The much-anticipated Class A postseason matchup that many thought was a foregone conclusion will not happen.
Pikeville put to rest a Fairview-Raceland rematch. Instead, the Panthers set up a regional final rematch against Fairview in Pikeville, which will take place next week. Pikeville is the Class A Region 4 defending champion.
Pikeville used a screen pass for a long touchdown to force overtime before outlasting the Rams, 26-20, in OT on Friday night.
Raceland (9-3) saw a 12-0 halftime lead dissipate into a 13-12 deficit. The Rams put together a nice drive to go ahead 20-13 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Pikeville (7-5) quickly retaliated with a screen pass and 70-plus-yard run after the catch. An extra point knotted the game up at 20 apiece.
“After they scored there, a lot of our emotion was gone,” said Raceland coach T.J. Maynard.
In overtime, in which each team’s offense gets four downs to score from the 10-yard line, Raceland used three plays to drive the ball inside the 1. Pikeville’s defense stuffed the Rams on fourth down.
“We missed a linebacker, and he made a play,” Maynard said.
Pikeville scored on its first offensive play of the overtime period to win it. The Panthers are riding a six-game winning streak. They defeated Fairview last season in Westwood to move on to the state semifinal round. They’ll host the 12-0 Eagles next Friday.
“Hats off to coach (Chris) McNamee and their guys,” Maynard said. “We wish them the best of luck the rest of the way.”
Following Pikeville’s score to cut the Rams’ lead to 12-7 in the third quarter, Pikeville recovered an onside kick. It led to another Panthers score, which put them ahead 13-12.
“We moved the ball in the second (half), but we never got it over the hump until we got the score to take the lead (in the final five minutes),” Maynard said.
Raceland graduates eight seniors.
“I hate it for them that it ends this way,” Maynard said. “We’d planned on playing for a while.
“We leave Pikeville with another bad memory,” he added. “Hopefully down the road we’ll get past this. I hope our underclassmen remember this feeling.”