The Berea Pirates shook off a shaky first half marred by penalties and turnovers to knock off the Harlan Green Dragons, 29-8 last Friday night. The win was sweet for a team that went 0-8 in 2020.
Berea had scoring chances in the first half but kept shooting themselves in the foot.
“We were not disciplined enough to finish off drives in the first half,” first-year Coach Frank Parks said. “We killed ourselves with penalties and mistakes.”
The second half was a different story as the offense found its rhythm.
“We executed much better and limited our mistakes,” Parks said. “That allowed us to finish off drives and score points.”
Berea’s offensive effort was highlighted by the play of Yamil Cruz, who found the end zone three times, twice rushing and one receiving. Cruz accounted for 154 total yards (78 receiving and 76 rushing) on the night.
In the ground game, Jaiden Cunningham was the Pirates workhorse, rushing for 77 yards on 18 carries, including a touchdown. In all, Berea rushed for 153 yards on 27 attempts.
Jayson Coburn threw for 122 yards and a score.
The Pirates were tight on defense, limiting Harlan to 170 total yards offense, while forcing three turnovers.
The defense was led by Ty Thompson, who recorded five tackles and recovered a fumble. Connor Gilbert and Koty Roberts finished the game with four tackles.
Both Clayton Martinez and Cameron Thompson came up with an interception to halt Harlan’s advances.
The Pirates return to action Friday night when they host Nicholas County at 7:30 p.m.
Things started out on the right foot for Madison Southern in its season opener at Southwestern as quarterback Cole Carpenter hit Walt Smith on a 62-yard scoring pass on the first play from scrimmage. But after that, it was all Warriors as the home team rolled the Eagles, 55-14.
The Eagles had difficulty running the ball, amassing 60 yards on 26 carries as a team. Stephen Whitehead was Southern’s leading rusher, managing 37 yards on 10 tries.
Carpenter finished the game by completing 64 percent of his passes (16-for-25) with 207 yards and a score. He also rushed for a touchdown late in the game.
Smith was Southern’s leading receiver as he caught four balls for 99 yards and a touchdown. Jayshaun Ethridge hauled in five passes for 50 yards.
Southern was led by Steven Perkins, who finished with 17 tackles, including seven solo stops. Rocky and Stephen Whitehead finished with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively, for the Eagles.
Southern returns to action Friday night when it hosts George Rogers Clark at 7:30 p.m.
• The Madison Southern Eagles boys’ soccer team have picked up two wins (9-1 over Lincoln County and 9-1 over Southwestern) in the early going of the season.
The Eagles have been paced by Ru Lemmer’s six goals and four assists in the first five games. Jase Duerson has chipped in with three goals and six assists. Parker Coyle, Jared Powell, and Garrett Wickersham have each added two goals on the young season.
Austin Shepherd has recorded 29 stops in goal through five games.
• The Berea Pirates boys’ soccer team is off to an 0-3-1 start. The Pirates tied Garrard County, 1-1, thanks to a goal from Cannon Cummins. Through four games, Cummins has scored three goals and recorded one assist.
John Wallhouser has recorded two goals and an assist, while Edwin Rico and Jesse Heiser have scored a goal.
Landon Kidd has recorded 23 saves at the net.
• The Madison Southern Lady Eagles soccer team is off to a hot start, notching four early-season wins to move to 4-0.
The Lady Eagles have been paced by Mallory Duerson’s six goals and three assists. Ashlee Pisula has added six goals through four games, while Rebekah Christopher has notched five goals and four assists.
Goalie Claire Cress has added 30 saves.
• The Berea Lady Pirates soccer team is 2-2 after four games into the 2021 season.
Berea knocked off Estill and Wayne counties and fell to Madison Central and Model.
Maddy King has led Berea with three goals and one assist. Leslie Morgan, Jossni Heiser, Katie Eiselt, Mandy Newman, and Diane Wideman have added a goal through four games.
Goalkeeper Abigail Beard has added 42 saves.
* The Berea Pirates volleyball team is off to a 4-3 start on the season.
Through seven matches, Sophia Dobbins has recorded 66 kills, 54 assists, and 83 digs. Morgan Short has added 42 kills and 46 blocks; Taylor Johnson has added 73 assists.
As a team, Berea is averaging 10.7 kills a match, 4.8 blocks, 7.5 assists, and 13.5 digs.
• The Madison Southern Lady Eagles are 2-0 on the season.
Kayla Atkins has paced Southern with 17 kills, 5 blocks, 30 assists, and 15 digs. Macie Daniels has added 12 kills, while Kara Combs has 25 assists to her name. Ally Skidmore has 17 digs, while Anna Seals and Breanna Dawes have 16 digs each. As a team, Southern is averaging 8.1 kills a match, 2.1 bocks, 7.8 assists, and 12.5 digs.