Pacers coaches Ryan Jesop and Dustin Bentz instruct Anthony Records (76). (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Pacers coaches Ryan Jesop and Dustin Bentz instruct Anthony Records (76). (Staff photo by Mark Campbell)

The Switzerland County Pacers started a new era on the gridiron Friday night as it hosted Bracken County in the first ever varsity football game at Vevay.

“We felt the buzz around town all day,” coach Ryan Jesop said. “It really hit home with the kids today at school to be able to wear that jersey. I was a great sense of pride. This is not an easy sport and the community has really rallied around them.”

The Pacers struggled early, trailing 35-0 at half as Bracken County pounded the ball on the ground early and often. But the Pacers never quit and responded with a strong second half losing to the Polar Bears 49-14.

Bracken County kicked off the scoring midway through the first quarter when Nick Parker carried the Polar Bears with 77 rushing yards on six carries, capped by a 10-yard touchdown run.

Switzerland (0-1) struggled on offense early managing only one first down in the half, which came on a Polar Bear penalty. Meanwhile, a 73-yard bomb from Bracken County quarterback Tristen Bishop to Trey Deaton stretched the lead to 14-0.

Bracken (1-0) kept piling it on, taking a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Switzerland had a brief bright spot when Casper Stow intercepted Deaton’s pass and returned it 41 yards to the 5-yard line, but they were unable to punch it in.

A 14 yard TD run by Tad Fisher closed the half out for Bracken as the offense was running on all cylinders.

“In the first quarter and first half it really hit home with them that they have to own the line of scrimmage. I think they were a little shell shocked early by strength and push of varsity opponents,” Jesop said. “The great thing that I noticed at halftime, was that for the first time in the locker room the kids were talking football before we got in there. They were talking about gap responsibilities and techniques, the way the opponents are lining up, that has not happened in three years. Football is a culture and these kids are embracing it.”

Bracken County came out in the second and scored within the first 51 seconds to strengthen the lead to 42-0. After the two exchanged possessions, the Pacers regained the ball with 5:41 left in the third and mounted an impressive drive capped off by a Kyle Whitham 10-yard run to score the first touchdown in Switzerland County history. Quarterback Mike Gatto converted a two point conversion to make the score 49-8.

The offense close the game out with another impressive drive. Whitham again led the charge as Switzerland marched 70 yards down the field in a drive that lasted nearly seven minutes.

Gabe Streett finished the drive with a 4-yard run as the Pacers “never say die” attitude paid dividends.

“We had some adversity at running back this week and we really did not know how Kyle would respond,” Jesop said. “He kept his legs moving and was not going to be brought down by one guy.”

Switzerland County travels to Warsaw, Ky. next Friday night for its first road game to face Gallatin County.


at Vevay

BRACKEN CO. 20 - 15 - 14 - 0 49

SWITZERLAND CO. 0 - 0 - 8 - 6 14


1st Quarter

BC — Nick Parker, 11-yard run (Logan Teegarden kick), 5:01.

BC — Trey Deaton, 73-yard pass from Tristen Bishop (Logan Teegarden kick), 2:19.

BC — Jake Spear, 2-yard run (kick failed), 1:27.

2nd Quarter

BC — Logan Teegarden, 5-yard run (Logan Teegarden run), 10:08.

BC — Tad Fisher, 14-yard run (Logan Teegarden kick), 3:08.

3rd Quarter

BC — Will Evans, 7-yard run (Logan Teegarden kick), 11:09.

BC — Mason Tucker, 35-yard interception retiurn (Logan Teegarden), 5:46.

SC — Kyle Whitham, 10-yard run (Mike Gatto run), 2:32.

4th Quarter

SC — Gabe Streett, 4-yard run (run failed), 1:17.