Lifting his team

Scott County offensive lineman Austin Taylor picks up teammate Jeremy Hamilton to celebrate a touchdown against DuPont Manual. Taylor, who started on both sides of the ball for SC, was a first-team all-state selection by the Louisville Courier-Journal. Scott County has placed at least one player on the C-J first team each year since 2012.

Scott County High School claimed an impressive four of the 89 spots on the Louisville Courier-Journal all-state football team, announced last week.

Two-way senior lineman Austin Taylor was a first-team selection, marking the eighth consecutive season that the Cardinals have placed a player on the first team.

Senior halfback and defensive back Bronson Brown and senior linebacker Sam Daniel were named to the second team, while senior fullback Philip Garner received honorable mention.

The four award recipients match the highest number SC has produced in s single season. Four Cards made the C-J team in both the Class 6A championship season of 2013 (Daniel Berry, Scott Daniel, Palmer Ward and Jacob Van Meter) and 2014 (Chase Daff, Zach Barber, Clay McKee and Keith Guy).

Taylor was instrumental in blocking for an offense that produced 47 points per game and amassed nearly 4,500 yards, including 3,736 with its vaunted rushing attack.

He also followed in the recent tradition of 2018 all-state performers Bryan Hudson and Glenn Covington as a two-way starter. Taylor was the Cards’ sixth-leading tackler with 34 stops, including 5 1/2 for loss.

Perhaps his defining moment came in a September win at Bryan Station, when Taylor snatched a Scott County fumble in midair at the 7-yard line and rambled into the end zone to complete the touchdown run.

Taylor also had a notable fumble recovery in the Cards’ second-round Class 5A playoff game at Frederick Douglass. SC dropped a 24-14 decision in that game to finish its season at 10-2. 

Scott County’s streak of 12 consecutive years with double-digit wins is the longest in the state.

Brown topped 1,000 yards for the second consecutive season, rushing for 1,091 along with 16 touchdowns, averaging more than 10 yards per carry. 

He also had TDs receiving as well as on fumble and interception returns. 

Daniel also had a pick-six for the Scott County defense, where he recovered from a torn ACL his junior year to emerge as the Cards’ second-leading tackler with 57.

SC’s defense posted back-to-back shutouts in October for the first time since 2014.

Also enjoying a resurgence after losing most of his junior campaign to a broken leg, Garner led SC in rushing with 1,369 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Scott County has received 54 all-state selections from the Louisville paper since its initial state championship season of 1975. 

Forty-eight of those have been achieved in coach Jim McKee’s 23-year tenure.

Hudson, Covington, Ward, Scott Daniel, Colby McKee, Jay Willmott, Jayce Johnson and Ben Willis all were multi-time selections. Ward amd Willmott, both kickers, are the only Cardinals to make the roster three times.

Taylor represents the 19th first-team selection for Scott County. 

He joins Sam Simpson (1976), Willis (1998), Willmott (2008-10), Ward (2012-13), Jervon Christopher (2012), Daniel Berry (2013), Scott Daniel (2013), Daff (2014), Tyler Dummer (2015), Trey Binder (2015), Colby McKee (2015-16), Covington (2017) and Hudson (2017-18).

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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