By defeating the Harlan Green Dragons Friday night, the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have earned a spot in the regional championship game, where they will meet the Hazard Bulldogs.
The Jackets (9-3) fell to the Dragons (6-5), 41-22, in week two, so many were expecting their matchup in round two of the class A state championship playoffs to be an interesting game that could have gone either way. Few fans would have predicted a blowout, but that is exactly what happened.
Williamsburg started out by scoring 26 unanswered points. Quarterback Dalton Sizemore rushed for two touchdowns, and Skyler Griffith caught a 12-yard pass good for a score in the opening quarter. Freshman Corey Shelton made an acrobatic, 20-yard catch in the end zone in the second quarter, which was followed by a successful two-point conversion courtesy of fullback Jefferson Patrick, making the score 26-0 with 7:13 left before intermission.
The only Harlan score of the night came when quarterback Ty Saragas connected with wide receiver Vince Bianchi, who flipped the ball to fellow receiver David Allen, who took it the rest of the way for a touchdown with 4:44 remaining in the first half.
The Jackets responded within seconds when Sizemore and Griffith connected on a 50-yard bomb that led to pay dirt. The conversion attempt failed, making it 32-6 in favor of Williamsburg.
The Jackets did not let up in the second half. Their first drive ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Logan Hamblin, making it 38-6, which was the final score of the evening.
On the defensive side of the ball, Corey Shelton and Chris Sawyers both had fumble recoveries, and Shelton came up with a goal line interception that he returned 82 yards to the Harlan 18-yard line. Logan Hamblin recorded an interception as well, which would lead to Sizemore’s second rushing touchdown. A host of other Yellow Jackets, including senior Jason Sisk, made life difficult for the Green Dragon offense by putting pressure on their quarterback all night long.
“I am so very proud of these young men,” said coach Jerry Herron after the game. “What a great effort tonight.”
When asked about next week’s big matchup against Hazard, Herron commented, “We have a great opponent coming in here next week. They’ve played a lot of really good teams this year, and have had good competition all season long. They have a good defensive line, athletic tough, hard-nosed team. We are going to have to really work hard and play well in order to beat them.”
The Bulldogs come into the game a 9-2 record losing only two Somerset and Breathitt County, both of which are still playing in the playoffs.
Players to watch for Hazard will be quarterback Evan Whitaker, receivers B.J. Combs, Nathan Higgins, Austin Johnson and Jordan Olinger.
The Bulldogs also have two hard running back in Zack Blanton and Brandon Jones.
Kickoff for the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs class A, region 3 championship game is set for 7:30 this Friday at Rose-Stanfill Stadium in Williamsburg.
Williamsburg 38, Harlan 6
Williamsburg 18 14 6 0 – 38
Harlan 0 6 0 0 – 6
W – Dalton Sizemore 3 run (Conversion failed)
W – Skyler Griffith 12 pass from Sizemore (Conversion failed)
W – Sizemore 17 run (Conversion failed)
W – Corey Shelton 20 pass from Sizemore (Jefferson Patrick run)
H – Ty Sarags 36 pass to David Allen (Conversion failed)
W – Griffith 50 pass from Sizemore (Conversion failed)
W- Logan Hamblin 7 run (Conversion failed)