PDT Sports Editor
The Kentucky Warriors’ season came to a close last Saturday after a 35-20 loss to the Southern Ohio Bucks in the second round of the Northern Frontier Football League playoffs.
The Bucks took a lead early in the game that they would never relent with a touchdown with 12:06 in the first quarter. The extra point failed to make it 6-0 Southern Ohio.
A field goal in the second quarter stretched the Bucks lead to 9-0 before the Warriors got on the scoreboard with a 55-yard touchdown from Justin Lunsford to Jermaine Payton.
The extra point made it 9-7 with 2:53 remaining in the first half.
Southern Ohio struck again, though, adding a touchdown and a successful point after making the intermissions score 16-7.
Justin Lundsford struck again, this time connecting with Justin Patrick to make the score 19-13, advantage Southern Ohio.
An interception by Kentucky’s ball hawk in the secondary, Angel Gurule gave the Warriors hopes of coming from behind, but the offense could not capitalize on the opportunity.
The Bucks added a fourth quarter touchdown to make it 26-13 and would later stretch their lead to the final tally of 35-20.
Kentucky had hopes of reaching the NFFL championship game next week after a stellar first season in the league, but instead the focus will shift to recruiting.
The Warriors’ pitch to prospective players will be loaded with accolades such as head coach Dan Polcyn’s NFFL Coach of the Year award and the fact that nine of Polycn’s players were named to the NFFL All-Star roster.
Jermaine Payton, Jojo Parker, Gurule, Nate Fannin, Bobby Yates, Steve Lee, R.J. Mosley and Tim Aldridge were the players selected for the All-Star game slated for Sept. 16.
The early season run for an undefeated season certainly will not hurt in the eyes of the recruits either as the Warriors finished the regular season 10-1.
Kentucky Warriors owner Ricky Witt credited part of his team’s improvement in 2012 to off-season scouting and recruiting.
“I have done some recruiting before, but not like this season,” Witt said during the season. “We have guys from Mansfield, Akron, all over, but most of our guys are from around Portsmouth.”
Recruiting season began Tuesday, just four days into Kentucky’s off-season when the Kentucky Warriors Facebook page posted a callout looking for players.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.