By DOUG EADS
Southwestern had won five games in a row headed into Friday night’s third round Class 5 A playoff game at Frederick Douglass, but the undefeated Broncos proved to the Warriors why they are indeed one of the favorites to win a state championship this season.
Quarterback Josh McClurg threw for 195 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while running back Darius Neal scored on a pair of TD runs, in helping lead the undefeated Broncos to a 44-8 win over the Warriors.
Frederick Douglass — 13-0 on the season with Friday’s win — put this one away early, exploding for 16 points just over three minutes into the contest.
Neal scored his first touchdown of the night on the first play from scrimmage for the Broncos on a 30-yard run.
After that score, the Broncos executed an onside kick to perfection, and got the ball again.
Moments later, Neal raced into the end zone for a 16-yard score, and with 8:57 remaining in the first quarter, it was the Broncos already leading the Warriors 16-0.
Southwestern trailed in this game 30-0 at the intermission, and after Douglass scored on its first possession of the third period on a 49-yard scoring toss from McClurg to Ty Bryant, the Broncos led this one 37-0 and had the Warriors on the short end of a running clock.
Southwestern finally got on the board thanks to a 60-yard run for a TD by Tanner Wright, but by this time, the issue had long been decided.
With the loss, Southwestern finished the season at 7-6 on the year, which was a remarkable feat, considering that late in the year the Warriors were sitting at 2-5 on the season, before Jason Foley’s club went on that five-game winning streak.
Frederick Douglass meanwhile moves on to the Semi State round of the Class 5 A playoffs, hosting Owensboro this Friday night.