Kentucky welcomed in Alabama to open their conference play and play their first game of the season in front of their home fans.
Both teams came in to the game with a 1-1 record as the Wildcats expected a test from a team that many feel would be a major contender for the SCRC Championship game at the end of the season.
The Wildcats continued their trend of scoring first in games as winger, Kai Carlberg crossed for a fine try early in the game to put the hosts up, 5-0. Alabama replied with glimpses of what they can do as an attacking force but Kentucky was able to stem the “Tide”.
Kentucky’s full back, Jacob Goeppner continued his streak of scoring in every game so far as he joined the line to score under the posts and extend the lead to 12-0 after the Brendon Esson conversion.
Kentucky took a commanding 19-0 lead just a few minutes later as Ty Lewis rounded off a nice passing move through the backline to score. Alabama, realizing their need to score if they were to stay in contention, marched the ball down the field and were adjudged to have successfully crossed the tryline just before the break. The halftime score stood at 19-7 in favor of the hosts.
The Wildcats came out strong to open the second half and they opened up a 26 point lead thanks to tries by forward, Tucker Donlon and center, Jaydon Hudson to push the score out to 33-7. Kentucky was pushing for yet another score when an ambitious ball thrown out towards their left wing on the Alabama 22-yard line was intercepted and the visitors’ center was ablle to win the race to the line to make the score 33-12 with 16 minutes to play.
Alabama, bouyed by the try, felt that another score would give them a chance for something from the game but the Wildcats had other ideas. Henry Johnson shut the door on any comeback thoughts as he crashed through for a rare try to seal the deal at 40-12 just minutes before the final whistle.
Kentucky head coach, Gary Anderson was a little apprehensive coming in to the game. “I was a little nervous going into the game,” he said, ” the last four or five times we have played Alabama in 15s and 7s has come down to the final seconds, they are a great program. We picked up on a few flaws in our game last week versus Ohio State and I think we did a pretty good job of fixing those which led to our best showing of the season on Saturday as a team.”
Kentucky moves to 2-1 on the season (1-0 in conference play) while Alabama drops to 1-2 (0-1). Kentucky will travel to Georgia next weekend in another conference matchup.
The “B” team continued their unbeaten start to the season as they moved to 3-0 with a fine 40-0 victory over Alabama. Tries were scored by Jared Monnier, Peter Guariglia, Boo Huntington, Kaiden Fothergill, Alex Sobieski and Dailen Ward. Fothergill went 4-5 with his conversion attempts and Jimmy James added one late in the game to round out the scoring.