Louisville, KY (WDRB) – Central head football coach Ty Scroggins has overseen his share of December football practices. For the sixth time in the past eight seasons, his Yellowjackets are preparing for an appearance in the KHSAA State Championship.
An amazing fourth quarter sequence that led to a go-ahead touchdown at Corbin (after Central trailed 26-0 in the 2nd quarter) and a come-from-behind win against an undefeated South Warren team at Central Stadium the following week is to thank for this year's appearance.
“I don't know how many more miracles we have in us, “said Scroggins before Wednesday's practice at Central High School. “We've got somebody on our side who's been watching us over the past two games.”
Sounds like a team of destiny, perhaps, but the players refuse to attribute luck or divine intervention to their recent success.
“People might say that,” said junior defensive back Kenndale Briggs, “but we put in the work to get here. We had a lot of people doubting us…but I think we deserve every bit of this.”
You can understand why there were doubters. Central (10-4) lost 27 seniors from last year's team and returned only four starters. The team started off this season with 3-and-3, including a 40-point loss to 6A semifinalist St. Xavier. Playing above their class taught the Yellowjackets some valuable lessons and gave Scroggins young team some valuable experience.
“We were pretty much a JV team coming into this and we said ‘we just gotta get varsity reps,'” says Scroggins.
“Playing higher (class) teams like Manual and St. X, they're really good teams. They prepared us for 3A,” said junior quarterback Myron Norfleet.
Awaiting Central in Friday's noon eastern time kickoff in Bowling Green is perennial 3A power Belfry (12-2), a team Scroggins has faced—and beaten—in the 3A finals in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
So, obviously Scroggins is quite familiar with the Pirates, but he's still gathering intel on this year's team. He's finding that not only is coach Phillip Heywood's team running the same style offense as their previous meetings, the Belfry Pirates are running the same system they've been using for decades.
“I talked to (1987 Cumberland High School graduate) Freddie Maggard (who is broadcasting the game Friday). He said ‘I played them 30 years ago and they run the same exact thing,'” said Scroggins.
Scroggins and the Yellowjackets are hoping for the same results as each previous meeting in the finals.