(Analyzed Sports) CHARRON ELLIOTT
Male High Conquers the 6A State Championship
It has been a long time coming for the Male Bulldogs varsity football team, however, they came in with one goal this season and that was to win a state championship! It seemed as if Bulldogs head coach Chris Wolfe and his players were more motivated than ever this year to reach that goal, especially with a 2nd round loss in the playoffs to the Trinity Shamrocks ending their 2014 season. Male looked for this year to be a “season of redemption” and for their opponents that meant trouble!
It all started in August with a dominating home victory over Floyd Central in week one of the KHSAA football season. The Bulldogs put up 41 points and didn’t allow Floyd Central to score at any point in the game. Then in week two Male beat Ballard 45 -7 at the Bruins home field, followed by a 64-6 win over Fern Creek at home. The Bulldogs first chance at payback against the Shamrocks came in week four of the season and Male dominated that game beating Trinity 42-13. Male went on to finish the regular season undefeated and was atop both their 6A Class and their District 3
Although the regular season success of Male was stellar, beating their opponents on average by nearly 42 points per game, the Bulldogs were determined to win a state championship. In the first round of the playoffs Male would defeat Jeffersontown 49-3, then they shut out their archrivals the Manual Crimson 36-0 in the second round. This would lead to another matchup against the Trinity Shamrocks in the playoffs, however, the game would be much closer than the previous matchup during the regular season. Male would win in a “nail biter ” 20-19, as the Shamrocks failed to connect on the extra point to extend the game. Male although relieved, hadn’t accomplished their goal just yet and still needed to win two more games. The Bulldogs would have to defeat Central Hardin in order to make it to the KHSAA 6A State Championship game and they did just that. The Bulldogs defense forced their 7th shutout of the season, as Male dismantled Central Hardin 50-0. The Bulldogs were finally where they belonged on Saturday night in a State championship game against the Lafayette Generals in Bowling Green at Houchens L.T. Smith Stadium.
In the first quarter Male jumped out on top after a four-yard touchdown run by star running back Devin Gentry with just 1:57 coming off the clock. Then Bulldogs quarterback Hayden Shelton threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to receiver Zackery Smith to make the score 13-0 Male with 6:25 remaining in the 1st quarter. The Generals didn’t score until the 2nd quarter, as quarterback Walker Wood rushed for a 55-yard touchdown to put Lafayette on the board. Later in the 2nd quarter, Hayden Shelton threw another touchdown pass, this time to Bulldogs receiver Keion Wakefield for 19 yards. The score at halftime would be 20-7 Bulldogs, as Shelton threw for 167 yards in the 1st half.
The 2nd half would be all Bulldogs as their defense contained the Generals for practically the rest of the game. On offense, Shelton found Wakefield again late in the 3rd quarter for another touchdown pass to make the score 27-7. Then with 10:31 remaining in the game Shelton threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Bulldogs receiver Ethan Britt to make the score 33-7 Male. The Bulldogs would convert on a two-point conversion attempt and leading 35-7 seemed just minutes away from achieving their goal. Male cornerback Demetrius Holt would put his stamp on the game by intercepting a pass from Wood and returning it for an 81-yard Bulldog touchdown with 08:11 remaining in the 4th quarter. The Generals would score again, but it would be too little too late and the Male Bulldogs would win the game 41-14! The goal of winning the 6A state championship was finally accomplished!
“It’s surreal it’s like a dream come true. It couldn’t get any better with the team and coaches I am surrounded by, this is what we have worked for. I know one thing I will miss it unconditionally,” said Bulldogs senior strong safety Kamron Cuff on Male’s perfect season. While it may have taken time, some pain and agony the Male Bulldogs are the 2015 KHSAA 6A Football State Champs. They will go down in history as one of the best football teams ever in the state of Kentucky, and yes they will now be remembered as “The Perfect Bulldogs”!