It was Thursday before Caldwell County found that it would be playing a football game at the Stadium of Champions in Hopkinsville two days later.
The game was scheduled to fill the vacancy after the Tigers withdrew from the scheduled Friday game at Union County last Wednesday after it was listed at the red level of COVID-19 incidence. Hopkinsville also canceled its scheduled game against crosstown rival Christian County for similar reasons.
CCHS coaches knew that the game would bring a challenge to their team without affecting its district record, and it was a challenge.
Hopkinsville (2-0) scored the first 20 points of the game en route to a 54-27 win over Caldwell County on Saturday.
The Hopkinsville Tigers used two Caldwell County fumbles to score three touchdowns in the first 3 minutes and 10 seconds of the game.
Hopkinsville opened the scoring when sophomore Dejuan Mercer ran 65 yards for a touchdown with 10:20 left in the first quarter. The extra-point kick by freshman Zach Moss gave HHS an early 7-0.
Following a fumble by Caldwell County (1-1), Hopkinsville scored 71 seconds later, as junior quarterback Treyvon Jefferson found senior Ventrall Baker on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 9:09 left in the first period. The point-after attempt failed, but HHS led 13-0.
Jefferson’s arm got another test, as he found senior Reece Jesse on a 36-yard TD toss with 8:50 left in the quarter. Moss’ extra-point kick gave Hopkinsville a 20-0 lead.
Caldwell County rebounded well from that setback, as senior quarterback Russ Beshear hit senior wide receiver Baron Wells on a 69-yard touchdown pass to put CCHS on the scoreboard with 29 seconds left in the first quarter. The extra-point try failed, but Caldwell County closed the gap to 20-6.
CCHS scored again, as Beshear found senior tight end Tate VanHooser on a 23-yard scoring pass with 10:05 left in the second quarter. Junior kicker Black Vivrette’s kick brought Caldwell County to within a touchdown at 20-13.
Hopkinsville answered with a seven-yard touchdown run by Baker with 7:35 left in the first half. Moss’ kick gave HHS a 27-13 lead.
Caldwell County responded with a six-yard scoring run by senior running back Travion Samuel with 4:56 left in the half. Vivrette’s kick got CCHS within a score again at 27-20.
That would be as close as Caldwell County would get, as host Hopkinsville scored four of the next five touchdowns.
Jefferson found Mercer on a 14-yard TD pass with 47 seconds left in the half, giving HHS a 34-20 lead following Moss’ kick.
Hopkinsville scored first in the second half when Jefferson hit senior Ryan Myers with a 32-yard TD pass with 11:12 left in the third quarter. Moss’ PAT gave HHS a 41-20 lead.
Caldwell County’s final score came when Beshear called his own number and ran 10 yards into the end zone with 4:41 left in the third period. Vivrette’s kick narrowed the gap to 41-27.
Jefferson again used his arm to score for Hopkinsville, finding Mercer on a 20-yard pass with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter. The extra-point kick was blocked, but HHS led 47-27.
The final scoring play of the game was a six-yard TD run by Baker with 3:02 left in the game. Moss’ kick punctuated the 54-27 result.
Beshear completed 14 of his 25 pass attempts for 191 yards with two interceptions, while Jefferson was 13-for-26 for 279 yards and five picks.
Wells led CCHS with four catches for 73 yards, while senior Tripp Branch caught four passes for 66 yards.
Jesse led Hopkinsville receivers with four catches for 131 yards, while Myers had two catches for 58 yards, VanHooser had four receptions for 30 yards and Samuel had two catches for 22 yards.
On the ground, Beshear had 11 rushes for 63 yards, while Samuel had 12 runs for 29 yards, and Jamus Carneyhan and Logan Chambliss each had two rushes for 18 yards.
For HHS, Mercer had nine rushes for 136 yards, while Baker had seven runs for 53 yards.
On defense, senior Max Kramer led CCHS with seven tackles, including six solo efforts. Juniors Jack Stevens and Drew Davis had five tackles each, while Wells, senior Clayton Woford, junior Elijah Shaheen and freshman Landon Davis each had four.
Caldwell County had five turnovers, while Hopkinsville had one.
Caldwell County returns home Friday to open its Class 2A District 1 schedule with a 7 p.m. contest against Ballard Memorial. The Bombers (0-2) have been held scoreless thus far this year, falling at Trigg County 56-0 and at home against Madisonville-North Hopkins 49-0.
Information for this article was provided by Bryan Edwards of the Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville.