- Fayette County Public Schools
Edythe J. Hayes 'A' team rolls to sixth straight football playoffs title
The Edythe J. Hayes varsity football team capped another undefeated season with a 22-0 win over Jessie Clark for the FCPS Middle School Championship. The Nov. 11 victory marked the Panthers’ sixth consecutive district playoffs title and eighth straight regular-season championship.
Against Jessie Clark, Hayes logged 12 first downs on only 32 total plays and piled up 201 yards of offense. Tay Tay Allen had 13 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns, Parker Crisp added 42 yards and a score, and Keenan Banther rushed for two 2-point conversions. “We played a great game on offense and dictated the way the game was going to be played,” said Coach Nick Payne. “Our line played a fabulous game and allowed our running game to get going. Jessie Clark was well-coached and had their guys in the right position to stop us, our best guys just made some big-time plays.”
Defensively, the Panthers held Jessie Clark to 98 yards. Peyton Mayo led Hayes with 6½ tackles (1 tackle for loss), and Tre Webb had an interception and 61-yard return. “Our defensive game plan was to take away Jessie Clark’s big-play capability and keep them from completing big passes to the tight end and wide receivers,” Payne said. “We knew our defensive line would step up and make big plays, and we wanted to make them have to work for everything. Our defense played like it did all season -- lights out Panther football!”
Hayes had a bye to open the playoffs and defeated #4 seed LTMS 32-12 in the second round. Jessie Clark knocked off #2 Leestown and #3 Winburn to advance to the final. The Hayes win marked Payne’s seventh title in 10 years as head coach of the Panthers.
“I am so proud of this group of the kids for the dedication and the hard work they invested into this program,” Payne said. “It starts in the offseason. We began workouts in January/February, picked it back up in the spring, and then started in early July. We always tell them championships are won in the offseason and in the classroom. Our team GPA was the highest it has ever been at 3.5 with 19 kids ending with a 4.0. The investment of our student-athletes in the classroom had direct carryover onto the football field with them being so coachable. We have the best school, kids, assistant coaches, and parents in the district, and I am extremely lucky to be their head coach!”
Contact: Coach Nick Payne
(Posted Nov. 17, 2021)