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Anderson County left little doubt it wanted to start its playoff run at home again.
The Bearcats exploded for 35 second quarter points on the way to a 63-19 win over visiting East Jessamine Friday night to sew up the No. 2 seed in Class 5A, District 6. Anderson, the defending Region 3 champion and last year's state runner-up, will start its playoff path at home for the sixth consecutive season.
Anderson left little doubt about its ability to put a stunning loss at Franklin County behind. After spotting East Jessamine a quick touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Ronnie Carson to Hayden Tatman, the Bearcats took just 42 seconds to take the lead when Zachary Carmichael scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak.
Joe Rose's extra point gave Anderson a 7-6 lead and the Bearcats did as they pleased for most of the rest of the game.
Granville Hayes and Ross Cox both scored four touchdowns as the Bearcats put up their highest point total of the season. Hayes ran for 102 yards and three scores and caught two passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Cox scored two touchdowns on the ground and two receiving.
Carmichael hit on 11-of-15 passes for 210 yards and three scores. Receiver Dusty Puckett also had a big night with four catches for 103 yards.
As a team, Anderson outgained East Jessamine 489-234. The final quarter was played with a running clock after Hayes scored with 34 seconds left in the third frame.
“We are playing at a very high level at the right time,” said Anderson coach Mark Peach. “We had big games from a lot of people. Everyone did their job.”
Peach had been concerned that his team would have a tough time putting a last-play loss to Franklin County behind it, but the team responded, despite being on fall break.
“We had a fantastic week of practice. You get out of your routine with fall break but the kids did a great job. I am so proud of the job they did and the job our staff did in getting ready for this game," Peach said.
Anderson, now 7-2 and 4-1 in district play, will host Marion County in the regular season finale next Friday. The Bearcats await the No. 3 seed from District 5 in the first round of the playoffs.
East Jessamine fell to 2-7 and 2-3 and is fighting it out with West Jessamine and Montgomery County for the final two playoff spots from District 6.
The top two seeds in District 6 are set. Franklin County, which capped a 10-0 season with a 63-21 win at Montgomery County Friday night, will be the top seed with Anderson in second place. East Jessamine, West Jessamine and Montgomery will have to see how the tie-breaker plays out.
In District 5, Covington Scott will be the No. 4 seed and will play Franklin County. Cooper, Conner and South Oldham are deadlocked in a three-way tie that will not be decided until next week's action. Cooper (8-1, 3-1) hosts Dixie Heights next week while Conner (7-2, 3-1) entertains Covington Catholic. South Oldham (7-2, 3-1) will host Shelby County.
The district 5 standings will not be final until those games are played.
For a complete look at the Bearcats' win over East Jessamine and the possible playoff picture, see the Oct. 24 edition of The Anderson News.