academic, and/or professional careers.
KENTUCKY RALLIES TO STUN TENNESSEE,
29-27, IN SIXTH ANNUAL BORDER BOWL
By Chris Parsons, Staff Writer, TimesTribune
Williamsburg - The Kentucky squad only had one win out of the previous five meetings heading into Saturday's Sixth Annual Border Bowl, but that didn't stop this year's team as they picked up a dramatic win Saturday.
Kentucky capped off its comback during which they scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter with Dylan Beasley's 90-yard touchdown pass to Tranard Chester with 1:39 left, giving the Kentucky All-Stars a stunning 29-27 victory over Tennessee in the Border Bowl. Tennessee had taken a 27-23 lead with 2:34 left on Dallin Bridges' 1-yard run.
Kentucky trailed 20-6 entering the fourth quarter but took a 23-20 lead on Austin Pray's one-yard run, a 40-yard interception touchdown by Aaron Jackson and a tie-breaking 18-yard field goal by Lucas Williams with 7:33 left.
After the win, Kentucky head coach and Harlan County High School Coach Tom Larkey said all the credit goes to the players.
"This is great for these kids because they played their hearts out," Larkey said. "All the credit goes to them because they got out here and busted their tails."
Tennessee Hands Kentucky 28-18 Loss
By Tim Branstetter
Times Tribune Staff Writer
High school seniors from Southeastern Kentucky and Northeastern Tennessee met at the James H. Taylor II Stadium on the friendly confines of University of the Cumberlands for the fourth annual National Guard Border Bowl.
The Kentucky All-Stars had trouble hanging on to the ball and the Tennessee All-Stars took advantage by picking up four fumbles on their way to a 28-18 victory.
The Kentucky All-Stars out gained the Tennessee All-Stars 289 yards to 141 yards. They also had 17 first downs compared to Tennessee's 10. Tennessee was also penalized 11 times for 85 yards, while Kentucky only had three penalties for 15 yards.
Tennessee's defense scored two touchdowns and the first one came on a Kentucky fumble that was forced by Tennessee's Chas Story. Story recovered the fumble and scored from three yards out and Tennessee took a 7-0 advantage with 14:51 remaining in the second quarter.
Three minutes later Ben Madon answered for Kentucky with a 61-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Cross, but Corbin's Saxon O'Kuma missed the extra point and Kentucky trailed 7-6.
Tennessee completed a seven-play 64-yard scoring drive with just over a minute remaining on a six-yard carry by Walter Barber for a 14-6 lead.
Kentucky gave up two more touchdowns and trailed 28-6 after another fumble turned into Tennessee points with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Kentucky took their offense to the air as several players got involved in the passing game. Holy Cross' Josh Jasper led the way with 81 yards on four catches. Monroe County's Trent Tooley, Glasgow's Tavion Parrish and Whitley County's Cody Bramlett also hauled in a catch for Kentucky.
Knox Central's Travis Canady and Scott Gilliam also got in on the action along with Williamsburg's Cody Perkins.
With 14:00 remaining in the fourth quarter Kentucky decided to make the game interesting by completing a nine-play 56-yard scoring drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Jon Combs to Jontez Jones. A two-point conversion would have made it a two-score game, but Combs' pass to John Dudley Hilton fell incomplete.
Kentucky scored again on an eight-yard carry by Chris Kelly with 6:54 remaining in the game, but they failed to convert on the two-point conversion once again and Tennessee held on for a 28-18 win.
Former University of Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer was in attendance and gave his take on why the two teams struggled some on the offensive side of the ball.
"It's hard to put together an offense with such a limited time of practicing together," Fulmer said. "But this is a great opportunity for these kids. Some of them are playing in the last football game of their careers, while others could earn the opportunity to play at the next level. It's a lot of fun to get our here and watch these kids represent their states. I think Andy Croley and the National Guard a great job putting this game together. It takes a lot of people to make this happen."