By DOUG EADS
It was a play 113 years in the making.
It was a play that came with no time left on the clock in a 2 A State Championship Football Game on a Saturday afternoon at Kroger Field in Lexington.
And, it will be a play forever etched in the folklore of Somerset High School Football.
Thanks to a pass interference call against Mayfield on what should have been the game’s final play on Saturday afternoon on the University of Kentucky’s football field, the Somerset Briar Jumpers — trailing Mayfield at that juncture 31-28 in the Class 2 A state finals — got one untimed down from the Cardinals 20-yard line.
And, that’s when total chaos would soon begin.
Somerset quarterback Kaiya Sheron — with one final play left for the Briar Jumpers in the 2019 high school season — would throw a strike to a wide open Tate Madden in the corner of the end zone, for a thrilling, 34-31 comeback win for Somerset, giving the Briar Jumpers their first ever state championship in football in the 113-year history of the program.
Let the chaos and a wild celebration 113 yards in the making commence.
Earlier in the game, Jase Bruner had given Somerset a quick, 7-0 lead thanks to a 43-yard run, while Mikey Garland added three TD runs for Somerset.
Despite the fact the Briar Jumpers had led for most of the game, thanks to a costly turnover, Mayfield had taken a 31-28 lead over Somerset with less than a minute to play in the game.
The Jumpers — 0-5 all-time in state final games headed into Saturday’s contest — was staring at yet another, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking loss in a state football final.
Yet, that’s when Sheron and the Jumpers took over.
With 87 yards to go from a touchdown, Sheron methodically drove the Briar Jumpers down the field, setting up a play that will go down as arguably the greatest play in the history of Somerset football.
Due to that interference call on Mayfield, the Jumpers were given one more play — an untimed down — from the Cardinals 20-yard line.
And as they say, the rest is history — glorious history for a Somerset football program with a very long and proud tradition, but one that had never hoisted a state championship trophy at the end of a season until Saturday afternoon on the turf at Kroger Field.
Sheron and Madden — who caught the game-winning pass — will long be remembered for that play, but the bottom line is that for the first time in program history, Somerset got it done on the state’s big stage.
The 2019 season will long be remembered for what this Somerset team accomplished in a great season, and on one final, great drive Saturday afternoon at Kroger Field with a state title hanging in the balance.
And, 2019 will also go down as a football season for Somerset that can be summed up in two words — STATE CHAMPS!!!
Congratulations to coach Robbie Lucas, his coaching staff, and all the players from the 2019 Jumper team.
This was a state football championship that was very much deserved and it was a title that was long overdue.