The Pikeville Panthers will begin their campaign to win a third straight 1A state championship on Friday when they battle 5A Pulaski County in the Cumberland Falls Pigskin Classic on Friday in Corbin.
The Panthers lost several starters after last year’s state championship season due to graduation, but Pikeville will look to not miss a beat behind the arm of junior quarterback Isaac Duty.
Last season, Duty passed for 1,506 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also had 140 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing. Joining Duty on offense will be Tayvian Boykins.
Boykins did a little bit of everything for the Panthers last season. He had 475 yards and 7 touchdowns rushing while also catching 30 passes for 375 yards and 3 touchdowns. Boykins is expected to have a big impact this season for Pikeville.
Defensively, Sam Wright will lead the Pikeville secondary. The senior will return after recording 74 tackles and 1 interception that he returned for a touchdown.
5A Pulaski County comes into the contest after a strong 9-3 season in 2022.
However, the Maroons will need to replace the passing combo of departed quarterback Brysen Dugger and wide receiver Chandler Godby to find success against the Panthers.
This should be a good early season match up between a powerful Pikeville team and a much larger school in Pulaski County.