SHEPHERDSVILLE - The No. 8 Southwestern Warriors picked up their eighth win of the year with a 49-33 victory over the Bullitt Central Cougars on Friday night in Shepherdsville.
Southwestern concluded the regular season in stellar fashion, downing the Cougars by a 16-point margin. Jason Foley's boys, with the triumph, will bring an 8-1 record into next week's opening-round playoff matchup against Whitley County.
"I challenged our guys before the game, because we had five or six defensive starters out of the game," Southwestern High School football coach Jason Foley said. "We just wanted to make sure they were healed up ready to go for the playoffs, and I think we will be good with most of them for next week."
"We did some good things offensively, but we have got to clean up our turnovers and just a few mistakes we are making," Foley stated. "Overall, I thought we got accomplished what we wanted to tonight."
Late in the first period, the Warriors grabbed a 7-0 lead on a ten-yard touchdown pass from Chanler Crabtree to Alex Farler. Bullitt Central tied the game up at 7-7 on the final play of the opening frame.
In the second stanza, a pair of touchdown runs from Giddeon Brainard allowed Southwestern to take a 22-7 halftime lead over the Cougars. Brainard's touchdown runs were three yards and 27 yards.
The third period saw both teams trade touchdowns back and forth, as the Warriors and the Cougars combined to score 32 points. When the third period ended, the Warriors found themselves out front, 42-19.
For the Warriors, Tanner Wright had a 15-yard touchdown run and a 49-yard touchdown score in the third quarter. Crabtree also threw a 24-yard touchdown strike to Maison Hibbard in the frame.
With 11:49 to go in the fourth quarter, Bullitt Central cut the Warrior lead down to 15 points on a 46-yard touchdown run from Zachary Shofner and a two-point conversion run from Close. Before the game ended, Christian Walden tallied his inaugural varsity score for Southwestern and Bullitt Central tallied a late score on a two-yard run from Close.
On the night, the Warriors racked up 327 rushing yards and 131 passing yards. In total, Southwestern had 458 yards of offense.
Southwestern's rushing attack was led by Wright, who had 132 yards and two scores on 16 carries. Brainard chimed in with 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven carries, while Walden tallied 45 yards and one score on six totes.
Through the air, Crabtree was nine of 15 for 131 yards and two scores. Hibbard was Southwestern's leading wide out, finishing with three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Bullitt Central was led by their rushing attack of Close and Shofner. Shofner had 11 carries for 97 yards and one score, while Close tallied 79 yards and three scores on 14 attempts.
Southwestern (8-1) will open the postseason next Friday evening when they will host the Whitley County Colonels in the first round of the KHSAA Class 5A State Playoffs. The Warriors downed the Colonels earlier this year by a final tally of 27-6.
"We know it is going to be a big time challenge," Foley stated. "Whitley County has been very hot the second part of the season, they are a very well coached football team."
"It is going to to be a heck of a game, it is going to be a very tough game, and we have got to have a great week of preparation to get ready for this first round (of playoffs)," Foley explained. "Everybody is now 0-0 right now, and if you are going to make a run, you have got to come together and get it done."
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SW -- 7 15 20 7 -- 49
BC -- 7 0 12 14 -- 33
SW: Wright 16 -- 132 2 TD, Brainard 7 -- 73 2 TD, Walden 6 -- 45 TD, Crisp 2 -- 41, Crabtree 5 -- 36
BC: Shofner 11 -- 97 TD, Close 14 -- 79 3 TD
SW: Crabtree 9/15 131 2 TD INT
BC: Burkhead 11/25 146
SW: Hibbard 3 -- 51 TD, Hewitt 3 -- 35, Wright 2 -- 14, Farler 2 -- 12 TD, Hutchinson 1 -- 12, Walden 1 -- 7
BC: Shofner 3 -- 49, Barnhart 3 -- 34, Hornack 2 -- 30, Close 2 -- 18, Hughes 1 -- 13