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Pancake Platoon, Lawson’s four touchdowns power Johnson Central past Simon Kenton in emotional victory

UK has the Big Blue Wall. Johnson Central has the Pancake Platoon. I expect both to dominate at Kroger Field this year.

Grant Bingham, Lucas Wyatt, Cam Willis, Owen LeMaster, Dylan Boner, Zack Puckett, Chris Meek, Jesse McCoy and the rest of the powerful O-line opened holes all night for the Golden Eagles’ rushing attack, leading to a 47-17 Johnson Central victory over host Simon Kenton. Bingham, a 2022 UK target with 17 D1 offers including Michigan and Notre Dame, and the rest of the Platoon got out in space and dominated the line of scrimmage.  

“We were just fast on our feet, getting to the secondary and laying licks,” Bingham said.  “The backs are great, hitting the hole fast.”  Bingham said he doesn’t have an update on his recruitment but noted that “It is still looking good.”


Senior Dylan Preston (152), sophomore Mason Lawson (126), and sophomore Chase Price (102) each ran for over 100 yards behind the Pancake Platoon. Lawson ran for 3 scores and caught another, all in the first half.

It was an emotional night for Johnson Central.  

“It was a long trip. One of our player’s father passed away while we were coming here. But it is life in the mountains. It’s tragic, but it’s wonderful,” Johnson Central coach Jim Matney told KSR after the game.

Lawson spoke about the emotions of the team.

“(This win) means a lot. Our team overcame a lot of adversity tonight, a lot more than what people know, and I just feel so blessed to be out here with my brothers, said Lawson. “Especially with what happened earlier here today. Just want to be able to play the game I love and make the most of my opportunity.”

The Golden Eagles, winners of state championships in 2016 and 2019, are showing the state, and the country, what mountain football is all about.

“We teach our kids in the mountains that life is not fair, and it’s never going to be fair in the mountains,” Matney said. “We teach our kids to not blame everybody else, and to grow. That is what I’m trying to do and that’s what this program is trying to do.”

He talked about what it is like to grow up in the mountains.

“(As a little boy) I noticed that kids of the mountains were treated a little different,” Matney said. “You could go into a city or a town somewhere and you were kind of looked down upon. I understand it. We didn’t have a lot of money. We probably were a little uncouth. I get it. But I vowed I would come back to the mountains and give my life for the kids in the mountains. In all fairness, I’m only doing what others did for me.”

He wants his team to play with class. They certainly do.

“Every time we take the field, we tell (our team) that we are going down there to show the rest of this state, and to show the rest of this country and world, what mountain people are really about,” Matney said. “Hopefully we played incredibly hard, but also hopefully we played incredibly clean.  The only thing that disappoints me is anytime we make any type of error that would give a black eye to the people of the mountains. So far, our kids have played awesome. They have played hard and played clean.”

Johnson Central got off to a hot start. On their opening possession they marched down to the 3-yard line, but Simon Kenton stopped them on fourth down. The Golden Eagles quickly forced a punt and then the Pancake Platoon locked in.

Lawson ran for touchdowns of 36 and 4 yards to help Johnson Central build and early 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Simon Kenton answered with a 34-yard field goal from Nick Seger. He has been money all year. Lawson scored once again on a 32-yard pass from junior Grant Rice. 

“Toby ran a flag and (brought) the safety over. I ran a go straight down the field and my quarterback found me in the end zone,” Lawson said.

Lawson scored his third rushing TD and fourth overall a few minutes later. Simon Kenton QB, Chase Crone, a sophomore, had a nice scramble up the middle that led to his 12-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Courtney a few plays later.  


Crone was impressive throwing the ball and proved to be a dual threat with some nice runs and scrambles. Simon Kenton is one of the top teams in Northern Kentucky this season. They have a beautiful facility, and a class organization. They were wonderful hosts to KSR.

“I don’t blame (media) for picking against us (tonight). I think I would have picked them (to win) at home,” Matney said about Simon Kenton. “They have a nice team and that quarterback is terrific,” he said of Crone.

Johnson Central immediately answered as Preston added a 40-yard TD rush to give the Golden Eagles a 33-10 halftime lead.


Courtney rushed for a third quarter TD for Simon Kenton, but Rice answered with a short TD run for Johnson Central to make it 41-17 in the third. Price added a fourth quarter TD for the Golden Eagles to make the final score 47-17.  

The Golden Eagles have made five straight state title games.  Come, December, I fully expect it to be six.

In Class 4A last year it was Johnson Central, Boyle County and everybody else. By all indications, it will be the same story again this season. Johnson Central ranked second in the state in our KSR prep rankings, put up a running clock in their week 1 win over last year’s 3A runner-up Bell County. Boyle County, ranked fourth in the state, rolled past Highlands last night 46-7, their third blowout in as many games.

The Golden Eagles knocked off the Rebels in the championship game last year, aided by a missed Rebels’ extra point late. I’m calling for a rematch. Bingham wants his team to play at Kroger Field again this year.

“To win a state championship, back-to-back definitely,” he said when asked about the team’s goals.

Let’s hope he decides to return to Kroger field for years to come.  

More Scores from Across the State

Boyle County 46 Highlands 7 – Will McDaniel ran for 94 yards and a score, and Jagger Gillis ran for 2 TDs and threw for another to the lead the Rebels to victory. Highlands is going in the wrong direction.

Danville 28 Wayne County 24 – After finising 3-7 last year, the Admirals seem to have turned things around.

Pikeville 58 Henry Clay 41– Pikeville QB Isaac McNamee threw for 419 yards and 7 scores, all caught by Zac Lockhart.  Lockhart’s 7 TD receptions and 388 receiving yards are state records.


Paintsville 54 Hazard 0 – Paintsville looks to be Pikeville’s biggest contender again this year in Class A.

Scott County 42 GRC 14 — The Scott County Cardinals thumped a quality opponent last night, after cancelling their schedule game with Frederick Douglass.  They look to challenge the Broncos for district supremacy this season.

QB Watch

Somerset 41, Russellville 9

UK commit Kaiya Sheron threw was 9-of-20 passing for 159 yards, 3 scores, and a pick. He also ran 6 times for 102 yards in Somerset’s big win.

South Warren 36, Glasgow 0

South Warren junior QB Caden Veltkamp ran for an 11-yard TD and threw a 64-yard TD pass to Nathan Neal.  South Warren has outscored their 2 opponents 76-0.  It won’t be as easy next week when they   travel across town to rival Bowling Green.

Owensboro 57, Ohio County 7

Junior QB Gavin Wimsatt ran for a 23-yard TD in the second quarter as Owensboro breezed to a running clock victory.

Article written by Troy Howell

Follow me on twitter @ teeroyhowell

2 Comments for Pancake Platoon, Lawson’s four touchdowns power Johnson Central past Simon Kenton in emotional victory

  1. bbn606
    12:00 pm September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Big win for Somerset but Sheron’s numbers were mediocre at best.

  2. 859bornandraised
    1:17 pm September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Pancake platoon… great name they some big dudes…