Briar Jumpers return home after winning first football state title

Posted at 5:20 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 19:54:29-05

SOMERSET, Ky. (LEX 18) — In the first 112 seasons of Somerset High School football, each year ended without a state championship.

This season started on an exciting note with a new football field for the Briar Jumpers. But it ended with the thrill of a state title.

"It's been kind of a blur. The last 12 or 13 hours, things have slowed down a little bit. It's good to get back in school and get some normalcy back into your everyday life," said Head Coach Robbie Lucas.

Classes resumed on Monday, but this day was a little different.

"It's huge. Not just for the high school, but the whole community," said Principal Jeff Wesley.

Many coaches ask their players to push their limits, give 110%, and to dig deep.

Down by three points to Mayfield with only 28 seconds and more than 80 yards to go, few teams have dug deeper than the Briar Jumpers to win a title.

"Probably less than 1% chance. And for these kids to come through and find a way, that's impressive," said Lucas.

Many great stories have an unlikely hero, and this one does too.

Senior Tate Madden, a safety, only had two receptions all season.

"I'm known for not having the best hands on the team," said Madden.

But in the final drive, Madden pulled in two catches. The first got the Briar Jumpers across midfield.

His fourth catch of the season was in the end zone with no time left.

"I was just trying to get open. I didn't even run the route I was supposed to. I was just like, 'I'm gonna try to get open and hopefully get the ball and make a play,'" said Madden.

Many great players and coaches decorate the walls at Somerset High School.

But after 113 years and five title game losses, this team's season ended with the biggest win in program history.