PHELPS, Ky. – The Sherman Tide made the long bus ride to Pike County, Kentucky and picked up a crucial win to keep their West Virginia prep football playoff hopes alive with a 51-22 win over Phelps High School.
Sherman head coach J.D. Fairchild knows that his squad will most likely have to win out this season to sniff post-season action.
“I’m just telling our young men to stay focused and take care of their business,” he said. “We can’t control what other teams do but we can control what we do. The loss to Van really stung but we have to keep moving and keep improving each week.”
Quarterback Bailey Kirk and running back Willen Christian each rushed for over 100 yards to lead Sherman’s ground attack on Friday night.
“Kirk took care of the ball and made some good decisions,” Fairchild said. “Christian came through with a career game for us. Our line opened up some holes and our guys found them. They (Phelps) were big and strong at the line of scrimmage but our guys were a little quicker and that worked to our advantage.”
The Tide (6-2) racked up 487 yards of total offense with 364 coming on the ground via their veer offensive set. Led by Christian’s 160 yards and three scores, four Tide players scored on the night including Kirk, Ben Salmon and Austin Cooper.
“Cooper tore his meniscus in August and came back to practice this week,” said Fairchild. “They released him this week (doctors) and we thought we’d let him touch the ball late in the game. It was good to see him out there.”
Christian opened the scoring with a 58-yard dash to the end zone right up the gut of the Phelps defense. Kirk kept the Hornet defense honest with timely receptions while being flushed from the pocket. Sherman led by two touchdowns at the half, before turning on the jets in the third quarter.
The Tide’s 34-defense forced and recovered five fumbles in the game, two by J.T. Hensley.
For the game, Kirk completed 3-of-5 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Salmon added 51 yards on the ground and Cooper 46 and a score. Tyler Pettry led all receivers with 79 yards on a single catch.
Defensively, Sherman was led by Kirk’s 10 tackles, Colton Bassham and Dylan Richmond had eight and Hensley seven to lead the unit. Ian Beller had a sack for the Tide.
Sherman plays at Greenbrier West (2-5) on Friday.